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Australasian Evaluation Society (AES) Conference 2017

STEPS team members Sharon Clarke and Amohia Boulton flanked by AES colleagues, Dr Bronwyn Rossignh and Emma Williams

Dr Amohia Boulton has attended the 2017 AES Conference in September where she had roles both as a presenter and a Board member.

Assoc. Prof. Margaret Cargo, CeRAPH, Health Research Institute, University of Canberra

Assoc. Prof. Margaret Cargo, CeRAPH, Health Research Institute, University of Canberra

Amohia, along with colleagues Associate Professor Margaret Cargo (University of Canberra), Dr Jenni Judd (Central Queensland University) and Sharon Clarke (SA Health), attended the conference to present back the preliminary analysis of data collected as part of the STEPS (STrengthening Evaluation Practices and Strategies in Indigenous settings in Australia and New Zealand) Project. This trans-Tasman study has the ultimate goal of identifying actions that can be taken by organisations, such as the AES, to strengthen the way evaluation, in Indigenous settings, is undertaken in Australia and New Zealand.

In addition to a short paper reporting preliminary results, study team members who attended the conference also had the opportunity to collect data from a willing group of evaluators in a workshop held on the first day. We are very thankful to those who were interested in participating in this data collection exercise.

While at the conference Amohia completed her final duties as an Indigenous Board member of the AES. This year, Amohia stepped down from the Board, in preparation for her sabbatical in 2018. In reflecting on her past four years of work she noted: “It is not without a sense of sadness I leave the Board however, I also leave with a great sense of pride in what we have achieved. Amongst other things, we have enacted a new constitution which recognises Indigenous people; our Board now must contain at least two Indigenous Board members; we are drafting our first Reconciliation Plan; and one of our strategic priorities for 2016-2019 addresses cultural competency. I leave knowing this committed and enthusiastic Board will continue to work towards the advancement of Indigenous evaluators in Australia, New Zealand and across the Pacific region”.

While in Canberra, Amohia also took the opportunity of visiting Associate Professor Margaret Cargo at the Centre for Research and Action in Public Health at the University of Canberra. Headed by Professor Rachel Davey, and part of the Health Research Institute at the University of Canberra, the Centre undertakes health services research and evaluation; research into the prevention of non-communicable disease and healthy and sustainable urban communities; as well as work in modelling the burden of disease. Whakauae are investigating how we can collaborate on work into the future with staff at the Centre.

In 2018, the AES Conference will be held in Launceston, Tasmania. The theme of the conference is “transformations” and Whakauae staff look forward to disseminating their evaluation findings and novel approaches to Indigenous evaluation. See the conference website for more details.