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Chontel Gibson

Kamilaroi woman, with family connections to Weatherall, Thorne and Kennedy families in far north western NSW, Australia.

Chontel is a Kamilaroi woman who has over 20 years’ experience of working in in health. She has worked in various roles, including occupational therapist, policy officer and research fellow. Chontel has held many leadership positions, including being a director and/or or Deputy Chairperson for national organisations. Chontel’s work focuses on Aboriginal health and wellbeing, building the cultural responsiveness of health workforce and rural and remote service delivery.

Promoting flourishing Indigenous communities by addressing internalised oppression.

Internalised oppression refers to the belief in, and alignment with, societal level
supremacist ideologies about marginalised folk. In colonially ‘settled’ spaces,
internalised oppression is inevitable and impacts the ability to live flourishing and
culturally fulfilling lives. It is an intended, but minimally spoken of, aim of the
ongoing colonisation project. Internalised oppression supports the reproduction
of systems and structures that promote whiteness which elicit and reward
expressions of internalised oppression including lateral violence. Lack of awareness and engagement with internalised oppression contributes todisconnection to culture, lands, communities, and language resulting in poorhealth and wellbeing. Greater awareness of its destructive impacts and colonial
function challenge the idea that internalised oppression is merely a personal
issue located within ‘disconnected’ individuals, as opposed to a carefully honed
supremacist practice.Our session will explore structures and processes that contribute to internalised
oppression, while highlighting strategies and actions to engage and manage it.

Chontel Gibson
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