Using Ganma knowledge sharing as a decolonising approach to conference planning and facilitation, Action Learning and Action Research Journal

Kim O'Donnell, Janet Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses how the 2007 Action Learning Action Research Association ALARA conference was purposefully planned and facilitated with the intention of creating a safe space for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to come together to share knowledge and understandings. Concepts of Ganma (knowledge sharing) and Dadirri (deep listening) were used as a theoretical framework for both the conference planning, and the conference event. This collaborative approach enabled the planning team (Team SA) to ensure that Indigenous voices and preferences were fully heard and centrally positioned, rather than placed at the margins of decision making. The prevention of Western dominance and silencing of Aboriginal voices was a purposeful act of decolonisation. We explain how the planning process and teamwork ensured a suitable venue, affordable registrations and inclusive program. We then discuss the conference proceedings and how Ganma and Dadirri were central to our facilitation process. Finally we use the participant and planning team evaluations to highlight the challenges and benefits of this approach
Original languageEnglish
Journal, ALAR - Action Learning and Action Research Journal
VolumeVol. 17
Issue numberNo 2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2011

Cite this