Collaboratory Podcast

Navigating Positionality and Power

by | 16 Dec, 2022

Collaboratory Season 1
Collaboratory Season 1
Navigating Positionality and Power

How can our identities, knowledge, values and biases influence how we work? Our guests Kaira Zoe Cañete, Emma Blomkamp, Shona Coyne and Jilda Andrews seek to answer this question by drawing from their co-creative experiences from various sectors including social policy, academic research, and cultural institutions. Topics they explore include:

  • The importance of recognising our positionality to assess our roles in co-creative practices and identify any blind spots or biases
  • How to navigate the ‘middle ground’ and develop an understanding and appreciation for multiple perspectives
  • Techniques for understanding the impacts of positionality on our practice, such as peer learning and reflection


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


Definitions of Positionality: Positionality – and Positionality and Intersectionality – The University of British Columbia

Lesley Ann Noel: Critical Alphabet, “Decolonising Design Thinking” article, and “Emancipatory Research and Design Thinking” article

Articles on Power:  Hunjan, Raji and Jethro Pettit. 2011- Power: A Practical Guide for Facilitating Social Change and Institute of Development Studies – Participatory Methods: Power 

“Behind the Wheel” project (Emma Blomkamp):

NMA Exhibition (Shona Coyne):

Kaira Zoe Cañete’s Research:


Kaira Zoe Cañete is a Filipino feminist scholar with training in Anthropology and Critical Development Studies. She specialises in gender, disasters, and development. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow for the Humanitarian Governance Project at the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Her research interests include expanding/rethinking notions of disaster resilience, sustainability by centering perspectives of marginalised groups (the ‘vulnerable’) and advancing feminist ethics of care in disaster response and governance. 

You can find Kaira online at Institute For Global Development UNSW Sydney website, LinkedIn, Research Gate 

Alburo‐Cañete, Kaira Zoe. “PhotoKwento: co‐constructing women’s narratives of disaster recovery.” Disasters 45, no. 4 (2021): 887-912.  – Behind a pay wall

Alburo-Cañete, Kaira Zoe. “Benevolent discipline: governing affect in post-Yolanda disaster reconstruction in the Philippines.” Third World Quarterly 43, no. 3 (2022): 651-672. – Open Access 

Alburo-Cañete, Kaira Zoe, et. Al. “(Dis) comfort, judgement and solidarity: affective politics of academic publishing in development studies – Open Access 

Zoe Alburo-Cañete, Kaira. “Building back better? Rethinking gender and recovery in the time of COVID-19.” Global Social Policy 22, no. 1 (2022): 180-183. – Open Access 

Dr Emma Blomkamp is a facilitator, researcher and strategic designer, best known for her work in co-design for behaviour and systems change. A Pākehā New Zealander living on Wurundjeri land in Melbourne, Emma is passionate about co-creating compassionate systems. She has been leading participatory design and social innovation projects with public purpose organisations since 2014. As an independent Co-Design Coach, Emma now focuses on supporting public, health and community organisations to apply creative and participatory approaches in their work. 

Emma’s current affiliations/links are: Co-Design Coach, | Convenor and Founder, CoDesignCo | Honorary Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne

You can find Emma online at Emma Blomkamp’s website | LinkedIn | Medium | Twitter 

Shona Coyne is an Indigenous cultural practitioner currently based at the National Museum of Australia as a Senior Curator and Manager of Repatriation and Community Engagement. Shona’s research interests focus on the intersections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous colonial histories and is anchored by her heritage as a Menang/Nyungar woman whose cultural connections also extend to Yamatji Country in Western Australia and the Scottish Highlands. Her recent museum projects include the award-winning exhibitions ‘Endeavour Voyage: The Untold Stories of Cook and the First Australians’ at the National Museum of Australia and ‘Yurlmun: Mokare Mia Boodja at the West Australian Museum. Recent publications also include ‘New postings? The Swan River Colony’ with Tiffany Shellam in Ancestors, Artefacts, Empire: Indigenous Australia in British and Irish museums (British Museum Press, 2021).   

You can find Shona online at the National Museum of Australia website | LinkedIn | Twitter 

Dr Jilda Andrews is a Yuwaalaraay woman, cultural practitioner and researcher based in Canberra. Jilda draws from her heritage to investigate the connectedness of land, story and culture to objects in museum collections. Her focus on material culture and their associated stories continue to push the definition of custodianship, from one which is focused on the preservation of objects, to one which strives to maintain connections between objects and the systems which produce them. 

You can find Jilda online at the Australian National University website | Research Gate Australia | Council for the Arts website 

Get in touch

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LinkedIn – Collaboratory Podcast

Instagram – @collaboratorypodcast

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 Nicole O’Dowd.

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