Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies ISSN 1443–4288

ISSN 1443–4288
November 2008
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
© Australian Institute of Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander Studies
GPO Box 553
Acton ACT 2601
Tel: (02) 6246 1111
Editor: Alison Cone
Cover Image: Barry Parsons holds his tired
grandchild at NAIDOC on the Peninsula,
July 2008. Photo by Kerstin Styche
Design and typesetting: Rachel Ippoliti,
Aboriginal Studies Press
Contributors: Chris Ryan, Rebecca Stubbs,
Rod Stroud, Otis Williams, Caroline
Carmody, Jason Lee, Tran Tran, Tony Boxall,
Rhonda Black
Senator Kim Carr Minister for Industry, Innovation, Science and Research
2 Vision for 2020
6 NAIDOC 2008
Feedback welcome
[email protected]
4 Sorry Day
1 1 5 8 8 9 9 9 10 10 11 11 13 14 14 15 15 15 16 17 17 12 Native Title Conference 2008
Welcome from Senator Kim Carr
Senator Eric Abetz visits AIATSIS
Arnhem Land elders welcomes to AIATSIS
ATSILIRN Conference
Indigenous information online
Addition to collection
Australian Research Council funding
Accolades for AVA photographer
Filmmaker makes gift
Institute mourns Dr Marika
User-friendly interface improves access
AIATSIS Indigenous Researchers’ fund
AIATSIS farewells research fellows
AIATSIS Conference 2007
Aboriginal Australia map wins bands’ attention
Launch honours Doreen Kartinyeri
Recent releases from Aboriginal Studies Press
Rob Riley’s story wins Stanner Award
Link-up case-workers gain skills at AIATSIS
Online exhibitions a big hit
A welcome from Senator the Hon. Kim Carr,
Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science
and Research
It’s great to have AIATSIS in my portfolio.
There are so many things we agree on. We
agree that research should be scholarly,
ethical, community-based and policyfocused. We agree that it should be about
improving people’s lives.
That may mean raising standards
of living. It may mean strengthening
communities, increasing cultural
understanding or protecting the
environment. These are all worthwhile
AIATSIS has an international
reputation for research and publishing in
anthropology, ethnography, linguistics and
Indigenous history.
What really impresses me, however, is
AIATSIS’ willingness to cast its net wider
and wider in response to the needs and
aspirations of Indigenous Australians.
The institute is increasingly focused on
social, legal, educational, environmental,
economic and health research.
For all that, AIATSIS has been
underappreciated and underused in recent
times. That’s about to change.
As far as I’m concerned, the institute is
critical to the great project this government
has embarked on. By putting it on the same
footing as CSIRO, the Australian Institute of
Marine Science and the Australian Nuclear
Science and Technology Organisation,
we have confirmed its position as a major
Commonwealth research agency and the
federal government’s leading centre for
Indigenous studies. Having AIATSIS in the
fold will expand horizons all round — both
within the portfolio and within the institute
I want to see more collaboration and
networking in research, and AIATSIS
already has a head start.
It has very close links not only with the
ANU — formalised in a memorandum
of understanding last year — but also
with Indigenous studies programs and
researchers at universities across the
country. It has 600-plus Australian and
overseas members involved in every
aspect of Indigenous studies. It is a
partner in the CRC for Aboriginal Health,
the Agreements, Treaties and Negotiated
Settlements Project based at the University
of Melbourne, and many similar initiatives.
I plan to reorganise university research
so that disciplines have one or more
national hubs, linked by spokes to other
institutions with expertise in the field.
AIATSIS is living proof of how well this
model can work.
The institute will be the primary source
of advice on Indigenous issues in the
areas I am responsible for, and I look
forward to it becoming a research and
policy powerhouse for the Government
as a whole. It is already providing advice
to the Treasury and the Department of
Families, Housing, Community Services and
Indigenous Affairs, and it will make a big
contribution to our review of the national
innovation system.
AIATSIS can and should be a major
player in the expanded national research
effort I am calling for — not only through
its research activities, but also through
research training.
The first significant cohort of Indigenous
researchers is reaching mid-career. The
next generation is coming through. It is
fantastic that 62 per cent of the research
grant applications AIATSIS received in
2006-07 involved Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander scholars. That’s a
great result, but it doesn’t mean we can
go home early. If we are to maintain and
augment this pool of talent, we must be
ready to support both the established
researchers of today, and the emerging
researchers of tomorrow.
AIATSIS is a model of Indigenous
leadership in research. It is fast becoming
a model of Indigenous leadership in public
policy. It is a priceless resource, and I’m
determined to make the most of it.
Welcome aboard.
Senator Eric Abetz visits
AIATSIS welcomed Senator
Eric Abetz, deputy leader of the
Opposition in the Senate, and gave
him a tour of the Institute and
its functions on Monday 21 April
Senator Abetz described his visit
as “a real eye-opener”, and he was
impressed by the Institute’s wide
range of activities.
“You can read as many Annual
Reports as you like, but until you
actually visit a place and meets its
staff you can’t get a real idea of
what goes on,” Senator Abetz said.
The senator praised AIATSIS
staff for their obvious passion and
dedication to their work.
“The staff are involved in
making a real difference in
conserving Australia’s Aboriginal
and Torres Strait heritage for future
generations, and helping all of us
today to gain a better understanding
of the Indigenous community,” he
INSTITUTE NEWS NOVEMBER 08 Deputy Principal, Collections, Bronwyn Nimmo
The AIATSIS vision for 2020
AIATSIS was strongly represented
at the Federal Government’s April
2020 Summit, with the Principal,
Deputy Principal Collections
and several board members
participating in the Indigenous
Futures Group. Additionally,
an AIATSIS visiting fellow
participated in the Strengthening
Families and Social Inclusion
Group, putting forward a vision
for inclusiveness for Indigenous
AIATSIS Principal Steve Larkin
Steve Larkin
Principal, AIATSIS
Indigenous Futures Group
What issues did you want to raise
at 2020?
I wanted to promote discussion about
pubic administration in Indigenous
affairs at the summit — asking the
question ‘are there better ways to
be more effective in government for
Indigenous people?’.
I am interested in how cultural
heritage and transmission of
culture is a determinant of equal
weight contributing to Indigenous
disadvantage as other high priority
areas such as health, education,
employment. I wanted to make the
argument that cultural heritage
matters. It is critical to achieving better
outcomes for Indigenous people.
For example, it is very difficult to
identify an Indigenous person in good
health, with a good education and a
good job who doesn’t have cultural
affiliation. These are not separate
domains, but interlocked.
Positive self-identity, high selfesteem, a sense of knowing who you
are and where you’re from, leads you to
have a better capacity to engage with
the world. And from that comes the
potential for leadership.
I wanted to see the sorts of things
AIATSIS does illuminated and
understood in that light. It’s not simply
soft and ‘feel-good’ policy issues;
cultural identity is critical and impacts
on people’s capacity to achieve health,
education and employment outcomes.
What did you think of the outcomes of
the summit in general for Indigenous
It was a good overall outcome,
contrary to the opinions expressed
by some that it might have been
dominated by particular individuals.
It was positive and held within a
secure, comfortable environment where
everyone had the chance to speak and
express their differences of opinion.
Some suggested there was a
difference between the group
decision and what was expressed
by government. All those ideas and
suggestions we expressed were
recorded and I understand the
government will examine all of them.
I was honoured to be invited.
Bronwyn Nimmo
Deputy Principal — Collections, AIATSIS
Indigenous Futures Group
What issues did you want to raise
at 2020?
I was interested in sentencing in
juvenile justice and the use of
traditional as opposed to custodial
sentencing. I also wanted to push
for Indigenous Knowledge Centres
in communities and encourage
the coordination and assistance
to see that that happens with a
seamless government approach
through local, State, Territory and
Federal governments and collecting
Indigenous Knowledge Centres are
not just about paintings and stories.
They are about oral histories — a
keeping place for culture. They are
a dynamic thing that enables young
people to see who they are. There are
issues that are still happening that
need to be recorded and kept within
There are social, cultural and health
benefits to keeping these records in
community. It gives the community a
sense of strength in themselves.
What did you think of the outcomes of
the summit in general for Indigenous
Indigenous Knowledge Centres were
certainly one of the recommendations
carried forward — with a view to
AIATSIS having a role in setting them
up. It’s something that should involve
private sector partnerships in training
communities to build and run their
own archives. It’s an opportunity for
the private sector to have technical
expertise input into communities.
I was impressed by the absolute
goodwill of the 100 people in that
room, all of whom had good intentions.
Media reports didn’t accurately reflect
that spirit of our discussions and the
outcome of the summit is difficult to
quantify for Indigenous people.
It was the first opportunity in some
time for Indigenous people to get
together and share ideas. The Minister
assured us those ideas would be heard
by government. There was a wealth
of ideas and I am looking forward
to having an ongoing influence on
policy for sustainable outcomes for
Indigenous communities.
Terri Janke
Member, AIATSIS Council
Indigenous Futures Group
It was extremely engaging to meet
people from the other streams in the
networking sessions and events.
What issues did you want to raise
at 2020?
I raised the idea that a National
Indigenous Cultural Authority (NICA)
should be established to promote
Indigenous cultural and intellectual
property rights and to develop
standards for appropriate use including
royalties, cultural integrity and
The membership would be made up
of Indigenous stakeholders. Collective
administration benefits rights holders
and rights users. NICA could foster a
marketplace that works with cultural
respect using efficiency of scale
to administer rights, standardise
agreements, develop protocols,
undertake public education, monitor
exploitation and enforce rights.
NICA could facilitate negotiations
and, like copyright collecting
societies, distribute income to
Indigenous stakeholders, supporting
artistic endeavour, creating jobs and
maintaining culture.
Toni Bauman
Visiting Research Fellow, AIATSIS
Native Title Research Unit
Strengthening Families and Social
Inclusion group
What did you think of the outcomes of
the summit in general for Indigenous
There was limited time to talk about
the big issues in Indigenous affairs
as well as cover the many good ideas
that explored language, health, social
justice, cultural heritage, Indigenous
business and education. Yet, the power
of the Summit was that it created a
space for the participants to put on
the table a great range of ideas, and
opinions. I hope that these will be
discussed in detail in the future.
AIATSIS Councillor, Terri Janke
The ‘big idea’ ideas from this session,
which I think hold the most promise,
are the creation of a National
Development Index. This would be
based not only on economic factors,
but also on social and environmental
measures and an Office of Social
Innovation and Charter of Community
My major concern was to ensure
that discussions of social inclusion
specifically acknowledged the unique
position of Indigenous people in
Australia as ‘first nations’, as well
as the fact that they are the most
disadvantaged group. I was thus
pleased to see in the final report that
embracing and celebrating Indigenous
people is included in the ambition
statement from the session, and that
other comments include the need
to ensure recognition of Indigenous
communal ownership.
Prior to the summit I also made
a ‘big idea’ submission to the
Indigenous session. The submission
related to the need for a national
Indigenous facilitation, mediation and
negotiation service which was also a
recommendation of the Indigenous
Facilitation and Mediation Project at
There is an urgent demand for highly
trained and skilled independent,
locally and regionally based Indigenous
(and non-Indigenous as appropriate)
process experts. These are experts
who can manage processes of
engagement with government in a
timely and impartial manner, and
assist in building community capacity
to manage disputes. The service,
which could be part of a national
Indigenous governance institute, could
also develop training and evaluation
measures and act as a clearing house
for best practice.
Being a participant at the 2020
summit was a remarkable opportunity.
I was particularly impressed with
the facilitation of our group which is
reflected in the richness of ideas in the
final report. This was a major challenge
given the limited time and numbers in
the group.
INSTITUTE NEWS NOVEMBER 08 important to Indigenous people so it was
a really emotional thing for me.
“I think everything takes time. I think
it’s a good start and let’s see what the
future will bring.”
Kayeleene Brown, Bundjalung — Weilwan/
“I’ve come up here to say this is the first
step and it’s a big step.
“Sorry is a small gesture for a big
atrocity. I would have hated to have been
taken away from my mum.
“I’m here in support to show we care.”
Mitzi Jesudason, Melbourne
I’m from the Barkanji tribe and I’m here
to support all the Aboriginal people. It
means a lot to Aboriginal people all over
Australia to acknowledge that they were
done wrong.
Ross Andrew Knight, Year 12, St Ignatius
College, Riverview, Lane Cove Sydney
Left: “Hi all the Stolen Generations people, put your hands
up and give me a big wave!” Ngunnawal Elder Ruth Bell. Top:
Jamie Ngurra Williams and Jerome Coe-Williams witnessing
The Apology to the Stolen Generations.
I’m here to show my respects. I’m from
Broken Hill, I think [the Apology] it’s
good that we’re finally recognising that a
bad thing was done to Aboriginal people.
I think its going to build bridges, I think
we’re all going to have a lot more respect
for each other.
Cyril Johnson (Barkindji), Year 11, St Ignatius
College, Riverview, Lane Cove Sydney
“I’m here to finally put to rest the Stolen
Generations story and to hear the word
“My father was stolen. We don’t know
where he comes from and we can’t trace
it back. So with many others out there,
I suppose, were all looking for the same
thing — a little bit of easement.
“This allows us to move forward to
send our descendants on their way so
we can move forward. It now gives us
recognition so we can recognise who we
are, where we come from and why we
are the way we are.
“What we want now is to move
forward. People need to understand that
we’ve buried the hatchett, now let them
bury it as well.”
Rob Clegg, Member, Wiradjuri Council of Elders
Ngunnawal Elder triumphant at survival on Sorry Day
On 12 February 2008, on the lawns
between old and new Parliament,
thousands of people assembled for the
parliament’s Apology to the Indigenous
people of Australia. Ngunnawal Elder
Ruth Bell gave a moving welcome to
country and told her story.
“I grew up in an orphanage and was
told that my mother had died.
“To me that was the most distressing
thing that ever, ever happened. I had
three brothers — never saw them.
“I was a lonely little girl growing up
because I was the only little black girl
in that orphanage. The nuns tried very
hard to tell me that it was for my own
“Even today — at 72 years of age — I
often wonder, was it for the good of me
or was it for the good of the white man?
“Today is a very, very special day.
It’s wonderful to see all the people,
particularly the Stolen Generations,
gathering outside Old Parliament
House where a lot of decisions about
Aboriginal people were made.
“Today is very special. Not just for
me but for everyone here. Generations
of kids coming behind will remember
this day forever. And I would like you
all to remember that.
“I hope that this will go down in
history as one of the best days in
Australia for Aboriginal people and in
particular, the Stolen Generations.”
In a special tribute to her husband,
Mrs Bell thanked him for nurturing her
throughout her life.
“When we first met up and got
married I said to him ‘You’ve got to
help me,’ and he said ‘I’ll help you all
the way.’ He has done that and he’s
been my pillar of strength for what I
went through as a little girl.”
Sadly, Mr Bell passed away on 16
March 2008 after a sudden illness.
“When I did Australian history at the
Australian National University in 1974
we spent the whole year studying
Australian history and there was never
any mention by any of our teachers of
Aboriginal Australia. It was not on the
“So in 30 years we’ve gone a long
way and I think in the next three years
we’ve got to go a lot further — not just
in remembering but in creating a new
“It’s been a very emotional day for
Andrew Pike, Independent documentary maker,
“I really wanted to see this for myself. If
there was going to be an apology after all
that time I wanted to see it.
“We’ve come down with a group of
elders. It has been very emotional.
“I thought [the Prime Minster] did a
brilliant job and he took such a long
time to construct every aspect of it
which was important. I think he did a
really good job.
“I think that [having no apology] has
held us back for a long time. To do the
things to our people for 220 years and
not have an apology is very serious. I
think that they can move on now.”
Janice Bruny, Cranbrook Sydney
“I came here for personal reasons as
well as to represent the Department
(Australian Government AttorneyGeneral’s Department).
“My grandmother’s brothers got
taken away at a young age so it was
good to come along and support my
grandmother and be with her in spirit.
Also I’ve got family on my father’s side
that have had things happen [regarding]
the stolen generation.
“The apology was really emotional.
It’s a really hard thing to get over and a
really big thing to accept. Family is really
Joe Gumbula views part of AIATSIS’ extensive audiovisual
Arnhem Land elders welcomed to AIATSIS
Nine Arnhem Land elders visited
AIATSIS on Monday 2 June as part of
a week-long tour of Canberra’s national
collecting institutes.
The group visited Canberra intending
to audit materials for repatriation
to community libraries and cultural
centres and ensure that materials were
correctly categorised in accordance
with traditional law.
In the delegation was Mr Joe
Gumbula, a Gupapuyngu Yolngu
elder from North East Arnhem Land
and a leading authority on Yolgnu
law, knowledge and culture. He said
that auditing the material held at
AIATSIS and other institutions was a
responsibility the delegation owed to
the Arnhem Land communities and to
the future.
“We want to get these materials
back to the communities, digitising it
into a good database,” Mr Gumbula
“We want the information to be there
for future generations — for the kids.”
As part of their visit, three of
the visitors performed a traditional
ceremony to honour Dr Marika, AIATSIS
council member and Yolgnu woman of
the Rirratjingu clan, who died suddenly
in May 2008.
“She was a person from our clan and
she worked for AIATSIS for a very long
time,” Mr Gumbula said.
“She was a knowledge keeper
for Yolngu people, she was a great
ambassador for our community. That
was part of our remembrance of her.”
During their week-long visit, the men
were scheduled to visit other national
collecting institutions including the
National Film and Sound Archive
(NFSA), the National Museum of
Australia, the National Library of
Australia, the National Gallery and the
Australian National University. The visit
was organised by the NFSA.
NAIDOC on the Peninsula
AIATSIS played host to NAIDOC
on the Peninsula on Saturday 12
July, headlines by Troy CassarDaley and featuring 20 market
stalls and childrens activities in
conjunction with the National
Museum of Australia.
INSTITUTE NEWS NOVEMBER 08 A day of music and art celebrating
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
culture in Canberra and across
Canberra was the national focus city
for this year’s NAIDOC celebrations.
AIATSIS, in partnership with the
National Museum of Australia (NMA),
gave Canberra its biggest ever NAIDOC
festival, with performers such as Deline
Briscoe, Adam James, the Brolga Boys
and Troy Cassar-Daly, and children’s art
activities, market stalls and a sausage
Several thousand people joined
AIATSIS on Acton Peninsula for the
party, on a winter’s day that was crisp
and miraculously sunny. AIATSIS
thanks all its sponsors: ACT Health;
the Department of Family, Housing,
Community Services and Indigenous
Affairs (FaHCSIA); ActewAGL; the
National Museum of Australia; Qantas,
and Indigenous Community Volunteers.
Opposite page (top): Troy Cassar-Daley and Adam James
perform a duet; (left) Deline Briscoe gives a passionate
performance at NAIDOC on the Peninsula; Judith Cannon
from the AIATSIS Family History Unit gives out information
at at the AIATSIS stand; (right) Sean Choolburra was
entertaining as the MC. This page (above): 25 art, craft and
information stalls lined the path between AIATSIS and the
NMA; (below) Around 2500 people made it along to NAIDOC on
the Peninsula 2008. Photographs by Kerstin Styche.
Lightning talks
light up ATSILIRN
This year’s annual Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander Library
Information and Resource Network
(ATSILIRN) conference, organised by
Alana Garwood-Houng of the AIATSIS
Library, featured 5-minute “lightning
talks” for those that were not keen on
a formal presentation.
Entitled Listen Up! Speak Up!, the
lightning sessions were a hit with
“They were a big success,”
Ms Garwood-Houng said.
“They were a way for people who
haven’t spoken before to share
information about a project and gave
us all the chance to learn about
projects we might not have heard
about otherwise.”
AIATSIS celebrates
Indigenous information
The search for information relating to
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people and cultures has become
easier with the launch of the AIATSIS
Library’s new online tools in March
The Institute has developed a
national thesaurus — or word list
— to describe documents relating to
INSTITUTE NEWS NOVEMBER 08 Library Director Rod Stroud spoke
about the Memory of the World
conference, held in Canberra in April,
and Audiovisual Archives (AVA) Director
Di Hosking told of the AVA Access
Unit and the return of digitised copies
of materials from the archives to the
Cherbourg community.
One of the main outcomes of the
conference was the refinement of 12
protocols that will encourage libraries,
archives, resource centres and other
information providers to use and access
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
materials in an appropriate way.
“It’s important to have Indigenous
staff in these places, or to provide
cultural awareness training for nonIndigenous staff,” Ms Garwood-Houng
Ms Garwood-Houng organised the
conference as part of her duties as then
President of the ATSILIRN network. The
new President is Melissa Jackson of
the State Library of New South Wales
and the next conference will be held
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
peoples and issues. The three thesauri
cover language and people, place
and subject and are used in the Mura
The thesaurus was launched at
AIATSIS by Chairperson Professor Mick
Dodson, who encouraged people to use
the new resource.
“The thesauri are AIATSIS’ gift and I
strongly encourage others to use them,”
Professor Dodson said.
“I am proud to say that the United
States of America’s Library of Congress
Welcome addition to AIATSIS
AIATSIS AVA Director Di Hosking talks about returning
materials to Cherbourg community in Queensland.
at Notre Dame University in Broome,
Western Australia in April 2009.
ATSILIRN website
has now approved the thesauri to
be used internationally in catalogue
The launch of the thesaurus
coincided with the tenth of the
Institute’s online collections catalogue,
Mura. Launched in 1998 and named
after the Ngunnawal word meaning
“pathways”, Mura has demonstrated
how Indigenous materials should be
sensitively and appropriately described.
The Thesauri can be found through the Library
section of the Institute’s website www.aiatsis.
Institute gains Australian
Research Council support
AIATSIS is pleased to acknowledge
the donation by Mrs P Stanner of
a significant artwork, a 1959 bark
painting by Nym Bandak.
Ku Wanddatji and Ku Kukbi
(Rock Python and Black Nosed
Python) is a particularly significant
addition to AIATSIS’ collection, not
only because of the exceptional
quality of the artwork. The artwork
also has immense historical
significance to AIATSIS because of
the association between the artist,
Nym Bandak and the late Professor
WEH Stanner, who was a prominent
figure in the foundation of AIATSIS
in the 1960s.
Nym Banduk’s 1959 painting
is a rare and excellent example
of the Murrinh-Patha style, and
was collected by Professor Stanner
in 1959 during the course of
his fieldwork in the Port Keats
(Wadeye) area. Professor Stanner’s
documentation of similar paintings
has long been held at AIATSIS.
Ku Wanddatji and Ku Kukbi
was exhibited in The Likan’Mirri
Connections: The AIATSIS Collection
of Art , at ANU Drill Hall Gallery
in February–March 2004. AIATSIS
is grateful to Mrs Stanner for her
generous donation, and welcomes its
addition to the AIATSIS collection.
For cultural reasons, Institute News
cannot publish the image of the
AIATSIS researchers will now be able
to lead research projects on Indigenous
issues with changes to the Institute’s
Australian Research Council eligibility
status in July.
The changes mean AIATSIS is
eligible to apply for and be approved
for funding under ARC-administered
funding schemes.
“Gaining ARC eligibility status means
we can potentially act as the lead
agency in research projects and initiate
research in our own right, rather than
work to or for other agencies,” Principal
Steve Larkin said.
Further promoting the work of
Indigenous researchers, AIATSIS
announced the inaugural AIATSIS
Indigenous Researchers Fund in
September. See story on page 13 for
more details.
Gale was a Foundation Member
of the Institute and a member of
numerous Institute committees in
the 1970s, including the Social
Anthropology Advisory Committee.
She also headed up a review of the
Research Program a few years ago.
She was a former Vice-Chancellor of
the University of Western Australia
and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the
University of Adelaide. As her
funeral notice in The Canberra Times
noted, she was ‘a pioneering woman
in academia and Aboriginal studies’.
Emeritus Professor and former
AIATSIS Principal Les Hiatt died
suddenly in London on February 10,
2008, aged 77. Les was a scholar of
Aboriginal traditional life and social
organisation He was a principled
researcher who maintained
relationships over the span of his
career with people at Maningrida on
Australia’s north coast, his main field
site from 1958.
Les was principal of AIATSIS in
Canberra and Council chair from
1974 to 1982. He was central in
bringing to Canberra an Arnhem
Land ritual of diplomacy and
friendship, called Rom. This was
enacted by people from Maningrida
in Canberra in 1982 and 1985
as an expression of exchange and
equivalence between Aboriginal
and settler Australia. Readers can
access an obituary about Professor
Hiatt by Francesca Merlan through
the AIATSIS website at www.aiatsis. This article was first
published on 8 March 2008 and
appears courtesy of The Canberra
AIATSIS Council member Dr Marika
passed away suddenly on 11 May
2008. As well as being a valuable
member of Council, Dr Marika
had been a member of numerous
Aboriginal education committees
in the Northern Territory and is
a past member of the Northern
Territory Board of Studies, Aboriginal
Education Standing Committee
Working Party. A tribute to Dr
Marika’s contribution to the Institute,
to her community and to Australian
society can be found on page 11 of
this issue of Institute News.
It is with sadness that we report Ellie
Gaffney, an Institute Member from
1985 until 2000 and a previous
Council member, passed away in
October 2007. She was a pioneer
of Indigenous women’s rights and
women’s health in the Torres Strait
and published a number of papers
that are held by the AIATSIS Library,
including papers on Torres Strait
Islander women’s history, health
issues and Indigenous media, as well
as her autobiography, Some Body
Now, which was published by the
Institute in 1989.
The Hon. Kim Beazley senior, AO, an
Institute Member for more than 40
years and a past Council member,
also passed away in October 2007.
He was a pioneer for land rights
in the 1950s and supported the
efforts of the Institute’s ‘founding
father’ WC Wentworth in Parliament
in 1964, which led to the
establishment of the Institute.
Sadly, Professor Fay Gale passed
away on Saturday 3 May 2008. Fay
Accolades and opportunities for
AVA photographer
2008 has been a good year for
Audiovisual Archive (AVA) photographer
Otis Williams. Named Trainee of the
Year in the ACT NAIDOC Awards in
2008, Otis has also launched his first
solo photographic exhibition, and
worked with the Wiradjiri Condobolin
Council (WCC) to photograph important
cultural heritage items.
Otis started with AIATSIS in 2000
in Corporate Registry, and moved to
the Native Title Research Unit before
landing in the AVA Access Unit in
“I hadn’t had any training and
qualifications under my belt since I
completed my HSC,” Otis said.
“The qualifications section in my
resume looked bare, and I needed a
qualification to compete for jobs in
AIATSIS and the broader employment
Otis took up a position of trainee
photographer with AVA’s Still Pictures
Unit in 2004, and completed ANU
College’s Certificate 4 in multimedia.
He then commenced fulltime study at
the Canberra Institute of Technology
(CIT), completing an advanced diploma
in photography in 2007.
“I soon found out that there was
more to photography than just pointing
a camera and shooting,” Otis said.
“ I learnt about digital and analogue,
and darkroom processing and printing,
from developing my own film to
preparing and displaying photos for
With the completion of his studies
came new opportunities. In May
2008, Otis was hired by the Wiradjuri
Condobolin Council (WCC) to
photograph furniture, artefacts, and art
works, as well as to capture images of
the general running of the WCC. These
images were destined for the WCC’s
new website and other promotional
In July 2008, Otis held his first solo
exhibition at the Huw Davies Gallery
in Manuka — Crossing comprising 19
images of Fitzroy Crossing. In the same
week Otis was named 2008 Canberra
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Trainee/Apprentice of the Year at the
Canberra NAIDOC Awards.
To achieve all this, Otis has not
only had to juggle fulltime work with
fulltime study; he also had to manage
his family life.
“Having three children can be quite
hectic, and we sometimes found
ourselves sitting down at the dinner
table doing our homework together,
which was quite bizarre.”
AIATSIS is pleased to recognise
Otis’s achievements since commencing
in 2000, and congratulates him on his
successes this year.
Otis Williams with one of his “Crossings” prints [Kerstin
Filmmaker makes
important cultural gift
Institute mourns passing of Dr Marika:
Indigenous filmmaker Rachel
Perkins has made an extensive
cultural gift of film, video and
associated documentation to
Rachel Perkins’ collection is a
valuable addition to the AIATSIS
collection. The works in this
collection reflect the resurgence
in Australian filmmaking over the
last twenty years and highlight the
growth of Indigenous filmmaking,
with films such as “Radiance” and
“One Night the Moon”.
Uniquely, the collection includes
interviews with both political and
creative Indigenous people. Rachel
Perkins is a consummate storyteller, and her work is powerful.
Her examination of her own
Aboriginality through oral histories
she made with key elders from
the Arrente community, as well
as her thorough research and
documentation make an outstanding
contribution to the personal
histories held in the AIATSIS
The works and materials donated
are projects which Rachel Perkins
has been directly involved in
over the past 19 years, including
completed programs, costume items
and props, multiple drafts of scripts,
diaries, press materials and stills.
It also includes oral history video
interviews with key elders of the
Arrente people and members of her
own family.
The Chairperson, Board, Principal
and staff of the Australian Institute of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander
Studies (AIATSIS) mourned the passing
of well loved and respected AIATSIS
Council member, Dr Marika on Sunday
11 May 2008.
“Dr Marika’s contribution to the
Institute, to her community and to
Australian society throughout her life
goes beyond what most of us ever
hope to achieve,” AIATSIS Chairperson
Professor Mick Dodson said.
“A Yolngu woman of the Rirratjingu
clan, Dr Marika was an exceptional
Indigenous Australian. She was
committed to improving the education
outcomes for Indigenous children
and always fought to keep culture
and language strong for her people
and more broadly for all Indigenous
AIATSIS Principal Steve Larkin said
Dr Marika’s work for the Institute over
the past seven years was carried out
with high distinction and unrivalled
depth and breadth of expertise about
remote Indigenous Australia.
“As a representative of Council
on the AIATSIS Research Advisory
Committee, in particular, her critique
of applications for research grants
brought an important perspective and
unique scholarly contribution to the
Committee’s work,” Mr Larkin said.
Dr Marika had been a member of
numerous committees relating to
Aboriginal education in the Northern
Territory and is a past member of the
Northern Territory Board of Studies,
Aboriginal Education Standing
Committee Working Party, which was
charged with developing NT policy
in line with the National Aboriginal
Languages Framework. She held
the position of Research Fellow
at the Mulka Centre, Yirrkala. Her
previous positions have included an
appointment as Research Fellow and
Lecturer at the Centre for Indigenous
Natural and Cultural Resource
Management, Northern Territory
University; working for Alcan Gove Ltd
as a translator and running Indigenous
culture induction courses for new
User-friendly interface
improves access
AIATSIS recognised that Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander people want
partnerships with linguists and archives
to document, maintain and revitalise
their languages — while speakers of
those languages are still alive.
The new interface came about as
a result of feedback from Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander communities
during phase one of the program — it
became clear that the interface was
hard for less computer-literate people
to navigate.
The new interface is a cleaner,
clearer format to read, and provides
one primary site per geographic
region, making it simpler for users
to find information about their own
region. Further, the interface provides
information on categories such as talk
and conversation, Dreaming stories,
song and dance, without the user
having to search on that category.
Another feature of the interface
is the combination of audiovisual
resources, language transcription and
translation on the same page to help
improve literacy skills. This features
A still from Spirit to Spirit, part of Rachel Perkins’
cultural gift.
a brilliant Indigenous colleague and friend
The Online Language Community
Access Program (OLCAP) is moving
into its second phase, with the
ongoing development of a new userfriendly interface for Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander communities to
access language and cultural heritage
OLCAP was set up with the intention
to trial the internet as a way to
repatriate recordings of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander languages to
speakers and their descendants. The
trial centres around the languages of
the Victoria River district in the NT,
the Iwaidja language spoken on Croker
Island, and the languages spoken
around Lockhart River in Cape York.
Australian Indigenous languages
embody unique knowledge systems.
Their value is practical as well as
spiritual with scientific value, and
these languages are in catastrophic
Senior men from Arnhem land perform a cleansing
ceremony at AIATSIS in remembrance of the late
Dr Marika
employees; and Coordinator of the
Bilingual Appraisal Review at Yirrkala
Community Education Centre.
Dr Marika won Northern Territory
Australian of the Year in 2007 in
recognition of her work in Indigenous
education, teacher training, twoway education strategies, advocacy
for mixing western and Indigenous
knowledge and reconciliation. She was
then a finalist for Australian of the Year
in the same year.
Charles Darwin University granted Dr
Marika a Doctor of Education, Honorius
Causa, in October last year for her
contribution to education, especially
to the education of Aboriginal
people in the NT, and her services
to reconciliation and inter-cultural
time-aligned (where the written word
appears on screen with the audio
pronunciation) subtitles, which have
been proven to improve literacy skills.
The interface has been developed by
James McElvenny in collaboration
with developers at the Max Planck
Institute for Psycholinguistics in
the Netherlands using open source
The interface is already functional,
and features will continue to be revised
as the OLCAP trial progresses.
National Native Title Conference 2008
Koorah, Yira, Boordah
The annual National Native Title
Conference, held in Perth in
June 2008, attracted over 600
native title holders and their
representatives from across
The conference, hosted by the Noongar
people and co-convened by AIATSIS
and the South West Aboriginal Land
and Sea Council (SWALSC), is the
largest Indigenous policy conference in
The Noongar people set this year’s
theme of Koorah, Yira, Boordah (past,
present, future) coinciding with
the Federal government’s proposed
review of the native title system.
Conference sessions included native
title agreement making, negotiation
and compensation, recent reforms to
the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (NTA),
Indigenous leadership and women’s
roles, the relationship between native
title and industry, health and country,
wealth and economic development, and
land management.
Traditional owners and native title
representative bodies engaged in
free and open dialogue in the preconference workshops, where they
shared knowledge on current issues
in native title. Indigenous Talking
Circles provided a forum for Indigenous
delegates to discuss how native title
has impacted upon their communities.
A Youth Form involving 300 young
Noongar people discussed how younger
generations are a part of passing on
knowledge and looking after country.
Sessions examined alternative
native title processes and agreement
making, and the increasing government
expectation of agreements to deliver
social and economic change without
a corresponding level of support
or funding for agreement making
Chief Judge of the Maori Land
Tribunal Joe Williams delivered the
annual Mabo lecture, highlighting how
Australia is in a state of transitional
justice. He said that discussion of
process alone would not lead to
the philosophical change that will
recognise Indigenous rights.
Professor Mick Dodson and Dr Lisa
Strelein highlighted the discriminatory
nature of the current legislation which
requires native title claimants to
establish continuity in a manner that
ignores the history of dispossession
in Australia. The language of the NTA
gives little scope to understand the
forced removal and dispossession of
many Indigenous people in Australia.
It was proposed that the concept of
occupation was more suitable and
should be legislatively entrenched
in order to avoid the development of
restrictive case law.
The conference received extensive
support from both industry and
government including the Department
of Families, Housing, Community
Services and Indigenous Affairs,
the Office of Native Title, Western
Australia, Newmont, the AttorneyGeneral’s Department, the Department
of Employment Education and
Workplace Relations, Indigenous
Business Australia, the Department of
Indigenous Affairs Western Australia,
and the Minerals Council of Australia.
Next year the conference will be
returning to Melbourne and will be
hosted by the Wurundjeri people and
co-convened by Native Title Service
Selected conference papers are
available online:
Opposite: South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council CEO
Glen Kelly responds to Mr Ripper. Top: Noongar Dance group
performers entertained the 500+ crowd at the Native Title
Conference held at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre,
3–5 June 2008.
Indigenous researchers urged to apply to new AIATSIS fund
AIATSIS is calling on Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander people to apply
to become visiting researchers in
any field of interest as part of the
newly launched AIATSIS Indigenous
Researchers Fund.
AIATSIS hopes the $1 million fund
will enable Indigenous researchers to
have a greater influence over public
policy and programs for Indigenous
“Australia needs more Indigenous
researchers to influence public policy
in order to provide the best possible
outcomes for Indigenous Australians,”
Chairperson Professor Mick Dodson
said at the launch of the Fund in
“We need to transfer Indigenous
knowledge from the community-based
researchers and thinkers - where people
know what works and what doesn’t – to
the area of public policy development
and implementation. Indigenous
involvement in decision making is a
key indicator of success in Indigenous
policy,” Professor Dodson said.
The Fund was established in
partnership with the Department of
Education, Employment and Workplace
Relations and the Department of
Families, Housing, Community Services
and Indigenous Affairs has already
provided additional funding. The Fund
is open to contributions from other
agencies and the private sector.
The AIATSIS Indigenous Researchers
Fund will provide $1million over
three years to support Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander Research
Fellows and Scholars to undertake
research in their fields of interest and,
where appropriate, work with relevant
government departments to discuss
policy and practice.
AIATSIS farewells research fellows
Three research fellows have recently
left the Institute, following the
completion of their contracts.
Mr Steve Kinnane is a descendent
of the Miriwoong people of the East
Kimberley, and has worked on a variety
of community-based cultural heritage
projects and has published on history,
social justice and sustainability. He has
worked as a producer, heritage officer
and policy officer for independent
research centres and Aboriginal
community organisations. His work has
centred on investigations of Aboriginal
history, removal of children and the
surveillance and control of Aboriginal
community members by various state
His research at AIATSIS examined
the incorporation of Indigenous
approaches to ‘country’ in future
resource management of our natural
and cultural world. The project will
facilitate the sustainable occupation
of country in the Kimberley region,
by documenting and critiquing past,
present and planned developments
within the region and their impact
upon Indigenous communities.
The project will investigate avenues
by which Indigenous approaches to
sustainable development of country
through culturally appropriate
economies are operating in the region.
It will identify necessary strategies
for the support and development
of sustainable practices that will
benefit Indigenous peoples in regard
to development in the region. It will
evaluate the viability and efficacy of
partnership projects, market-based
A moving experience
at the AIATSIS
Conference 2007
A hush descended on the ANU
theatre as Yuwali, co-author of
Cleared Out: First contact in the
Western Desert, spoke. In language
she responded to Sue Davenport’s
invitation to retell her experience
of being ‘brought in’ to Jigalong in
1964: her first contact, or knowledge
of, white people.
projects and government-based Natural
Resource Management (NRM) against
mainstream sustainability principles,
policies and movements, as well as
identified Indigenous aspirations and
visions for the region.
Steve will continue to work on this
project at Notre Dame University in
Dr Patrick McConvell has been with
AIATSIS for eight years as Linguistics
Fellow. He has studied Australian
Indigenous languages for many
years, especially in the west of the
Northern Territory, the Kimberleys
and the Pilbara of Western Australia.
Dr McConvell is interested in the
maintenance of languages, and in
the shift to Kriol, code-switching and
mixing of languages. He was involved
in setting up the Kimberley Language
Resource Centre, working in bilingual
schools, and training of Indigenous
language workers at Batchelor.
His recent projects include:
• Aboriginal Children’s Language
Acquisition ARC project with
Sydney and Melbourne Universities,
investigating how children currently
learn languages in four Central
Australian communities.
• the DoBeS (Documentation of
Endangered Languages) project
on languages and cultures of the
Victoria River District, funded by the
Volkswagen Foundation, and
• linguistic prehistory of Australia and
investigation of the past through
linguistic evidence.
With the power of a born storyteller,
Yuwali described being 17 and
first seeing white people and their
trucks, the ‘rocks that moved’. While
not understanding the words, the
audience were in no doubt about what
happened and how Yuwali felt.
Co-authors, Sue Davenport
and Peter Johnson used a set of
photographs from the book to fill
in the backstory and to talk about
how they came to understand the
importance of Yuwali’s story. With
members of her family, Yuwali was
within range of the Blue Streak
Prior to joining AIATSIS, Dr
McConvell taught linguistic and social
anthropology at Northern Territory
(now Charles Darwin) and Griffith
Dr Anthea Jo Taylor has returned to
her position at Edith Cowan University
after three years at AIATSIS. She
has a background in education and
anthropology and has taught in
schools, TAFEs and universities in
metropolitan and remote Western
Australia. Her research interests
and publications include aspects of
Indigenous identities and literacies,
community politics, neighbourhood
risk and trust in childhood over time,
and youth career decision-making and
transition to vocational education,
training and work.
Dr Taylor undertook a longitudinal
ethnographic study with Indigenous
children, examining the reproduction
and transmission of culture in early
childhood education processes.
The project sought to identify and
understand important points of tension
for Indigenous children in this sociocultural interface. It focussed on
three interrelated aspects of cultural
transmission — language, interaction
style(s) and power (and authority) —
to discern cultural understandings in
the communicative language, literacy
and interaction of Indigenous students,
their parents and the Aboriginal and
Islander education workers with whom
they are associating.
AIATSIS wishes Mr Kinnane, Dr
McConvell and Dr Taylor well in their
future studies.
rockets being tested and fired from
the Woomera Rocket Range across
their traditional lands.
A film crew were in the audience
and they are now filming on Martu
land, a film option having been
signed for a documentary based on
the book.
Authors Professor Larissa Behrendt
and Bruce Pascoe completed the
session, presenting their valuable and
thoughtful ideas. All were taking part
in the Aboriginal Studies Press-run
session, ‘A Literary Coming of Age?’
in the AIATSIS conference last year.
Aboriginal Australia
map wins bands’
Two top Australian bands reproduced
the Aboriginal Australia Map on the
back of a programme for their Across
the Great Divide tour last year.
Powderfinger and Silverchair
promoted a new community
conversation about reconciliation and
how Australians can help to close
the gap in life expectancy between
Indigenous and non-Indigenous
Hot off the Press
recent releases from
Aboriginal Studies Press
Professor Paul Hughes, Professor Lester Irabinna-Rigney and Professor Peter Buckskin at the launch of My Ngarrindjeri Calling.
Launch honours Doreen Kartinyeri
Family, elders and community
members from the Kaurna and
Ngarrindgeri people gathered on
8 July 2008 to honour Dr Doreen
Kartinyeri’s life at the launching of her
autobiography Doreen Kartinyeri: My
Ngarrindjeri Calling.
One of Doreen’s grandchildren gave
a welcome to country in language, and
MC Professor Lester Irabinna-Rigney
led the audience through the event.
One after the other, people spoke
about their memories of Doreen: her
strength, her investigative powers, her
companionship, her mothering, her
scholarship and her storytelling. A
common theme was the way Doreen’s
voice comes through the book, as if she
were just across the table, cup of tea in
hand, having a yarn.
Professor Paul Hughes, who
encouraged Doreen Kartinyeri to
investigate genealogy, was followed
by Professor Peter Buckskin who
officially launched the book. Co-author
Sue Anderson spoke of the process
of writing the book, while Doreen’s
niece and her daughter Lydia Rankine
spoke about Doreen from the family’s
Sandra Saunders, who stood strong
alongside Doreen from the hard
times of the Hindmarsh Island Royal
Commission and the devastating
outcome, to the Federal Court’s
vindication of the women, spoke too.
Her artwork features on the front cover
of the book. A song, written in honour
of Doreen, was sung.
Tandanya in NAIDOC Week was a
great setting for the launch of this
Ngarrindjeri warrior’s life story.
Aboriginal Studies Press republished its
best-selling children’s picture book, Anna
the Goanna, with an accessible paperback
format and price early in the year. It was
promoted through online review forums
used by teachers, and the magazine
Magpies promoted its use: ‘This is a
valuable resource. Recommended.’
Sales of the paperback are going well
as this is a book that can be used in the
classroom with children whose reading
skills aren’t strong, but it also makes a
great gift. One teacher said that waving
the book around in front of the students
was her way of getting her students back
into the classroom after lunch.
Doreen Kartinyeri’s autobiography,
Doreen Katinyeri: My Ngarrindjeri Calling,
was published in April. Interviews with
her son, Klynton Wanganeen, have made
superb radio listening, especially that on
Radio National’s Awaye!.
Co-written with Sue Anderson, the
book’s strength is the way the subject’s
voice comes through. As Professor Peter
Buckskin said at the launch, “It’s as if
Doreen is sitting across the table from
you, cup of tea in hand, yarning.”
Brian McCoy’s book, Holding Men:
Kanyirninpa and the health of Aboriginal
men, emanated from his research into
‘growing up’ young men, and this
concepts importance in Kimberley
communities. Sales are very strong,
and health service organisations in
particular are recognising how useful
McCoy’s elaboration of the concept can
be — and not just for Kimberley remote
From left: Marilyn Beresford, Mrs Stanner, Quentin Beresford, Mick Dodson and Steve Larkin
at the presentation of the Stanner Award.
Rob Riley’s story wins Stanner Award
The moving story of an Aboriginal
activist in an unreconciled Australia
won the 2007 Stanner Award from
Rob Riley: An Aboriginal Leader’s
Quest for Justice by Quentin Beresford
(Aboriginal Studies Press, 2006)
had already gained critical acclaim:
shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s
Award 2007, and winning the
Human Rights & Equal Opportunity
Commission Arts Non-Fiction Award
in 2006, and the Western Australian
Premier’s Literary Award, 2007 for nonfiction. In August 2008 the book was
shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s
Award for Indigenous Literature, which
is presented every two years.
Widely regarded as one of the great
Aboriginal leaders of the modern era,
Rob Riley was closely involved in
the Indigenous fight for land rights,
a treaty, self-determination and
justice. He tragically took his own
life in 1996, weighed down by the
unresolved traumas of his exposure
to institutionalisation, segregation
and racism, and his sense of betrayal
by the Australian political system to
deliver justice to Aboriginal people. His
death shocked community leaders and
ordinary citizens alike.
In receiving the award, Mr Beresford
paid tribute to Chairperson, Professor
Mick Dodson and Rob Riley’s family,
and thanked Aboriginal Studies Press
for supporting the project.
“It was the courage of Mick and
several other activists of that era that
enabled the story to be made,” Mr
Beresford said.
“I’d like to put on record too the
courage of Rob’s family. It took
tremendous courage on their part to
open up Rob’s often painful personal
history. Rob had a political career
but he also had a terribly bad and
tragic personal life characterised by
institutionalisation, segregation and of
course 15 years of grinding political
“I can’t avoid mention of the apology
that the Rudd Government has made
to the Stolen Generations and the
timing of that apology in relation to
this award and Rob’s story. For those of
you who don’t know Rob, he was one of
three successive generations who were
forcibly removed from their families.
His grandmother, his mother and all his
siblings and of course Rob himself.
I’ve been privileged to be involved
in the reconstruction of what I think is
a powerful family story that represents
this larger history of the Stolen
Generations . And I know how much
that apology means to people like Rob’s
family and of course to thousands
of other Aboriginal people who were
affected by this policy.”
Rob’s wife, Jeannie Morrison, took
six years to find the right person to
write Rob’s story.
“I wanted the book to be written
about Rob and his experiences of
fighting for social justice for his
daughters who were still minors when
he passed,” Jeannie said.
“They knew their father had an
important job that kept him away from
home for long periods of time and even
when he was home he was preoccupied
with his work a lot of the time. I
wanted them to know that his work
was not in vain and that he worked so
hard to contribute to making a better
society for them to live in. It was his
life’s work. Rob’s experiences made
him the way he was and gave him the
strength and drive to continue to make
a change.”
Jeannie felt it was important for
Rob’s story to be told, not just for
his children and family, but for his
community as well.
“He will be remembered for his
courage and his leadership; to be one
of the first to take Aboriginal issues to
the highest levels,” Jeannie said.
“I hope that Aboriginal and nonAboriginal people alike will have
a respect for the difficulties he
endured and how much he lost in his
commitment to the rights of Aboriginal
people. To me his loss is seeing
his daughters grow into beautiful
young women and mothers. To see
his grandsons play football and his
granddaughters becoming miniature
impressions of their mothers.”
Quentin Beresford’s award-winning book, Rob Riley: An
Aboriginal Leader’s Quest for Justice.
Link-Up caseworkers gain
skills at AIATSIS
The Family History Unit held a family
history training workshop for Link-Up
caseworkers from 16 to 20 June 2008.
Eleven caseworkers attended the
workshop, travelling to Canberra from
Western Australia, New South Wales,
the Northern Territory, Queensland and
South Australia.
The five-day workshop aimed to
equip Link-Up caseworkers with the
skills and knowledge to assist members
of the Stolen Generations to research
their family history. Participants
received an introduction to the research
process, and training in the skills
and resources involved in Indigenous
family history research. Also included
in the workshop were guest speakers
and visits to relevant record-holding
organisations such as the National
Archives of Australia and the National
Museum of Australia.
Participants had the opportunity
to practice searching for a range of
family history records including war
Online exhibitions
a big hit
Online exhibitions are proving to be a
huge success for the AIATSIS Library,
with 6.25 million hits on exhibition
web pages since the project’s inception
in 2005.
The AIATSIS Library began
developing online exhibitions as part
of the 2005–08 AIATSIS Digitisation
Program. The exhibitions bring together
materials from the Library and other
collecting agencies, with a strong focus
on the history of Indigenous struggle
for justice and recognition, family
history and language.
The online exhibitions are updated
regularly, and visitors are encouraged
to contribute additional information or
offer corrections. Current exhibitions
include Indigenous Australians at War;
Yes! The 1967 Referendum; Treaty;
The Freedom Ride; To Remove and
Protect; and Day of Mourning and
Top: Rita Metzenrath showing the participants some of the
rare items held in the AIATSIS Library collections. Right:
Link-Up participants following their certificate presentation.
service records, photographs, cemetery
records, and birth, death and marriage
records. The participants also accessed
AIATSIS’ library and audiovisual
collections for information on their own
families and those of their clients.
Staff from a number of AIATSIS
programs participated in the workshop
and contributed to its success.
The Library intends to capitalise on
the success of the project by creating
new content and redeveloping current
exhibition sites over the next three
exhibitions to view any of the AIATSIS
online exhibitions.
Indigenous Australians
at War
Launched by AIATSIS in April 2008,
Indigenous Australians at War
was originally compiled by Garth
O’Connell, himself an Indigenous
The site is dedicated in part to “the
kids in communities today, that they
find out that we’ve got heaps of pride
when it comes to fighting for our
country — we’ve always stepped up
when freedom was being threatened
both here and overseas.”
The website includes biographies
and an honour roll as well as
information about Indigenous
Australians in the armed forces from
the Boer War to current Australian
military missions.
Cultural Gifts Program
Institute members are reminded that
they may be able to make use of the
benefits of the Cultural Gifts Program.
The program was established in
1978 to enhance the nation’s public
collections through the generosity of
private collectors. Since its inception,
the program has attracted more than
$200 million worth of gifts covering a
wide diversity of material.
The Cultural Gifts Program plays
an important role in ensuring that
our cultural treasures are preserved
for generations to come by offering
significant tax deductions to donors.
The focus of the Cultural Gifts
Program is to encourage owners of
culturally significant materials to
donate to the nation’s public libraries,
museums and art galleries. The
Institute would welcome enquiries from
members if they are considering the
donation of manuscripts, audiovisual
collections or other materials.
Enquiries should be made to:
AIATSIS Library Director Rod Stroud
Tel: 02 6246 1197
Email: [email protected]
Acting AIATSIS Audiovisual Archives
Director Mark Denbow
Tel: 02 6246 1134
Email: [email protected]
Subscribe now to
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Australian Aboriginal Studies (AAS)
is inter-disciplinary journal promoting
high-quality research in Australian
Indigenous studies, with a focus on
the humanities and social sciences.
Each issue contains scholarly articles,
research reports, book reviews and
news and information.
AAS provides a forum for dialogue
about the key themes in the
disciplines involved with Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander research.
Thematic editions are comprehensive
and diverse: from health and
ethnomusicology to the archaeology
of native title. Importantly, AAS is
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centres and includes practical
research with policy relevance.
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AIATSIS membership
Do you know anyone who might be
eligible for membership of AIATSIS?
There are plenty of benefits, not
least joining an existing network of
more than 500 people in Australia
and overseas involved in all aspects of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
AIATSIS members must have a
demonstrated interest in Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander studies and be
able to satisfy at least one of several
criteria relating to research experience
or achievements in, meritorious service
to, or involvement in the teaching of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
The Institute Council appoints
members of the Institute for a period
of five years (renewable). Membership
benefits include:
• Members may stand for, propose
and second other members for
election to the AIATSIS Council and
the Research Advisory Committee
• Members are entitled to a
discount of 25% on most Institute
publications and to subscribe to
the AIATSIS journal Australian
Aboriginal Studies at a cost of $33
p.a. for two issues (non-members
pay $38.50)
• Members may borrow most books
overnight from the AIATSIS Library
while they are in Canberra
• Members receive Institute News
and other information from time
to time as appropriate, and are
invited to book launches and other
Institute events, and
• No membership fee.
For further information or an
application form, visit the AIATSIS
website at or
telephone the Executive Officer on
02 6246 1123.
AIATSIS artwork posters
for sale
You can buy our beautiful high-quality
posters for only $12 each or the set
of five for $48 (includes postage and
handling). Staff and member discounts
apply. Call Aboriginal Studies Press on
02 6246 1183 or go to www.aiatsis. to order online.
Only available through AIATSIS!