Sandi Taylor is a Kakadoon, Ngnwun and Yirendali woman from North West Queensland. She has had the opportunity to work across rural, remote, urban and regional community settings within Queensland and Interstate as a Community Development Practitioner.She has worked primarily with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, across the Community Social Service and Health Sectors. She has effectively engaged and collaborated with diverse organisations over several decades to facilitate and support their community aspirations and deliverables to meet their community needs.
Sandi has led with a strong belief in the resiliency of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's own cultural knowledge and wisdom to respond to their own needs and issues in culturally valid and appropriate ways. In recent years, Sandi has supported First Nations people with the lived experience, to heal and strengthen their own social and emotional wellbeing needs and that of their Carers. She has been previously employed to build capacity and capability of a regional Mental Health/SEWB Workforce, to being employed to deliver local grassroots Wellbeing services in a discrete Aboriginal Community, to contributing to Peer Lived Experience Workforce Guidelines at the national level. In 2014-2016, she was a member of the National Advisory Committee for the National Empowerment Project (NEP). This project established partnerships with 15 targeted First Nations communities across the Country to establish local NEP pilot sites to empower local people to identify and resolve their own needs and issues through a culturally responsive strengths-based approach.
Sandi firmly supports the healing modalities of Art, Dance, Narrative and Performing Arts Therapies as impactful protective factors and interventions that can significantly support Individual recovery. That journey begins with listening deeply to the individual in a culturally safe space which enables the person to tell their story in their own way!!
She has actively participated in NAIDOC events for many years. The theme for this year "Always Was. Always will be." recognises our sovereignty and that we have occupied and cared for all of our countries for over 65,000 years. First Nations never ceded our sovereignty and we continue to assert our sovereignty. Over many decades, Sandi has observed the commitment of First Nations communities through Elders, Teachers, and Community leaders to encourage their people, in particular young people to re-connect and reaffirm language and maintenance in all its forms. We sit on ancient land, and are the world's oldest story-tellers. Despite colonial government practice to eradicate our language through various means, we have survived to interact in a bi-lingual world. As a member of the Cairns Tropical Writers Festival Program Advisory Committee and former member of the Main Committee, Sandi will continue to contribute to the development and implementation of a staggered hybrid Writer's Festival model amidst COVID-19 for 2020 to 2021. It is envisaged that a strong focus will be on First Nations Story-Holders and Story-Tellers. The intersectionality and cultural nuances of First Nations Culture expressed through stories, art, dance and song will inspire and entice festival-goers, either on-line and/or face-to-face.
In 2019, she had the honour to sit on the Treaty Working Group as a member to begin a conversation with all Queenslanders on a'Path to Treaty'. This historical event has culminated in the tabling of the Path to Treaty Report to the Queensland Government by the Eminent Panel. In early 2020, the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tabled the Report and supported its recommendations. Notably Truth Telling and Healing and Capacity Building. It is anticipated that the Path to Treaty Report will be formally revisited by the Palaszczuk Government, whom has been returned to govern Queensland, as declared by the State Election results on 31 October, 2020.
Conversations across the continents: A series of panels discussing cultural linkages between Australian and Indian artists hosted by Arts Nexus (Far North Qld).