Maggie Kavanagh

Maggie has had a deep connection with Aboriginal communities since 1985.

She started out as a school teacher in a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory where she learnt to speak Pitjantjatjara. Since then she has lived and worked in many remote Aboriginal communities in central and Western Australia and the East Kimberley. 

This included 16 years as the CEO of the NPY Women’s Council in central Australia and four years as the Coordinator of the Wiluna Regional Partnership Agreement. She was the recipient of a Churchill Fellow in 2006.  Part of the fellowship involved facilitating five Aboriginal people from central Australia to examine First Nation solvent misuse treatment centres in Canada and Alaska.

Continuing her work as an independent consultant, she has been engaged by numerous Aboriginal communities and organisations and government departments to work in the fields of community development, governance training and capacity building.

Through her roles, Maggie has experienced first-hand the day-to-day reality of living in remote communities. She is passionate about supporting Aboriginal people to have more control over decision making and a greater stake in the governance and management of their communities.

Working in partnership with Aboriginal people, Maggie hopes to establish a leadership and governance knowledge centre in Alice Springs for Aboriginal people from remote desert communities.  It would become a learning hub bringing people together to develop and strengthen their knowledge, skills, practice and confidence to govern and manage their own communities, organisations, councils, shires and other agencies.

Unless there are greater efforts to develop Aboriginal people’s leadership and governance knowledge from remote desert communities, we will be having the same conversation in ten years.