In this together - A panel discussion hosted by the William Cooper Institute

The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2020 was, In this together. It was about celebrating and strengthening the relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

To commemorate National Reconciliation Week, we warmly welcomed the Monash community to join us for a virtual discussion panel featuring inspiring guest speakers.

Uncle Michael Bell, Petah Atkinson and Nicole McCartney were on our panel, which explored the steps we can take towards a mutually beneficial future, and uncovered how each of us can contribute to shared success in education, economic growth, cultural preservation and heritage.

Date: Tuesday, 2 June
Time: 10.00am - 11.30am
You can watch the recording of our panel discussion here:

Meet the panel

Uncle Michael Bell (aka Uncle Mookeye)
Elder from the Gunditjmara Nation

Uncle Mookeye is from Heywood in South West Victoria on Gunditjmara Country. He has spent upwards of thirty years working in Aboriginal Affairs. A significant part of his work has been associated with the Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation. Winda-Mara achievements include continuing cultural practices, upholding Aboriginal education programs, land management and acquisition, and supporting Aboriginal community housing, health and wellbeing services.


Petah Atkinson
Lecturer and PhD candidate, Gukwonderuk Unit, Monash University

Petah is a proud Yorta Yorta woman with over 25 years of experience in Aboriginal health. She has spent her working life in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and at universities teaching medical students in this area. Her background is in Public Health, Aboriginal Health and research, with particular interests in the Social Determinants of Health and Cultural Safety. Petah works as a Lecturer within the Gukwonderuk Indigenous Engagement Unit at Monash University and commenced a PhD.


Nicole McCartney
Chief Aboriginal Health Adviser at Department of Health & Human Services, Victoria

Nicole McCartney is a proud Yorta Yorta woman with over 20 years experience in Aboriginal health policy, across State and Commonwealth government in both Western Australia and Victoria. Nicole is the first Chief Aboriginal Health Adviser for Victoria, strengthening the focus on improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victorians.