Dawn Bessarab is an Aboriginal woman of Bard (West Kimberley) and Yjindjarbandi (Pilbara) descent. She is Professor at the University of Western Australia’s Medical School. A highly regarded and experienced senior social worker and researcher, Dawn did her PhD on the impact of the gendered lived experiences of Aboriginal women and men.
Dawn is interested in the application of Indigenous research and qualitative methodologies, particularly participatory action research, and the translation of research into policy and practice. She has published widely both individually and collaboratively in the areas of social work, community development, and Aboriginal health and wellbeing. She developed the framework on yarning as an Indigenous methodology, which is now widely applied across Australian and international communities.
With extensive practical and research background in the areas of child protection, domestic and family violence, and drug and alcohol abuse, Dawn’s expertise is highly sought after. She frequently delivers culturally safe training and advice to service providers working with Aboriginal people.
Dawn was a founding director and board member of the Aboriginal Family Legal Service in Perth; the former chair of Nadine Women’s Refuge in Perth; and is currently a secretary on the Langford Aboriginal Association committee, in Gosnells, Western Australia.
Appointed Director, Independent August 2019.
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PO Box Q389, Queen Victoria Building NSW 1230