Dr Jan Richardson

Ph.D. Monash University, Monash Indigenous Centre; Ph.D. Northern Territory University, Darwin; M.Ed. Northern Territory University, Darwin

University Fellow

For 15 years, community worker in remote area Indigenous communities in the Pilbara 1968-1969 (Don McLeod and the 1946 strikers), East Kimberley 1970-1975) (Wyndham), West Kimberley 1975-1980 (Fitzroy Crossing) and NT 1983-1987) (Gurindji at Dagaragu). In Pilbara, taught English to the strikers. In Wyndham, assisted Indigenous women form their own organisation to care for their children, produce their own newspaper, create employment for their youth, feed their school children, form first Indigenous basketball team. With Stan Davey assisted their people return to their country and establish their community, Oombulgurri. In Fitzroy Crossing, employed part-time by Department Community Welfare, which allowed me to introduce a new concept of community women’s networks and part-time employment known as the Homemaker Service. It became a powerful movement of Indigenous Kimberley women to improve their living conditions and protect Women’s Law. Supported women establish organisations in five communities, create a newspaper and read news in language, develop social support systems, attend courts to advise magistrate on women’s perspectives, develop systems to control dogs and keep them healthy, train women drivers and buy women’s cars. At Daguragu, assisted women organise to look after old people, establish laundry systems. Trained bookkeepers to manage their Council finances and run the ANZ bank in community.

Lecturer in Faculty of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies, CDU, lecturer in community development in Social Work faculty CDU. Studied in Wyndham for first doctoral thesis by research as NTU student. Had car accident in 1998 and right arm amputated. Returned to teaching at CDU. CDU Lecturer and Academic Coordinator of Higher Education Centre, Alice Springs. Resigned when husband became ill. Full-time carer for seven years until husband died. Studied at Monash University for second Ph.D by research. Now writing the biography of the activist Don McLeod.

Research Interests

  • Don McLeod, White activist for Pilbara Indigenous autonomy
  • History of Oombulgurri community, Kimberley
  • History of Kimberley Indigenous Homemaker Service as an empowerment tool for Indigenous women
  • Stan Davey, co-founder of Vic Aborigines Advancement League and FCAATSI

Link to Research Publications

Dr Jan Richardson


T: 0414227499
E: jan.richardson@cdu.edu.au

Darwin, Northern Territory.