Dr Chontel Gibson

C43J - J Block Cumberland Campus
The University of Sydney

Telephone 02 9351 9216

Biographical details

Chontel Gibson is a Kamilaroi woman, with strong cultural connections to the Collarenebri area, in far North Western NSW. She received an occupational therapy degree from University of Sydney in 2000. Since then, Chontel has worked as an occupational therapist, policy officer and academic. She has also held many leadership roles, including Board Director of Occupational Therapy Australia and the inaugural Deputy Chairperson of Indigenous Allied Health Australia. Chontel is the co-chairperson and co-founder of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Occupational Therapy Network (NATSIOTN), a grassroots network, which provides strategic advice in relation to occupational therapy and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s health, wellbeing and occupations. Chontel is currently working with Indigenous occupational therapists from across the world and is hoping to develop a Consortium of International Indigenous Occupational Therapists in the coming year. In these and other leadership roles, Chontel has made substantial contributions to the occupational therapy profession.

Chontel contributes and leads research projects, which share and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s voices in relation to health, wellbeing, ageing, disability and/or occupations. Chontel has expertise in Indigenous research methodologies, including decolonisation, Indigenous standpoint theory and developing a data analysis approach, which involved community participation. Importantly, community aspirations drive Chontel’s research and this includes developing research with community, who are involved in designing, implementing and evaluating the project. Chontel’s research contributes to truth-telling, advocating for social justice and working with key stakeholders to breakdown systemic and structural infrastructures, which oppress people.

Research interests

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing

Rural and remote services

Aged care

Disability

Curricula development

Teaching and supervision

Throughout Chontel’s academic career, she has made significant transformations to allied health curricula. These transformations not only support the implementation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content but also decolonises non-Indigenous pedagogies and governance structures, resulting in new ways of teaching and innovative allied health practice. Chontel has taught in a number of allied health disciplines and now teaches into occupational therapy. Chontel combines Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge with occupational therapy knowledge, which introduces new ways of learning and teaching, including assessment. Chontel continues to learn from Elders and community. She uses these experiences to create positive and culturally relevant mentorship with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including allied health professionals and students.

Current projects

Sharing and valuing older Aboriginal people's voices in relation to social and emotional wellbeing.

Gulburra (To Understand)

Yarning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's occupations

Developing a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Occupational Therapy Community Development Framework.

Associations

Occupational Therapy Australia

Indigenous Allied Health Australia

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Occupational Therapy Network (NATSIOTN)

Awards and honours

Chontel has been awarded a number of scholarships and community awards in the past.

Themes

Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Health

Selected grants

2017

  • Gulburra (To Understand); Gibson C; Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) Research Foundation/OTA Research Foundation Grant.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Gibson, C., Butler, C., Henaway, C., Dudgeon, P., Curtin, M. (2015). Indigenous peoples and human rights: Some considerations for the occupational therapy profession in Australia. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 62(3), 214-218. [More Information]

2015

  • Gibson, C., Butler, C., Henaway, C., Dudgeon, P., Curtin, M. (2015). Indigenous peoples and human rights: Some considerations for the occupational therapy profession in Australia. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 62(3), 214-218. [More Information]

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