As a Kamilaroi woman who became vision impaired as a child and is now working at the University’s Indigenous Research Hub, Dr Sheelagh Daniels-Mayes reflects on her day-to-day job as an advocate, researcher and academic.
My favourite thing about my role as a First Nations academic and researcher is the incredible diversity of work I get to collaborate in.
My own portfolio research ranges from projects like: How to talk about health in Wiradjuri; working with the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet and Sydney Policy Lab to develop a National Disability Data Asset; and, collaborating with the Vaartoe - Centre for Sami Research, Umea Universitet, Sweden.
On top of that, I coordinate the Sydney Indigenous Research Network which brings together researchers at all stages of their careers and study who are working in Indigenous spaces locally and globally.
At any time anyone can become a ‘member of the disability club’ either short or long-term and yet, access and inclusion are too frequently an afterthought or put in the ‘too difficult/expensive basket.
The DIAP Implementation Group is a team of knowledgeable and experienced disability advocates who are passionate about removing barriers that inhibit people with a disability living a successful and joyful life. Enacting the DIAP objectives means that Sydney becomes a university of choice where students, staff and visitors with disability are not excluded, frustrated or just feel like they don’t belong.
I am never bored, I learn so much, and get to work with and mentor people who are working in often contentious spaces, giving voice to stories often silenced.
Working collaboratively across a diversity of issues that matter to Indigenous people locally and globally. The IRH mentors and supports Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers working in Indigenous spaces at all stages of their career path. We are fantastic at bringing people together. Significantly, it is a culturally safe and ability inclusive team.
I have a love of coffee and indulge in a croissant. So I enjoy visiting our many cafes on campus. My guide dog Topaz however, enjoys visiting grassed areas and sometimes we can be found on the oval throwing her frisbee. There’s also a beautiful courtyard hidden in the Quadrangle Building where we sometimes chill.
Learn more about Dr Sheelagh Daniels-Mayes’s research in her academic profile.