Indigenous Knowledge Institute Intersections Symposium

Webinar, IKI Intersections Symposium, 30 November 2022, 10:30am-4:15pm

Online webinar

  • Intersections Symposium

Join the Indigenous Knowledge Institute as we explore global relationships spanning music, dance, education, climate change and wellbeing through multidisciplinary panel discussions.

The 2022 IKI Intersections Symposium will open the 1st International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) and the 21st National Recording Project for Indigenous Music and Dance in Australia (NRPIPA) Symposium on Indigenous Music and Dance.

The event will be Auslan interpreted.


This schedule for 30 November 2022 is subject to change. All times below are in Australian Eastern Daylight Time. Convert to your timezone here. Download the full schedule and additional registration details for 1–3 December 2022 here.

Session 1 — Chair: Aaron Corn

10:30 AM    -    Introduction, Welcome to Country, and Housekeeping — Diane Kerr, Marcia Langton, Anthea Skinner

11:00 AM    -    Panel Discussion: “The National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia at 20 Years” — Marcia Langton, Allan Marett, Payi Linda Ford, Sally Treloyn, Brian Gumbula, Wanta Pawu
The National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia (NRPIPA) helps Indigenous people in Australia to record, document, and securely archive their music and dance traditions. Founded in Arnhem Land in 2002, the NRPIPA is a Study Group of the Musicological Society of Australia and is open to community stakeholders, performers, scholars, archivists, and other professionals with interests in maintaining and revitalising Indigenous music and dance. This panel marks the NRPIPA’s 20th anniversary with a discussion of its past, present, and future.

11:45 AM    -    Book Launch: “Proceedings of the 2020 International Council for Traditional Music Symposium on Indigenous Music and Dance” — Yuh-Fen Tseng, Marcia Langton, Svanibor Pettan
Join us for the launch of the published proceedings from the symposium of the International Council for Traditional Music Study Group on Indigenous Music and Dance. The symposium was hosted and convened by Yuh-Fen Tseng at National Dong Hwa University in Taiwan in 2020. This is a fully bilingual book published in both Chinese and English.

12:00 PM    -    Break

Session 2 — Chair: José Jorge de Carvalho

12:30 PM    -    “Yoyi (Dance): Communicating Tiwi Knowledge around Change, Continuity, and Tradition in a Contemporary Art Context” — David Sequeira, Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association
This presentation highlights the intimate relationship between Tiwi country, painting, and dance. YOYI was an exhibition and research program based at the Fiona and Sidney Myer Gallery on the University of Melbourne’s Southbank Campus in 2022. YOYI combined a four-channel video installation featuring traditional adornments, body painting, Jilamara fabrics, screen prints, everyday clothing, and performers dancing on Country with 30 bark paintings by Tiwi artists. Set to the rhythms of Tiwi yoyi (ceremonial dance), this work brought dance, language, and vision of Country into the gallery.

1:05 PM    -    “Performing Puturlu Yawulyu: A Profile of One Singer’s Assertions of Place-based Identity across Space and Time” — Georgia Curran, Enid Nangala Gallagher, Ormay Nangala Gallagher, Yvonne Nangala Gallagher
The late Coral Napangardi Gallagher (d. 2019) was an esteemed Elder and repository for many thousands of yawulyu songs relating to Warlpiri lands across the Tanami desert. She was the kind of person who was “kurdungurlu [ceremonial manager] for everyone" in that she would enthusiastically support the singing of yawulyu belonging to anyone and, in doing so, would activate the feel-good power of Country, stories, and the connectedness of kin. This presentation will illustrate how Napangardi managed the spaces for song performance to maintain important knowledge of places and the environment, to feature the associated jukurrpa stories, and to emphasise the kin connections which were reactivated in each performance.

1:40 PM    -    “What Do My Country’s Songs Sound Like? A Method to Revitalising Aboriginal Songs in New South Wales” — Jesse Hodgetts, Raymond Kelly
We often hear peoples say, “I want to know how to sing my Old People’s songs. I want to know what to teach my children”. Despite the disruption of colonisation, there is a revitalisation of traditional songs and language happening in New South Wales as a result of research into sound file archives, oral history and, most significantly, our Country itself. Through our ties to Ngiyampaa, Wiradjuri, Gamilaraay, Gumbaynggirr, and Dhanggati Country, we present a method of reawakening, revitalising, and continuing our songs, and explore how different stylistic features of songs represent the diversity of Country and Kin to answer the question “What do my Country’s songs sound like?”

2:15 PM    -    Break

Session 3 — Chair: Marcia Langton

2:45 PM    -    “Music in Ritual Responses to Climate Change and the Covid Pandemic among the Lotud Dusun of Tuaran in Sabah, Malaysia” — Jacqueline Pugh-Kitingan, Hanafi Hussin, Judeth John Baptist, Jurry Foo
Living mainly in the Tuaran District on the west coast of Sabah in northern Borneo, the Lotud are an Indigenous Dusunic ethnic group with a rich musical heritage that has changed in response to climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past 30 years, the time span between occurrences of the Mamahui Pogun (Cleansing the Universe), performed in response to extreme weather and calamity, has decreased as climate fluctuations increased. In 2017, the Monungkias Rinda (Removing the Dirt) was held to inform the spirit world that Mamahui Pogun (Cleansing the Universe) would no longer be held. With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Sumurung ritual for averting pandemics was performed and, as case numbers increased, so too were the Tumabur Liyut (House Cleansing of Evil Spirits) and Ponogit Pomogunan (For Cleansing the Land) rituals.

3:25 PM    -    “Sounding out Postcoloniality, Climate Change, and Well-Being in Micronesia: The Case Studies of the Sound Knowledge Project” — Andrew Gumataotao, Sebastian Hachmeyer, Celia Fritze
Sound Knowledge: Alternative Epistemologies of Music in the Western Pacific Island World is a European Research Council project that explores the performing arts in Micronesia as embodied knowledge practices. We present case studies focused on the Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (Aolepān Aorōkin Ṃajeḷ) to sound out this procedural knowledge in relation to regional challenges that respectively concern postcolonial trauma, climate change, and related health challenges. We argue that the knowledge inherent in music and dance practices can help overcome the complex postcolonial predicament of Micronesia and identify new strategies for coping with these challenges.

4:05 PM    -    Closing Statements — Marcia Langton, Aaron Corn

4:15 PM    -    End

Presenter biographies

Professor Aaron Corn has a background in music, curatorial studies and Indigenous knowledge. He is Inaugural Director of the Indigenous Knowledge Institute at the University of Melbourne. He works closely in co-designed research with Australian Indigenous colleagues and communities and serves as Director of the National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia. His long term collaboration with Indigenous leaders communities engage with intellectual traditions that remain fundamental to Indigenous cultural survival. His research investigates new strategies for strengthening human cultural diversity in the digital age with emphasis on the durability of Indigenous knowledge across generations and cultures.

Professor Diane Kerr OAM is a respected Elder of the Wurundjeri people identifying with the Ganun Willam Balak clan and an Indigenous Knowledge Institute Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Aunty Di works passionately on the social and emotional wellbeing of First Nations communities through her engagement with community and government in a range of fields: health, childcare, education, native title, Stolen Generation support, environment and waterway protection, and other community work. Aunty Di provides leadership and cultural advice to local councils and corporate and community organisations. She is often invited to preside at high profile Welcome to Country ceremonies, and she conducts Aboriginal women’s ceremonies.

Professor Marcia Langton AO is an Aboriginal woman of Iman descent. She is an anthropologist and geographer with a strong research track record on Aboriginal alcohol use and harms, family violence, Aboriginal land tenure, management of environments and native title, and aspects of Aboriginal culture, art and performance and the shift to modernity. Professor Langton has held the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne since 2000, and was appointed Associate Provost in 2017. Professor Langton is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, a Fellow of Trinity College, Melbourne and an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College at the University of Queensland.

Dr Anthea Skinner is an ethnomusicologist who specialises in disability music culture and education, organology and heritage archiving. She is currently a McKenzie Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music. Her research into disability music focuses on professional musicians with disability, their creative output and career pathways, as well as adaptive musical instrument design. Anthea is currently the coordinator of Melbourne Youth Orchestras' Adaptive Music Bridging Program providing instrumental music education to children with disability.

Professor Allan Marett FAHA is Emeritus Professor of Musicology at the University of Sydney. He has published widely on Australian Aboriginal Music and East Asian music history and culture. His book Songs, Dreamings and Ghosts: the Wangga of North Australia was awarded the Stanner Prize. Together with Mandawuy Yunupingu, Marcia Langton, and Aaron Corn, he was one of the founders of the National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia.

Dr Payi Linda Ford is a Senior Research Fellow in the Northern Institute. Her knowledge, expertise and research focus on Indigenous issues and her work contributes understanding locally, nationally and internationally. She graduated with her PhD in Education in 2006 from Deakin University. Dr Ford is a successful senior researcher and has won three Australian Research Council Indigenous Discovery grants, a Fisheries Research Development Council - Warruwi Aquaculture project, a Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre Indigenous Engagement Model research project, several smaller internal and external research grants.

Associate Professor Sally Treloyn is an ARC Future Fellow and Associate Professor in Ethnomusicology and Intercultural Research in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music. As Co-Director of the Research Unit for Indigenous Arts and Cultures at the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, Sally plays a strategic role in the Indigenous research and research training agenda of the Faculty.

Professor Brian Djangirrawuy Gumbula-Garawirrtja is a Yolŋu leader of the Gupapuyŋu clan and an Indigenous Knowledge Institute Fellow at the University of Melbourne. He is a musician in the early Arnhem Land popular band, Soft Sands, and his visual art is displayed in the Australian National Maritime Museum. He has long been engaged in culture, language and heritage research and holds a Master of Indigenous Knowledges from Charles Darwin University. His recent publications include writings on the long history of Yolŋu engagements with Asian seafarers.

Professor Wanta Pawu is a Warlpiri elder and Creative Director of the Milpirri Festival in Lajamanu and an Indigenous Knowledge Institute Fellow at the University of Melbourne. He has led and collaborated on research projects through the Australian Research Council, which give focus to Warlpiri song, epistemology, education, the repatriation of archival records and youth engagement. He has provided policy advice on Indigenous law, education and youth matters to multiple government and industry bodies, including the Australian Government’s Indigenous Voice National Co-design Group, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, and the Northern Territory Department of Education.

Professor Yuh-Fen Tseng received her PhD from Taipei National University of the Arts (majoring in Ethno-Musicology) and Master of Arts degree from New York University (majoring in piano Performance). She is currently Professor at the music department of National Chiayi University in Taiwan. Knowing Indigenous cultural heritages are vanishing quickly, Yuh-Fen has been long devoting herself to the preservation of Taiwanese Indigenous music and dance. Her representative works include Legend of White-Stone Mountain: A Video Recording on the Oral Music Traditions of Seediq People and Truku People and An Improvisational Study on the Vocal Music of Seediq & Truku.

Professor Svanibor Pettan is Chair of Ethnomusicology in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ljubljana and President of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM).

Professor Jose Jorge de Carvalho is a Member of the Scientific Committee of the Institute for Advanced Transdisciplinary Studies. He is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Brasília and Coordinator of the National Institute of Science and Technology and Inclusion in Higher Education and Research (INCT), the Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). His work as an anthropologist develops mainly in the following areas: Ethnomusicology, Afro-Brazilian Studies, Art Studies, Comparative Religions, Mysticism and Spirituality, Popular Cultures, and Affirmative Actions for Black and Indigenous Peoples.

Dr David Sequeira is Director of the Fiona and Sidney Myer Gallery at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. Much of David’s research has focused on the use of colour and geometry in the creation of contemplative experiences for viewers. His research practice incorporates painting, sculpture, installation, photography, curatorship and visual arts policy, advocacy and audience engagement. He has extensive experience in the areas of public art, cultural programming and community engagement.

Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association is a remote Indigenous art centre in Milikapiti, Tiwi Islands, Australia. It is Aboriginal owned and produces authentic Tiwi art, including ironwood carved birds and Tutini poles, ochre paintings on bark, canvas, linen and paper, original limited edition prints, and hand screen-printed textiles.

Dr Georgia Curran is currently a DECRA fellow at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the University of Sydney. Her interests include Indigenous music and languages, performance ethnography, and ethnomusicology. She has conducted research in collaboration with Warlpiri people and Yuendumu-based organisations since 2005, including publications of two Warlpiri women’s song books (Batchelor Press 2014, 2017), Sustaining Indigenous Songs (Berghahn, 2020), and numerous articles. Georgia is also the current Chair for the ICTM Study Group for Music and Dance of Oceania.

Enid Nangala Gallagher is a senior Warlpiri community leader with many roles in various Yuendumu-based organisations, as well as the Southern Tanami Rangers. Nangala envisaged and has led the Southern Ngaliya dance camps since 2010, working in collaboration with Incite Arts and the Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation to ensure that Warlpiri women’s song knowledge is passed on to younger generations. She has been central to the conceptual development and content preparation for Yawulyu mardukuja-patu-kurlangu: a Warlpiri women’s digital space, which is used for sharing archival materials relating to Warlpiri women’s songs and ceremonies. Nangala was also a key contributor to the song book Yurntumu-wardingki juju-ngaliya-kurlangu yawulyu: Warlpiri women’s songs from Yuendumu (Warlpiri women from Yuendumu 2017).

Ormay Nangala Gallagher is a Warlpiri teaching assistant who works with the Yuendumu School. Most recently this has involved the development of mind maps for teaching knowledge of Country within the Warlpiri theme cycle curriculum. She has produced many Warlpiri readers with stories of Warlpiri Country, jukurrpa, environment, and culture through the Bilingual Resource Development Unit (BRDU). Ormay is central to the facilitation of young women’s involvement in the Southern Ngaliya dance camps held twice each year in outstations around Yuendumu and other Warlpiri communities. Ormay is an owner of the Ngapa jukurrpa, through her father, and she teaches these songs and stories to younger generations through on-Country workshops and public performances (see Unbroken Land 2018).

Yvonne Nangala Gallagher works with the Yuendumu School supporting cultural activities and Country visits for children. She is the owner of Ngapa jukurrpa through her father and grew up and went to school at the outstation at Wayililinpa to the south of Yuendumu in the 1980s and 1990s. She is the youngest daughter of the late C. Napangardi Gallagher and cares for their large extended family.

Jesse Hodgetts is a Wangaaypuwan Ngiyampaa and Wiradjuri man of Western New South Wales (NSW) and was born and raised on Darkinyung country on the Central Coast of NSW. Jesse is a singer and teacher and is a member of the academic team at the Wollotuka Institute of the University of Newcastle, teaching and researching Aboriginal education, language, and song. Jesse is currently completing a PhD in songs and language of Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan and Wiradjuri speakers. He is exploring historic cultural songs and how they can inform Aboriginal song, language, and cultural revitalisation in NSW today.

Dr Raymond Kelly is the Deputy Head of The Wollotuka Institute for Indigenous Engagement and Advancement at the University of Newcastle. As a Dhangatti and Gumbayngirr speaker, his research is centred on the recognition and revival of Indigenous languages. Through his collaborative language research with multiple Indigenous communities across Australia, he has been able to make vital connections between different Aboriginal languages as part of his revitalisation work.

Professor Jacqueline Pugh-Kitingan is an Honorary Professor in the Borneo Institute for Indigenous Studies (BorIIS) of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS). She previously headed the Culture and Heritage Cluster of BorIIS and was also Professor of Ethnomusicology in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, UMS. Jacqueline formerly held the Kadazandusun Chair at UMS. Her PhD from the University of Queensland was based on her research among the Huli of Papua New Guinea. Having married her husband from the Kadazan Dusun community of Tambunan, she first came to Sabah in 1977 and has conducted research in many Indigenous cultures in Sabah.

Professor Hanafi Hussin is a Professor in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Universiti Malaya. He holds a Master of Arts in Southeast Asian Studies with a thesis entitled “The Development of Philippine Political Theatre during the Marcos Regime, 1969-1972”, and he received his PhD in Performing Arts Studies from the Academy of Malay Studies, University of Malaya in 2007 with a thesis entitled “Rice Farming Ritual and Identity of Kadazan of Penampang, Sabah, Malaysia”. He has conducted fieldwork in culture and performing arts in many countries in Southeast Asia including the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, and his home country Malaysia.

Judeth John Baptist was formerly Senior Curator and Head of the Research and Resource Division of the Department of Sabah Museum. During her 37-year tenure with the Museum, she conducted extensive ethnographic research and curated numerous exhibitions on material culture in Sabah.  She spent years researching the religion, cosmology, and customary law of many Indigenous groups, including the Lotud of Tuaran, the Kadazan of Penampang, the Rungus of Kudat, and the Sama Bajau of Semporna. After retiring from the Museum in 2018, she founded SEAMEX (Southeast Asia Music Education Exchange) of Sabah, an NGO that supports cultural documentation and research on Indigenous cultural heritage in Sabah.

Dr Jurry Foo holds a PhD in Environment and Development from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She currently serves as a Senior Lecturer in the Geography Program of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Universiti Malaysia Sabah. She is an expert in Social Biogeography, Environmental Management and Development, and community-based resources management.

Andrew Gumataotao is a former East-West Fellow and Master of Arts graduate in Ethnomusicology at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Andrew has been involved in many community-based projects in Guam. His most current project, Tåhdong Marianas, is one in which he along with a group of young scholars, activists, filmmakers, and artists have been collecting the stories of musicians and cultural practitioners across the Marianas archipelago.  

Dr Sebastian Hachmeyer is a human ecologist and ethnomusicologist specialised in ecomusicology, music, and environmental studies, and anthropology of music and the environment. He earned a Master’s degree in Human Ecology at Lund University (Sweden) and received his PhD in Music (Ethnomusicology) and Geography (Environmental Geography) at Royal Holloway University of London (United Kingdom). Within the Sound Knowledge project, Sebastian is conducting post-doctoral research about music and climate change in Micronesia.

Celia Fritze graduated from the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (Austria) with a Master of Arts in Musicology with a focus on Ethnomusicology. Her research interests include (de)coloniality in music research, decolonising methodologies, and knowledge production. Within the Sound Knowledge project, she is working on a doctoral project on sound knowledge and trauma on the Marshall Islands.