Q&A with Sophia Mann

Sophia Mann is a Research Assistant at the UQ Poche Centre and part of the Vice-Chancellor’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduate Program.

This NAIDOC Week, we caught up with Sophia to talk about her work and involvement with the Poche Centre.

Where are you from and what is your cultural heritage background? 

I was born and primarily grew up on Margany country (have moved around a bit) but have pretty much lived remotely and sometimes regionally my entire life. I am a Kooma person.

Tell us more about your appointment

I'm part of the VC Graduate Program currently working as research assistant at POCHE Centre for Indigenous Health. 

What are your credentials/experience? Are you a UQ alumni? 

I have BA in International Relations, French and Spanish. I studied a number of other minors including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Gender Studies and History (was spoiled for choice, impulsive and took my sweet time).

What inspired you to apply for the role?

I applied on a whim not thinking I would get it, but I think (I hope) I wowed them in the interview, and I am hoping to find a career in which I can help and one in which I am also intellectually stimulated.

What do you hope to achieve for Indigenous communities through your appointment? 

I hope to see better outcomes for my family, I see myself as a conduit for change and progress and wish to be of service to my family. Having grown up in an area with extremely limited services across the board, and in extreme poverty I know intimately how the system can bear down on people. By luck I have ended up here, so I wish to do my best and try my darnedest to make things even a little better.

What are the advantages of having someone with an Indigenous perspective in research?  

It makes for a meaningful perspective shift on how people connect and operate. 

What does this year’s NAIDOC theme mean to you? 

Heal Country means scars, trauma and violence have been inflicted onto Country. Blackfullas have been living with Country in reciprocity, contributing and caring for it with intelligently articulated ways of moving and operating. It also means to me that the sovereignty of Indigenous people be reified in treaties,  and respected. We are the tellers and knowers of Country.  

Last updated:
9 July 2021