Collaboratory Podcast

Exploring Cultural Governance

by | 30 Jun, 2023

Collaboratory Season 1
Collaboratory Season 1
Exploring Cultural Governance

The word ‘governance’ can take on many different meanings and be used in various contexts, whether that be corporate, organisational or cultural. In this episode, we give particular attention to First Nations perspectives of cultural governance and discuss how the concept of cultural governance, whilst sometimes misunderstood, is one that can support collaboration across difference. Our guests Wayne Barker, Doyen Radcliffe, Sharon Babyack and David Lilley explore topics including:

  • Their understanding of cultural governance and the governance structures of the organisations that they work at – the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre (KALACC), Collaboration for Impact and Community First Development
  • The idea of ‘right way governance’ which involves understanding and respecting the structures and decision-making processes within First Nations communities in addition to the idea of ‘bridging governance’ – where First Nation governance practices intersect with Western governance requirements.
  • How ‘good’ cultural governance is malleable and recognises the importance of establishing structures and processes which help us build and maintain trusting relationships
  • The skills that can help with navigating governance in practice such as emotional intelligence and deep listening.


To ensure accessibility we are committed to providing transcripts of all our podcast episodes – you can read the full transcript here.


Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Cultural Centre: ‘KALACC Cultural Governance Evaluation 2016’ Shares information about cultural governance more broadly as well as how KALACC navigated cultural governance during the repatriation of ceremonial objects to Ardyaloon community.

Community First Development: ‘Good Governance Practice leads to Good Relationships: Final report June 2021. Presents findings and lessons learnt from their Participatory Action Research Project, with a focus on Governance.

Community First Development: ‘Good Governance Practice leads to Good Relationships: First report‘ March 2020. Shares the Action Research design, early findings and first four case studies.

The Hive: ‘Insights Paper – Community Development’ June 2022. Outlines ‘Together in 2770’s Collective approach to community development and mobilisation, including their local governance approach.


Wayne Barker is the Festival and Cultural Events Coordinator at the Kimberly Aboriginal Law and Cultural Centre (KALACC), an activist, musician, film maker and the Co-Director of the Stompem Ground Festival.  KALACC’s cultural maintenance mission is supporting the traditional cultural practices of the 30 Aboriginal language groups of the Kimberley Region, WA 

You can find Wayne online at KALACC website| KALACC Facebook | LinkedIn 

Doyen Radcliffe is a Yamatji Naaguja Wajarri man from the Midwest Region of Western Australia and a Regional Manager with Community First Development based in Perth, WA. He is a community minded individual with a passion for empowering Indigenous communities to reach their real potential to improve quality of life, health, social and economic wellbeing, and inclusion within Australian society. Doyen is also director to the Australian Evaluation Society and a director of two community based Indigenous corporations – Naaguja Warangkarri Aboriginal Corporation and Marr Koodjal Aboriginal Corporation. 

You can find Doyen online at Community First Development website | LinkedIn | Research Gate 

Sharon Babyack is the General Manager Impact and Strategy at Community First Development, a First Nations Community Development and Research Organisation. Sharon is passionate about promoting self-determination for First Nations people and considers her role as one of continual learning.  

You can find Sharon online at Community First Development website | LinkedIn | Twitter 

David Lilley is undertaking a PhD in public health, public policy and urban environments at the University of New South Wales. He also works as a consultant with Collaboration for Impact, supporting mission and place-based initiatives involving community around Australia.  

You can find David online on Collaboration for Impact website | LinkedIn 

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Collaboratory is written, edited and produced by Maya Haviland with production and editorial assistance from Nicole Deen. Audio engineering by Nick McCorriston. Music made especially for us by Seprock. Additional research and production support by Yichen Li.

Collaboratory is produced on the lands of the Ngunnawal, Ngunawal and Ngambri  people. We pay our respects, an ongoing gratitude to the custodian’s past present and future of the lands on which we work and of the knowledges from which we learn.

Collaboratory is a production of the Scaffolding Cultural Co-creativity Project hosted by the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies in the College of Arts and Social Sciences at the Australian National University funding is generously provided by the Australian National University Translational Fellowship Scheme.


Hosts: Maya Haviland, Nicole Deen, Audio Engineer: Nick McCorriston, Featured guests: Jenny Savigny, Stephen Corey