The 4th International Indigenous Voices in Social Work Conference was held in Alta, Norway from the 11th of June to the 14th of June 2017. Nadia Currie (Operations Manager) and I were fortunate to have both our individual abstracts and a joint abstract accepted to present. Some of my highlights include but are definitely not limited to:
- The first evening of the conference – an evening at the Alta museum. We were fortunate to go on a guided tour of the rock art. What a great way to begin the conference.
- The first day of the conference was a real eye opener for me – to hear about the history of the Sami people and what they’ve overcome made me realise the similarities that we’ve all we as Indigenous people have experience across the globe (dispossession, racist policies) however we’re all not letting that get in the way of building a better future for our future generations.
- Hearing about the establishment of the Sami University and the Sami Parliament – both of these places I got to visit during the post-conference tour.
- Having the opportunity to present the QATSICPP Practice Standards and the Supervision Framework to an international audience was something that I’ll never forget. During the presentation, the audience made me feel relaxed and following the presentation, asked a number of questions.
- Watching a film about a young Sami fisherwoman and the battles that she’s had to overcome more so with the older generations in becoming a female fisherwoman. Go Girl!!
- Presenting alongside Nadia internationally was a blast. I feel as though the presentation went really well and that we both took something away from the day.
- Dr Michael Yellow Bird – I was absolutely blown away by his keynote presentation titled “Neurodecolonization: Examining the connections between mindfulness practices and traditional Indigenous knowledge and contemplative practices”. If you have the opportunity to read any of his work please do. An area that I believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can relate is when he speaks about a traumatic event being able to be passed from generation to generation through our genes.
- Nadia presenting the project that she and Lenny have worked tirelessly on for the past 12 months was great. You can really see the effort that went into this piece of work and Nadia’s excitement about sharing these findings to an international audience shone through.
Thank-you to the entire QATSICPP team,
Lenny and Sid – coming across to support Nadia and I
Dion and Josh – the good luck messages really meant a lot
Nadia – my presentation buddy for the encouragement to present,
Nat – firstly for allowing me the opportunity to attend and present the work that QATSICPP have been doing even before I began.
Overall, the networks that I have formed by being able to attend this conference has been amazing. Having the opportunity to present to an International audience the deadly work QATSICPP have done and will continue to do was something that I will cherish.
Senior Practice Leader