Catherine Donnelley

What led you to become involved with WRN?

I am deeply commitment to co-envisioning regenerative futures in community, informed by my experience as a Freedom Rider, teacher, mother of three and with a First-Class Honours degree in Architecture. Expanding on an APA Scholarship for a trans disciplinary PhD at Sydney University, I spent 7 years researching how ‘Architecture’, from the literal to metaphysical, can play a role in raising awareness towards healing our relationships with First Nation Peoples and Country. My passion is exploring these new and emerging possibilities through co-creating “Spaces of Hope” .

My experience as a Freedom Rider in 2015 informed the Architecture Bulletin Article “States of Awareness”[1]. My interest in systems thinking in design, begun early being mentored by Philip Cox early in my career. For the last two decades I have been invited by Universities to teach courses in the Built Environment and incorporating a pedagogy of deep listening, creative questioning and care. My approach recognises process of decolonisation, restoration and expanded consciousness. While addressing the complex and interdependent systemic issues causing Indigenous inequity. This thinking is reflected in the paper “Weaving Inclusive Spaces” [2]presented at the Sydney Environment Institute in 2020 discussing relationships with various ecologies and two collaborative papers on Inclusive Co-design, focusing on enhancing councils’ relationship with communities at ASID conference[3]

Most recently, I co-founded a Collective[4] for Uluru Statement from the Heart advocacy, aiming to activate the Humanities as a tool for change, while teaching design in Universities’ Masters Architecture. As an accredited International Bateson Institute Warm Data and People Need People host, I wish to foster heart led systemic change and co-led a public conversation[5] as in 2019 in Darling Square. I currently co-facilitate a public advocacy group and hold regular community circles to honour ‘Dadirri’. I am a founding member of The Uluru Supporters and passionate about this movement and the Statements fruition throughout the country.

In your view, what are the biggest challenges Australia is still facing in regard to reconciliation?

The biggest challenge is for people to really open their hearts and minds. Self-awareness is an integral part of the healing journey, asking ourselves how the conditioning of a racist system is very much alive, how might we be inadvertently perpetuating it. What can we actively do to rectify and co-create a richer Australia? How do we put our intentions into action?

3. What are your aspirations for Australia’s future in terms of the relationship between Australia’s First Nations people and Australia’s settler communities?

I’m passionate in sharing the message that when we listen from our hearts and walk with Indigenous Peoples and demonstrate respect for all sentience, we have an invaluable opportunity to co-create a vibrantly rich Australia and become worthy ancestors. The time is now. I am excited about the co-envisioning the potential of -a healed and truly regenerative, vibrant future that nourishes and brings abundance for all. I firmly believe that is the right of existence and a real possibility if we work together collectively.


links to relevant published Articles I’ve written :

[1] Architecture Bulletin Publication by invitation ‘States of Awareness’ 2019

 architecture-bulletin-regional-issue-vol-75-no-3-january-2019-lr-v3.pdf

[1] Sydney Environment Institute Symposium presentation paper ‘Weaving Inclusive Spaces’ by invitation https://sei.sydney.edu.au/events/re-emergence-nature-culture-ii/attachment/nature-in-culture_program-final-2/

[1] ASID Presenter in UTS Co-Design Research Team Adelaide 2019. 2 papers and poetry publication

https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/63510861/ida-vol-41-issue-2-asid-june-2020

[1] Liminal Nexus founder of Collective for humanities 2020 website currently in development University of New South Wales Masters Architecture Design Studio 2020 social agency author and studio design; Amplifying Uluru Statement from the Heart https://www.liminalnexuscollective.com

TOWARDS AWARENESS SPACES OF HOPE 2017 CASSE

towards-awareness-spaces-of-hope


[1] Architecture Bulletin Publication by invitation ‘States of Awareness’ 2019 https://catherinedonnelley.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/architecture-bulletin-regional-issue-vol-75-no-3-january-2019-catherine-donnelley-article.pdf

[2] Sydney Environment Institute Symposium presentation paper ‘Weaving Inclusive Spaces’ by invitation https://sei.sydney.edu.au/events/re-emergence-nature-culture-ii/attachment/nature-in-culture_program-final-2/

[3] ASID Presenter in UTS Co-Design Research Team Adelaide 2019. 2 papers and poetry publication

https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/63510861/ida-vol-41-issue-2-asid-june-2020

[4] Liminal Nexus founder of Collective for humanities 2020 website currently in development University of New South Wales Masters Architecture Design Studio 2020 social agency author and studio design; Amplifying Uluru Statement from the Heart https://liminalnexuscurato.wixsite.com/mysite

[5] Warm Data Lab: Uluru Statement from the Heart as seminal for conscious conversation https://events.humanitix.com.au/warm-data-lab-what-is-learning-in-a-rapidly-changing-world-how-do-we-relearn