BCom Theatre/Media (CSU), Grad Dip Arts Mgt (Uni Melb), Master of Creative Arts (Uni Melb), Doctor of Philosophy (Mgt) (Uni Melb)
Dr. Michelle Evans is originally from the Hunter Valley NSW. Now based in Bathurst, she works as an academic, writer, facilitator and cultural producer. Michelle holds a Senior Lectureship in Leadership at Charles Sturt University, is a Fellow at Melbourne Business School and Fellow of the Research Centre for Leadership in Action at New York University. Michelle is Trustee of the Yvonne Cohen Award for Indigenous Creative Young People.
Michelle is the Program Director for Australia's first Indigenous Business Master Class program - MURRA - established to skill up Indigenous entrepreneurs. It is a partnership between Melbourne Business School, Kinaway (Victoria's Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce) and Supply Nation (Australia's Indigenous Minority Suppliers organization). The MURRA program was developed while Michelle worked as a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Business School from 2010 – 2014.
In 2013 Michelle was a Fulbright Scholar. She visited the University of Alaska (Fairbanks); University of California (Davis); and University of Hawaii at Manoa to replicate her doctoral study on Indigenous arts leadership. Michelle interviewed 28 Indigenous artists and arts managers about leadership during her Fulbright program and gave keynote presentations at New York University, the University of Alaska (Fairbanks) and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Michelle submitted her PhD in July 2012. The dissertation draws on the experiences of 29 Australian Indigenous artists and arts leaders, 3 non-Indigenous Australian arts managers and a small case study centred on Aboriginal leadership program at the Banff Centre in Canada. The dissertation explores how leaders participate in expressing and resisting cultural identities of Aboriginality and leadership. Taking a critical perspective, Michelle's thesis argues that public discourses of Aboriginality mean that an identity as a leader in Indigenous communities is a complex, sometimes contested status.
Michelle was the founding Head of the Victorian College of the Arts Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development from 2003-2010. During her time as the Head of the Wilin Centre, Michelle's key achievements included supporting the graduation of 50 Indigenous artists and arts managers; coordinating a cultural advisory body for the Centre and College; developing, teaching and course-coordinating Australia's only Indigenous Arts Management postgraduate program; supporting the creative development of Australia's first Indigenous opera Pecan Summer; and piloting the Accelerate program - a creative Indigenous Leadership Program in partnership with the British Council/Australia Council/Virgin Atlantic.
Michelle graduated with a first degree Honours in Master of Creative Arts from the University of Melbourne. This qualitative study investigated the long-term impacts of cultural programs on the building of communities and networks. Michelle is published in the Australian Literary Studies journal, has edited monographs through the University of Melbourne, and contributed to a range of diverse conference proceedings in the disciplines of librarian studies, Indigenous education, Indigenous arts and leadership. Michelle is an accredited partnership broker through the International Business Leaders Forum and Overseas Development Institute.
Research Project: Be:Longing – Enacting indigenous Arts Leadership on Turtle Island (2012-2014) Role: Chief Investigator 2013 Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow (Uni of Alaska, Uni of California, Uni of Hawaii); This phenomenological study aims to open a dialogue with Native American, First Alaskan and Native Hawaiian artists and arts managers about the nature of leadership and how it makes sense with their world.
Research Project: Australian Indigenous Entrepreneurial Leadership (2010 – 2015) Role: Chief Investigator Collaborator: I. Williamson, K.Milward, K.Morris Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (2013 - 2015); Australian Indigenous business development represents an important opportunity to enhance Indigenous economic development. However, extant research suggests that Indigenous entrepreneurs face unique challenges, such as, limited access to formal business training. This study uses a multi-method approach to longitudinally examine Indigenous business leaders participating in a business education program. The study will examine how the business education intervention influences the leadership behaviours and business routines Indigenous participants utilise in their organisations and the resulting impact on firm outcomes. The findings promise to provide new insights into ways to support the development of Indigenous commercial enterprises.
Research Project: Aboriginal Young People in Victoria and Digital Storytelling (2013 – 2015) Role: Chief investigator Collaborators: S.Maquire, R.Chenall, K.Thompson, H.Simondson, J.Rimmer, C.Evely Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (2013-2015); This digital storytelling project will draw on these reclamation practices as a framework to support Aboriginal youth in Victoria to connect with their culture and to participate in a process of interactive digital storytelling that is determined by them. It will also facilitate opportunities to maintain cultural knowledge for future generations, for example to support storytelling by young people from or about Elders, family members and friends, about activities, places and histories. It could also include stories related to viewing, researching or working with the material culture and art practices of past generations and contemporary artists today (including visual and performing artists, writers and musicians).
Program Director MURRA Indigenous Business Master Class Program