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Professor Mohan J Dutta

Indigenous communication in transforming structures

Professor Mohan J Dutta (PhD, University of Minnesota, B. Tech (Honors), IIT Kharagpur, India) is Dean's Chair Professor of Communication at School of Communication Journalism & Marketing. He is the Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) at Massey University, developing culturally-centered, community-based projects of social change, advocacy, and activism that articulate health as a human right. Mohan Dutta's research examines the role of advocacy and activism in challenging  marginalizing structures, the relationship between poverty and health, political economy of global health policies, the mobilization of cultural tropes for the justification of neo-colonial health development projects, and the ways in which participatory culture-centered processes and strategies of radical democracy serve as axes of global social change. At the center of this work is the impetus on provincializing Eurocentric knowledge structures and developing locally-based health solutions through the participation of communities from the global margins in processes of change. Based on his work on health and healthcare among indigenous communities in Eastern India, sex workers, migrant workers, rural communities and communities living in extreme poverty and drawing upon the key tenets of postcolonial and Subaltern Studies theories in the context of the social sciences, he put forth the key ideas of the culture-centered approach outlining culturally-based participatory strategies for addressing unequal health/healthcare policies and global disparities. Noted as one of the most prolific and highly cited scholars in health communication, he is the winner of the Lewis Donohew Outstanding Scholar in Health Communication award and the PRIDE award in public relations.


Prior to this he has been the Head of the Department of Communications and New Media (CNM), National University of Singapore (NUS), and an adjunct Professor with the Brian Lamb School of Communication, Purdue University, and the Center for Poverty and Health Inequities.


More information about the CARE, projects and events can be found at


Facebook: @CAREMassey

Twitter: @CAREMasseyNZ

Youtube:@CARE Massey


Dr Marianne D. Sison, PhD, FPRIA

Senior Lecturer

School of Media and Communication, RMIT University

Marianne is a senior communication academic and scholar with extensive leadership experience. An international thought leader, Marianne's work and research focuses on the role of public relations and communication in enabling social change. By espousing multiple perspectives in praxis, Marianne highlights the values of diversity and inclusion in global public relations practice and scholarship. Her recent research projects include Corporate Social Responsibility, Public Relations and Community Engagement: Emerging Perspectives from Southeast Asia, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge (Sison, MD & Sarabia-Panol 2018) and A Global Capability Framework for the public relations and communication management profession. where she was the Australian lead. 

She has held several academic leadership roles including her role as Deputy Dean (International) in the School of Media and Communication. In this role, Marianne provided strategic leadership and oversight of offshore programs, international institutional partnerships, student and staff mobility programs, international student recruitment and marketing, internationalising curriculum and research partnerships. Marianne has contributed to teaching and academic development of RMIT’s undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Melbourne, Singapore and Hong Kong. She has delivered invited lectures in Canada, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Spain, Thailand, the Philippines, US, and Vietnam. 

A Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, Marianne is convenor and founding chair of the Asia Pacific Public Relations Research and Education Network. Marianne's contributions to advancing public relations education, scholarship and practice in Australia and the Asia Pacific region have been recognised with her PRIA Educator of the Year Award and a forthcoming IABC Philippines CEO Excel Award. She is a member of several international communication academic and professional associations including International Communication Association and the International Association of Business Communicators. Marianne is an Urban Scholar at RMIT’s UN Global Compact Cities Programme.

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Dr Rosemary Sayer

Rosemary’s career is founded in writing and communications and includes diverse experience in general management in Australia and Asia over many years. She worked in senior positions at Wesfarmers Limited and Lion Nathan in Australia and in Asia Pacific regional management roles at international bank, Standard Chartered and international communications consultancy, Golin Harris.


Rosemary is a former journalist and has written three non-fiction books while a fourth draft manuscript of stories about refugee women is with a publisher. In 2019 she completed her PhD at Curtin University which explored her dual interests in writing and human rights. Rosemary is passionate about literature and communication and has worked as a sessional lecturer, tutor and research assistant in the school of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry, and at the Centre for Human Rights Education at Curtin University. She assisted Edith Cowan University in the establishment of its public relations course, and she has also worked at Murdoch University as a sessional lecturer and tutor in the School of Arts. During her time in Asia, Rosemary was a lecturer and tutor in the School of Business Communication at Chinese University of Hong Kong for two years. She is currently an Adjunct Post -Doctoral Fellow at Curtin University.


Rosemary serves on the board of the Edmund Rice Centre, a not for profit organisation that helps people from refugee and migrant background as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people. She has recently joined the board of CARAD, a not for profit agency, that aids asylum seekers in Western Australia who have no one else to turn. She served six years on the board of writingWA, two as chairperson, and was a founding director of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival.


Rosemary and her husband Terry were inaugural patrons of the Man Asian Literary Prize and founders of the philanthropic group The Literary Lions.

Professor Marion Kickett

Marion Kickett is a Noongar woman from the Balardong/Whadjuk area with family connections to Yamatji and Wongi country. Born in the wheatbelt town of York, Marion spent her early years living on the York Reserve. She has a nursing background and has spent all her working life in the area of health.

Marion lectured in Aboriginal Health and Culture for twenty years and completed her PhD at the University of Western Australia on Resilience from an Aboriginal perspective.

Now the Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University, Marion believes the key to a better future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is education for all Australians.


Dr Amanda Healy


CEO – Warrikal Pty Ltd, (Engineering Services into the Resources Sector)

A Will to Win – The Resistance, a fight to preserve culture

This keynote tells the story of Australian Aboriginal peoples’ decimation during colonization and explores the importance and value of culture – and cultural differences – in making any community richer and wiser.

Amanda is from the Wonnarua nation – traditional owners of the Hunter Valley in NSW. She has spent most of her life living in WA.


Amanda has more than 35 years’ experience in the mining industry, both in Australia, Africa and Canada – working for Blue Chip miners such as BHP, Rio Tinto and WMC. In 2004 she founded her own Engineering business in the Pilbara - Maxx Engineering which was sold to a large international company in 2015. In early 2017 she founded an Indigenous engineering companies – supporting Aboriginal people in business (and developing people in the mechanical space), located in the Pilbara.


In 2014 she was awarded the prestigious ‘Indigenous in Business’ Award at the Ethnic Business Awards at the C20 in Brisbane (for Maxx Engineering), since then she has won a number of of small business awards both nationally and regionally.


Amanda developed Kirrikin in late 2014, and is a social enterprise sharing profits with the artists – to address shortage of authentic Indigenous products. Kirrikin digitally prints gorgeous Aboriginal artwork onto luxurious Cashmeres and silks, turning them into scarves and ties, and more recently developing a resort wear line intended to attract further attention to the brand. Rapidly developing an international reputation for its beautiful products, Kirrikin is popular in the USA and Europe as well as at home in Australia.


Kirrikin won an Ecommerce award through the Export Council of Australia, and is a finalist in the national awards in 2016. In 2018 Kirrikin again won an Export Council award in the Creative Industries field.


In 2017 Amanda joined forces with David Flett and Roy Messer to form Warrikal, and Indigenous Majority owned Mechanical Services business, combining some 50 years of experience in shutdowns and turnarounds in the Pilbara. Amanda is the CEO of Warrikal, and continues her work in Social Responsibility through Kirrikin.

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Josep Maria Carbonell, PhD

Dean FCRIBlanquerna-Ramon Llull University

Confronting communication and politics in Europe and USA: main challenges

Political Communication is facing a radical change as a result of the digitization of communication and social media. Are these changes the same in the US and Europe? This paper wants to analyze, from a cross-cultural perspective, the main changes, similarities, and differences between both continents. One of the main issues in the two continents is the degradation of the quality of the information and the manipulation of public opinion. Are we facing a new era of misinformation, oriented-fake news in liberal democracies? Do we have the tools of resilience?


Welcome to Country

Anthony Kickett

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