Kunmanggur, legend and leadership a study of Indigenous leadership and succession focussing on the north west region of the Northern Territory of Australia

  • William Michael Francis Ivory

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    This thesis explores how Indigenous leadership in Australia is constructed and maintained. Through an analysis of institutionalised forms of leadership, it unwraps how hunter-gatherer type leadership is interpreted from a Western perspective. Such interpretation has been problematic and recent political events in Australia have once again, challenged the authenticity and resilience of Indigenous leadership.

    By utilising a case study of the Port Keats region, the people and its history, the thesis investigates how Indigenous people have recast their mental constructs in order to perceive, interpret and relate to contemporary political, social and economic issues. It examines and describes the way that Indigenous people have created social realities that enable intercultural engagement and the ability to get things done. Detailed individual and group accounts of lives and events augment and enhance such analysis. The adjustments made by Indigenous people have been an ongoing process transpiring since first contact and acted out in various forms, including resistance and hostility. I describe a leadership model based on nodal and networked foundations and deference to others. I argue that the opportunity to understand, interact and engage positively with Indigenous leadership forms stands firm, and I propose a heuristic framework that may aid and assist such ongoing comprehension, understanding and mutual interdependence.
    Date of Award2009
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorKate Senior (Supervisor)

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