Debra Bennet - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Debra Bennet

Debra Bennet is a 'Goorie Woman', a direct descendant of the Kullali Peoples (of South Western QLD) and Wakka Wakka and Gubbi Gubbi Peoples (of South East Queensland).

With 28 years of successful community and cultural development experience, Debra has held various roles in the arts sector, disability sector, correctional centres and adult education arenas.

Her work involves the process of creatively drawing from, and working across disciplines and industry sectors to develop and strengthen community, and care for our natural environment.

Debra is currently employed as Director of Indigenous Services with Relationships Australia (Qld), was previously Manager of the Indigenous Arts and Community Cultural Development Program with QLD Community Arts Network (QCAN), a partner in Nuthakine Consultancy, serves as a member of QLD Museums and Regional Galleries Indigenous Advisory Board, chairs the QLD Indigenous Arts Marketing and Export Agency (QIAMEA) within the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and is a founding member and director of the National Foundation for Indigenous Recovery and Development.

Debra has worked in Local Government and has had several years’ involvement coordinating student services in Secondary and Tertiary environments within Queensland, including the establishment of student support services at Griffith University and Central Queensland University.

Debra facilitates arts and cultural workshops including workshops on Cultural Awareness, Cultural Competencies and Alternative Approaches to Leadership.

She is also the author of Dynamic Wisdom of the Yarning Circle, and author / inventor of the Yarning Circle Framework and Process, based on her paternal grandfather’s clans (Kullali) stories and ceremonies given to her by Kullali and Wakka Wakka Elders within her clan.

Debra is committed to building communities through maintaining social justice, arts and cultural practices and culturally appropriate processes.

She supports the broader aspirations and professional development of Indigenous communities and marginalised young people globally, working to ensure that all people have the right to learn in ways which suit their specific needs - to retrieve, and uphold wisdom to help them develop to their fullest capacity, live a rich spiritual and cultural life, and sustain the natural environment.

Ms Bennet is also a member of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Indigenous Advisory Committee.