Deep Collaboration Webinar:
Shifting our National Narrative with Collaborative Partnerships

The ongoing impacts of colonisation combined with optimistic future trends leave us with a present reality charged with pain, promise and pride. If we are going to make changes to our national narrative, it will require collaborative partnership efforts similar to the ones we are hearing from in this webinar. Whether it is reimagining the justice system in NSW, working on Treaty making in Victoria, or navigating a national intermediary, each of our guests works through multi-layered complexity with multiple stakeholders. In this webinar, they’ll be offering leadership insights that we can apply to change our national Australian narrative.

The webinar will be convened by Grant Paulson (Collaborative Change Practitioner, Collaboration For Impact) with panel speakers Rueben Berg (Representative Member, First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria),  Ashlee Wone (Director – Policy & Impact, Just Reinvest NSW) and Anna Powell (CEO of Collaboration For Impact). Short bios of the speakers are below.

The yearly dialogue about January 26 is a classic arena for Lost Conversations. A Lost Conversation is a dialogue that we never get around to discussing. It is a conversation that we feel should happen, but somehow never find the right conditions or opportunity to have. Like trying to connect the ends of magnets that do not want to meet, lost Conversations are things that we don’t, or feel we can’t, discuss, and therefore, we never do. This year conversations about January 26 will be significant as we move closer to state-based treaty processes and national processes of truth-telling, and constitutional reform.

We see competing values play out, with positions becoming more and more polarised and the status quo prevailing. The difficulty we have navigating competing values results in us avoiding difficult conversations.

In this webinar, we will be discussing how supporters of First Nations and social justice can navigate the conversation spaces of nation-building, reconciliation, truth-telling, treaties and constitutional reform. We will challenge you to identify and think about the roles or voices that predictably offer opinions on January 26. Using the practice of Deep Collaboration, we will explore how to not only identify these roles but also how to take steps to change the tone of the conversation around you.

Join us as we explore the work to be done by First Nations communities, allies and other stakeholders to address the Lost Conversations of January 26 and beyond in 2022.

You can find more information on Deep Collaboration here and download a free copy of Lost Conversations here.

Who is it for?

This webinar is for anyone interested in finding better ways to work and lead together, with First Nations and other multicultural Australians including:

  • Those seeking to learn, connect and act collectively for systemic change
  • Leaders responsible for Systems Engagement with First Nations People
  • Those seeking to learn, connect and act collectively for systemic change
  • First Nations practitioners in nation-building, reconciliation facilitation and leadership development
  • Allies for First Nations movements and social justice
  • Supporters for current processes impacting First Nations people, specifically treaties, truth-telling and constitutional reform

By the end of the webinar, we expect that you will have a better understanding of:

  • How working collaboratively can work towards shifting the narrative around January 26
  • The value of working with a higher vision and that each of us has a role to play in trying to move towards that
  • How to collaborate beyond the current partnership paradigms

By the end of the webinar, we expect that you will feel ready to…

  • Identify the strengths, opportunities and challenges in collaboration when working in partnership
  • Identify lessons to take back into your own work
  • Step into the lost conversation and take up individual and collective power

By the end of the webinar, we hope that you will leave…

  • Further enabled you to explore the partnership landscape you are operating in
  • More confident to collaborate beyond the current partnership paradigm
  • Inspired to do high vision casting to connect self to the work required to shift the narrative of January 26


Tuesday, 24 January 2023, 12 – 2 pm AEST

The format for the webinar will allow participants to hear from a variety of panel speakers, have the opportunity to ask questions, and have time to explore their reflections and ideas for action in small groups. We hope this format will allow participants to feel brave enough to share their ideas freely in a safe space, receive feedback on and improve their ideas, and ultimately increase their understanding, confidence and therefore likelihood of action.

Accessibility and technology

Participants will be required to download Zoom and Chrome in order to be able to participate. Internet access is required to participate.

We recommend participants use a desktop whilst participating (rather than a mobile phone). We encourage participants to use their videos throughout.

CFI garners a culture of inclusivity and can provide some reasonable adjustments (closed captioning, providing materials beforehand, etc) for participants to attend a virtual workshop.

Deep Collaboration is created by First Nations and other multicultural Australians, sharing their ideas, experiences and expertise with one goal in mind. That goal is to find a new way to work and lead together. This website describes a way of working that follows the values and steps needed to create this shared leadership.

At its core is an open-source platform that has extensive resources and tools to build skills in working across power, race, and difference whilst in collaboration. This is complemented by training and events. At a time of increasing polarity, Deep Collaboration offers a pathway to collaborate for organisations, teams and individuals working on complex challenges, as one enabler of the systemic change required to achieve systemic change on racial equity.

Rueben Berg

Representative Member of First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria

Rueben Berg is a proud Gunditjmara man from Melbourne, Victoria, and is also a proud father of two children, Kalinga and Jirra. Rueben is a representative member of the First People’s Assembly of Victoria, in the Metropolitan region. Rueben tries to use his skills, enthusiasm and passion in a diverse range of areas, including Aboriginal culture, water, heritage, public speaking and ultimate frisbee.

Ashlee Wone

Director – Policy & Impact Just Reinvest NSW

A proud Ngiyampaa, Wiradjuri and Ngemba woman, Ashlee Wone is the Director, Policy and Impact at Just Reinvest NSW. Her professional background spans across the education, social and community work sectors. She is passionate in policy and politics and was previously Advisor for both Senator Patrick Dodson and the Honourable Linda Burney MP. She aims to deliver strategic policy and reforming legislation to deliver positive outcomes for First Nations people in Australia.

Grant Paulson

Collaborative Change Practitioner (CFI)

Grant Paulson is a First Nations change agent with ancestry from the Birriah, Bunjalung and Kamilaroi peoples. Grant is interested in strength based culturally affirming social change in community.

Anna Powell


Anna has extensive leadership experience in strategy, design and co-creating learning systems. She has held senior management roles across education, community, international development, and corporate sectors, including with Oxfam & Westpac Foundation. Her practice experiences range from working with and facilitating collaborations between government, place-based change initiatives, and philanthropic organisations. Anna was Facilitator for the Burnie Works Progress Mapping & Learning Circle processes in 2019 and 2021.

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