Michelle Evans is an experienced, innovative and dynamic practitioner, currently working in the emerging field of Indigenous Leadership and Aboriginal Business Development. Michelle has worked in the post-secondary education, arts and cultural sectors in Australia for the past fifteen years, and recently moved into business education, working as a Research Fellow for the Asia Pacific Social Impact Leadership Centre at the Melbourne Business School. She was instrumental in the establishment of MURRA Aboriginal Business Master Class Program (MBS/Kinaway).
My name is Michelle Evans. I was born and raised in the Hunter Valley, NSW Australia and work in the area of Indigenous arts, management and leadership. I got really interested in the phenomenon of leadership when I was teaching Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and arts managers about management in the late 2000's. What I noticed was that when the cohort I was teaching came together as a group, something was happening beyond the learning about management. There were critical conversations about our practice in the Indigenous arts, critical deconstructions about the limiting state-owned funding and exhibiting/performing structures the Indigenous arts sector was working within. The word leadership kept on coming up for the group, and for me, as we worked together.
Leadership is inherently about change. It's a way of working with people; collectively moving towards a shared vision of the future. It's about setting an agenda at a local, state, national or even international level, with like-minded people whereby we collectively imagine how we want the future to look and figure out what's getting in the way of that and what we need to do to make this vision of the future a reality. Sometimes when people hear the word leadership they think of being the boss, or managing groups, being very directive. And, although these ways of leading may suit certain organisations, they do not define the work of leadership.
As a founding Editorial Board member of this new journal The International Journal of Creativity and Human Development, I wish to give you an insight into the work I have been engaged in over the past fifteen years. I have come to the academy from the community-engaged arts sector, what now may be termed research led practice. Primarily, my interest focuses on the area of social impact and human, social and cultural capital development.