International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples symposium recording now available

The recording of the 2021 International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples symposium can now be watched online.

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

To recognise this day, the Indigenous Knowledge Institute hosted a one-day symposium to showcase and celebrate a variety of Indigenous knowledges from across the University of Melbourne and the community. Speakers discussed ways to draw Indigenous knowledges into the policy and education spaces and touched on the theme “Indigenous peoples and the call for a new social contract”.

00:00:00 Introduction

00:05:42 Aunty Geraldine Atkinson and Marcus Stewart (First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria): keynote speech

Geraldine Atkinson is a proud Bangerang/Wiradjuri woman and Co-Chair of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria. For over 40 years, Geraldine has been instrumental in driving government and policy reform in Aboriginal education. From starting in the field as an Aboriginal teacher’s aide in 1976, Geraldine moved forward to become the President of the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc., a role she has held since 1999.

Marcus Stewart is a Nira illim bulluk man of the Taungurung Nation and Co-Chair of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria. Prior to being elected to the Assembly, Marcus was the Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations, a position to which he was appointed in 2017. During his time at the Federation, he oversaw that peak body’s call to State Government to pledge $63.4 million towards a Treaty readiness package, which would ensure Traditional Owner groups could prepare for Treaty engagement and negotiation processes.

00:52:39 Djirri Djirri Dance Group

1:21:15 Professor Elizabeth McKinley ONZM: “Indigenous-led Social Change”

Professor Elizabeth McKinley is both the Executive Director of the Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity (AFSE) and Professor of Indigenous Education at the University of Melbourne.  She is known for her work exploring the interaction between science, education and Indigenous culture.  She has a strong research and publication record in the field of sociology of education, Indigenous science education, Indigenous curriculum, and the capability of mainstream education systems to meet the complex challenges of transforming educational outcomes for Indigenous and other students from underserved communities.

1:41:09 Dr Kirsty Sword Gusmão AO: “Language, Learning, and Identity in Timor-Leste”

Dr Kirsty Sword Gusmão AO was educated at the University of Melbourne and Monash University. For two decades, Kirsty worked for Timor-Leste to realise its right to self-determination and, after the nation became independent in 2002, has contributed to the rebuilding of the country through her women's organisation, the Alola Foundation, and a range of education-related initiatives. As the Chair of Timor-Leste's first National Commission for UNESCO, she advocated for a greater role for Timor-Leste's 17 indigenous languages in the education system and a more prominent role for indigenous knowledge systems in national development.

2:02:29 Associate Professor Lisa Palmer, Professor Marcia Langton AO, and Dr Kirsty Sword Gusmão AO: launch of “Island Encounters: Timor-Leste From the Outside In”

Associate Professor Lisa Palmer is an academic, writer, and filmmaker who teaches and researches at the University of Melbourne. She lives in Melbourne and regularly travels to Timor-Leste to carry out research and visit extended family. She has published widely in academic journals and is the author of two books: Island Encounters: Timor-Leste from the outside in (ANU Press, 2021) and Water Politics and Spiritual Ecology: Custom, environmental governance and development (Routledge, 2015). She has made two films about the island of Timor: Wild Honey: Caring for bees in a divided land (Ronin Films, 2019) and Holding Tightly: Custom and Healing in Timor-Leste (Ronin Films, 2021).

2:14:59 Associate Professor Sally Treloyn: “The Research Unit for Indigenous Arts and Cultures”

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.

2:43:05 N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM and Professor Barry Judd: in conversation

N'arweet Carolyn Briggs is a Boon Wurrung senior elder and is the chairperson and founder of the Boon Wurrung Foundation. A descendant of the First Peoples of Melbourne, the Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung, she is the great-granddaughter of Louisa Briggs, a Boon Wurrung woman born near Melbourne in the 1830s. Carolyn has been involved in developing and supporting opportunities for Indigenous youth and Boon Wurrung culture for over 40 years. In 2005, she established the Boon Wurrung Foundation, which has been responsible for significant work in cultural research, including restoration of the Boon Wurrung language. The Foundation also helps connect Aboriginal youth to their heritage.

Professor Barry Judd is the Director of Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. He was awarded his PhD by Monash in 2007. His thesis ‘Australian Game, Australian Identity: (Post)colonial Identity in Football’ explored formations of identity in the sport of Australian (Rules) Football.

3:15:53 Associate Professor Duane Hamacher: Indigenous astronomy in Mer

Duane Hamacher is Associate Professor of Cultural Astronomy in the ASTRO-3D Centre of Excellence and the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne. His work specialises in the intersection of astronomy with culture, heritage, history, and society. He earned graduate degrees in astrophysics and the social sciences and is leading initiatives in Indigenous astronomy and dark sky studies.

3:37:54 Dr Justin Wejak: Indigenous knowledge in Lembata, Indonesia

Dr Justin Wejak is an Indigenous ethnographer from the eastern Indonesian island of Lembata. He currently teaches in the Indonesian Studies program at the University of Melbourne. Justin studied philosophy in Indonesia and theology and anthropology in Melbourne. For his PhD completed in 2017 at the University of Melbourne, he undertook an autoethnographic analysis of cultures of fear amongst Eastern Indonesian Catholics. By exploring the feelings of fear triggered by an Indonesian propaganda text connected with the killings of communists in Indonesia in 1965-6, he argued that Eastern Indonesian Catholic experiences of fear are simultaneously secular, religious and supernatural.

3:54:45 Mr Eddie Cubillo: Law, justice, and the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody

Eddie Cubillo is an Aboriginal man with strong family links in both the urban and rural areas throughout the Northern Territory. He is of Larrakia/Wadjigan and Central Arrente descent. Eddie has a Bachelor of Laws Degree and was admitted to the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory. Throughout his career, Eddie has been involved with a number of organisations and causes including the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Legal Service and the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. He recently submitted his PhD and is working at the University of Melbourne’s Law School as Associate Dean & Senior Research Fellow (Indigenous Programs).

4:19:37 Dr Vanessa Russ, Professor Marcia Langton AO, and Professor Ian McLean: launch of “A History of Aboriginal Art in the Art Gallery of New South Wales”

Dr Vanessa Russ is a Research Fellow, Indigenous Studies Unit at The University of Melbourne. Vanessa has published on Australian art and particularly Aboriginal art. Her books include A History of Aboriginal Art in the Art Gallery of New South Wales (2021) and she was editor of Memory Wells of National Significance (2019). Vanessa has also published extensively and curated exhibitions as the former Associate Director of the Berndt Museum of Anthropology. She is a former board member on the Art Gallery of Western Australia board and is a practicing artist represented by the Art Collective in Perth WA. Vanessa has family connections to Ngarinyin and Gija people in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. She is a 2014 Churchill Fellow.

4:38:51 Professor Bruce Pascoe: Aboriginal foods and the food industry

Professor Bruce Pascoe is a Yuin, Bunurong and Tasmanian man. He has published 36 book including Dark Emu which won the NSW Premier's Award for Literature in 2016 and Young Dark Emu which won the both the Booksellers Association Prize and the CBCA Non-fiction award in 2020. He has published numerous essays and journalism both in Australia and overseas. Bruce is also a farmer and grows Australian Aboriginal Grains and tubers. He is a Board Member of First Languages Australia, Black Duck Foods, and Twofold Aboriginal Corporation.

4:59:36 Professor Marcia Langton, Brian Djangirrawuy Garawirrtja, Renelle Gandjitjiwuy Gondarra, and Professor Aaron Corn: keynote – “Currents from Distant Shores”

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.

Brian Djangirrawuy Garawirrtja is a Yolŋu ceremonial leader of the Birrkili Gupapuyŋu clan. 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.

Renelle Gandjitjiwuy Gondarra is a senior Yolŋu leader of the Golumala clan. She holds a Master of Indigenous Knowledges from Charles Darwin University and is presently a Health Worker at Miwatj Health in Yirrkala.

Professor Aaron Corn is the Inaugural Director of the Indigenous Knowledge Institute at the University of Melbourne. He has a research background in music, collections and Indigenous knowledge and collaborates closely in research with Indigenous colleagues and communities. Aaron's 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.

5:58:02 Closing remarks