Date and time: Friday 12th March 2021 12.00pm - 1.00pm ACST
Topic: Exploring the meaning of ‘success’ in policy: Lessons from historical Indigenous higher education in the Northern Territory
Presenter: Cat Street and Kim Robertson, Charles Darwin University
Venue:  Via Zoom. Details will be emailed to registrants just prior to the seminar start time
Register online by: noon on Wednesday 10 March

This is a free seminar organised by the Northern Territory Regional Network Committee of the AES. Our seminar series provides an opportunity for you to meet with AES members and others in the evaluation community and to share and learn from the experiences of fellow evaluators.

Seminar overview

The past two decades have seen stronger calls for decisions around ‘what works’ in policy to be informed by evidence. This has been especially so in Indigenous Affairs, where there has historically been a lack of accountability around the findings of ‘what works’ in policy and program evaluations. The sector has seen some positive moves to address this in recent times, such as the Productivity Commission’s recently released Indigenous Evaluation Strategy, which aims to improve the quality and usefulness of evaluations of Indigenous policies and programs.

Evaluation involves making decisions around ‘what works’ in reference to success measures within policy frameworks. There is increasing awareness, however, that the definition of ‘success’ is arbitrary. This seminar will present the findings of a research project that is exploring the concept of success in the historical Indigenous higher education policy setting in the NT. It focuses on power within policy processes, and its impacts on how we come to understand what policy ‘success’ means. It will aim to share implications that are relevant for evaluators working in Indigenous policies and programs across all sectors.

Presenters background

Cat Street has worked in strategy, research and evaluation across health, education and housing settings in the Northern Territory (NT) and internationally for 10 years. Her interest is in using evidence for more effective decision making in Indigenous policy and programs. She is currently employed at the NT Department of Education and is also enrolled in a PhD, where she is exploring definitions of ‘success’ in historical Indigenous higher education policy in the NT.

Kim Robertson is a descendant of Thanakwithi, Waanyi and Wik peoples of North Queensland and English ancestry. She has worked in Indigenous affairs across Northern Australia for 25 years, primarily in the public service and University sectors. These roles span grass-roots engagement and applied social research through to management, strategy and evaluations. Kim’s research focus is Australian Indigenous social policy and evaluations including Indigenous Student Success in tertiary education, and she is currently undertaking a PhD examining public policy and the resilience of senior Aboriginal women from Cape York.

Seminar start times

  • NT: 12.00pm noon
  • SA: 1.00pm
  • QLD: 12.30pm
  • Victoria, NSW, ACT, TAS: 1.30pm
  • Perth: 10.30am
  • New Zealand: 3.30pm

For other time zones please go to

Please ensure you have access to your email address just prior to the start time to access Zoom details. Please also check your email address is correct on your registration form before submitting. Thanks.


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