I am Managing Director of Monaghan Dreaming – a 100% Aboriginal owned consultancy firm. I am a descendant of the Bundjalung and Gumbaynggirr Nations on the North Coast of NSW. I have spent 25 years working within the Aboriginal community-controlled health sector with national, state and local governments.
For the past 8 years I have been involved in research with the Kirby Institute within the University of NSW on multiple projects with Aboriginal communities across Australia whilst completing a Masters of Public Health degree. I am currently in the second year of a PhD with my research and thesis adopting a mixed method approach to novel initiatives to enhance Indigenous peoples’ engagement in health services with a main focus on Aboriginal men.
To developed strong and sustainable relationships with all people and Organisations that we work and partner with , respecting the diversity of opinions and the journey that each of us are on during our life’s course.
Monaghan Consulting provides a variety of consultation services and interactive training workshops for the development of skills to address cultural complexities and maintain well-being in the workplace.
I am very mindful of Aboriginal communities and individuals during the research process, failing to understand difference in values and culture may be a reckless act that jeopardises both the ethical standards and quality of research. However, to do better is not always straight forward. Working in a co-design in a research context takes time, care, patience and the building of robust relationships.
Consulting with Aboriginal Communities
I have a clear insight when engaging in proper consultation with Aboriginal people and communities on complex issues that affects them, this is an important process that must occur particularly within the government structures. An effective consultation process requires openness about how, why and when they are being consulted and how much influence they will have over the decisions being made.
Effective conduct of consultative processes and proptocols, there is a need to: Identify the sort of representation required in the first instance; work through local Aboriginal agencies to find key contacts or groups to link with for information gathering on the approach that best works.