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University of Iowa News Release

April 22, 2004

Australian Social Worker To Speak On Human Services April 26

Sharon Gollan, lecturer in the division of education, arts and social sciences at The Unaipon School in Australia, will talk about "Indigenous Australians and Human Services" as part of the International Mondays lecture series, from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, April 26, in the International Center Lounge. The lecture is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. This is the final talk in the series, which will resume next fall.

Gollan, whose visit is sponsored by the University of Iowa School of Social Work, will discuss the historical and contemporary impact of human services on Aboriginal Australians. She will share her early experiences as a social worker in these contexts and current perspectives as a consultant, cultural advisor and trainer. Her presentation will emphasize issues that must be addressed if service systems and providers are to work effectively with indigenous people.

Gollan has 20 years of experience in the public sector in a range of community and management positions that primarily focused on better services to Aboriginal people. She is an Ngarrindjeri woman with extensive community knowledge and links throughout South Australia in the human service, health and community sectors. She has worked as a cultural adviser and trainer presenting and providing cultural advice to local government, government and non-government agencies, community organizations, universities and private clients at a local, rural and international level. These presentations have drawn on her knowledge, experience and skills in working with Aboriginal people and working within the framework of a non-Aboriginal structural environment.

Gollan became involved as an academic and researcher in The University of South Australia as a lecturer in the Unaipon School in January 2000. She teaches "Professional Practice in Indigenous Contexts" and "Indigenous Australians and the Human Services." Her current research interests are in the field of understanding and naming whiteness, and understanding and addressing dimensions of racism, particularly in the area of naming and deconstructing systemic racism. Gollan also has a strong interest in working with agencies to develop cultural values and meanings in practice, developing ways of building partnership with indigenous people, and developing methods of cultural accountability in service delivery.

The International Mondays series is sponsored by UI International Programs and the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization and presents discussions with individuals who have had international experiences. The lectures are usually from noon to 1 p.m. every Monday in the International Center Lounge or other locations on campus throughout the academic year with the exception of holidays and breaks.

UI International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean of international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and the community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Buffy Quintero, 319-335-0345; Writer: Mansi Bhatia