First Nations Speaker Series

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  • Free Event: Two ways of walking together, Science and Culture - A community based Aboriginal rock art project in the Blue Mountains

    3rd August, 2022

    The First Nations Speaker Series is presented in collaboration with [Sydney Living Museums](https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/), [GML Heritage](https://www.gml.com.au/news/first-nations-speaker-series/) and the Research Centre for Deep History. Join us for a conversation with Wayne Brennan about a community based Aboriginal rock art project. What: Two ways of walking together, Science and Culture - A community based Aboriginal rock art project in the Blue Mountains When: Wednesday 3 August 2022, 6pm–7pm Where: Free Online and in person at the Museum of Sydney. The session will be recorded and made available after the event. Register: Bookings are required, [register for your free ticket here](https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/events/series/first-nations-speaker-series). About Wayne Brennan Wayne is an archaeologist of Gamilaraay descent, who specializes in Aboriginal rock art and has lived and conducted research in the Blue Mountains for over 35 years. He has worked as an education officer, researcher and remote fire fighter for the National Parks and Wildlife Service since 1987. He currently works as an Aboriginal heritage consultant and is a visiting research fellow with the Australian Museum, Sydney. [Read more](https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/profile/wayne-brennan).
  • Catch up: Advancing Aboriginal Led Approaches to Enterprise and Economic Development in NSW

    22nd July, 2022

    Professor Heidi Norman recently gave a talk on Aboriginal led approaches to enterprise and economic development as part of the First Nation’s Speaker Series. This series of conversations is presented in collaboration with GML Heritage and the Research Centre for Deep History. This talk is now available to watch on demand via the link below. About her talk and her work, Heidi Norman has said: “In this work I offer some initial insights, drawing on field work conducted over the last few years, about Aboriginal led approaches to enterprise and economic development. Focusing on NSW and the work of Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs), I map these approaches and identify some key themes along with the limits and possibilities of Aboriginal-led collective enterprise and economic development. I examine this point in relation to the history of Aboriginal contact and engagement with the settler economy, the public policy orientation towards economic development and more recently, Indigenous businesses. Bringing together the policy and the practice of communal and land-based enterprise, I offer suggestions for strategies to advance Aboriginal aspirations for economic development linked to the land estate.” [Watch Heidi’s talk on YouTube.](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfZ81N8fXDo) **About Heidi Norman** Professor Heidi Norman is a leading Australian researcher in the field of Aboriginal political history. From 2018 she has commenced a large ARC funded study of the social, economic and cultural benefits of Aboriginal land repossession in New South Wales. At the heart of her research, is her support for Aboriginal peoples’ rightful place in the nation, especially within political institutions, in society and the economy as landholders. She is a descendant of the Gomeroi people from north western NSW. Heidi Norman is a collaborating scholar of the Research Centre for Deep History.
  • Advancing Aboriginal Led Approaches to Enterprise and Economic Development in NSW

    6th July, 2022

    The First Nations Speaker Series is presented in collaboration with GML Heritage and the Research Centre for Deep History. Join us for a conversation with Professor Heidi Norman about Aboriginal led approaches to enterprise and economic development. What: Advancing Aboriginal Led Approaches to Enterprise and Economic Development in NSW with Professor Heidi Norman When: Wednesday 6 July 2022, 6pm–7pm Where: Free Online and in person at the Museum of Sydney. The session will be recorded and made available after the event. Register: Bookings are required, register for your free ticket here. About her talk and work, Heidi Norman has said: “In this work I offer some initial insights, drawing on field work conducted over the last few years, about Aboriginal led approaches to enterprise and economic development. Focusing on NSW and the work of Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs), I map these approaches and identify some key themes along with the limits and possibilities of Aboriginal-led collective enterprise and economic development. I examine this point in relation to the history of Aboriginal contact and engagement with the settler economy, the public policy orientation towards economic development and more recently, Indigenous businesses. Bringing together the policy and the practice of communal and land-based enterprise, I offer suggestions for strategies to advance Aboriginal aspirations for economic development linked to the land estate.” ![Heidi-Norman-1.png](http://localhost:1337/uploads/Heidi_Norman_1_8a0aef8c23.png) ###### Heidi Norman **About Heidi Norman** Professor Heidi Norman is a leading Australian researcher in the field of Aboriginal political history. From 2018 she has commenced a large ARC funded study of the social, economic and cultural benefits of Aboriginal land repossession in New South Wales. At the heart of her research, is her support for Aboriginal peoples’ rightful place in the nation, especially within political institutions, in society and the economy as landholders. She is a descendant of the Gomeroi people from north western NSW.
  • Catch up: First Nations Speaker Series: In conversation with Dennis Golding

    16th June, 2022

    The First Nations Speaker Series is presented in collaboration with [GML Heritage](https://www.gml.com.au/news/first-nations-speaker-series/]and) and the Research Centre for Deep History. In this session artist Dennis Golding and Sydney Living Museums’ Head of First Nations Cultural Engagement Peter White discussed Golding’s series of work Cast in cast out. Works from the series acquired by Sydney Living Museums were recently exhibited at the Museum of Sydney in the exhibition [Collected](https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/exhibitions/collected-sydney-living-museums-acquisitions). [Cast in cast out](https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/stories/dennis-golding-cast-in-cast-out) explores dispossession and colonial occupation and is inspired by Golding’s childhood on The Block, Redfern. Catch up here: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWcgySh5J14&t=3509s ](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWcgySh5J14&t=3509s )
  • First Nations Speaker Series: In conversation with Dennis Golding

    11th May, 2022

    The First Nations Speaker Series is presented in collaboration with GML Heritage and the Research Centre for Deep History. In this session artist Dennis Golding and Sydney Living Museums’ Head of First Nations Cultural Engagement Peter White discuss Golding’s series of work Cast in cast out. Works from the series acquired by Sydney Living Museums were recently exhibited at the Museum of Sydney in the [exhibition Collected](https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/exhibitions/collected-sydney-living-museums-acquisitions). [Cast in cast out](https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/stories/dennis-golding-cast-in-cast-out) explores dispossession and colonial occupation and is inspired by Golding’s childhood on The Block, Redfern. When: Wednesday 1 June 2022, 6pm–7pm Where: In person at the The Mint, 10 Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000 and online. Register: Bookings are required, [register for your free ticket here](https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/events/first-nations-speaker-series-conversation-dennis-golding). About the speakers: ![Dennis_Golding_Headdshot.jpg](/uploads/Dennis_Golding_Headdshot_002baf6571.jpg) Dennis Golding is a Kamilaroi/ Gamilaraay artist from the north west of NSW and was born and raised in Sydney. Working in a range of mixed media including painting, video, photography and installation, Golding critiques the social, political and cultural representations of race and identity. Through his artistic and curatorial practice, Golding aims to present powerful representations of contemporary Aboriginal cultural identity that inform narratives of history and lived experiences. Read more. ![PEO16_0066.jpg](/uploads/PEO_16_0066_7d6e8c313e.jpg) Peter White’s role as Head of First Nations Cultural Engagement at Sydney Living Museums is more than just a job. It’s an opportunity for transformation. Peter is a proud Gamilaroi Murri, and his life’s work has been dedicated to championing he inherent rights of First Peoples communities in managing and practising their own culture and enhancing their cultural, social and economic wellbeing through cultural access, engagement and expression. Read more.
  • Catch up: Yarning & Art - Cultural Wellness and Caring for Mob in the Museum

    10th May, 2022

    Dr Virginia Keft recently gave a talk on cultural wellness and caring for Mob in the Museum as part of the First Nation’s Speaker Series. This series of conversations is presented in collaboration with GML Heritage and the Research Centre for Deep History. Catch up on this conversation via the link below. Dementia is nationally recognised as one of the largest growing health concerns across the population in Australia. Research has shown that dementia prevalence amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians is almost five times higher than that of the general population. Dr Virginia Keft identifies a major gap in the availability of services that provide culturally appropriate and informed creative and social programs to better engage and support older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with dementia and their families. Specifically, she discusses the significant role that art and art making may play in supporting positive connections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to culture, Country, kinship, knowledge systems and beliefs. Art Yarns: For Older and Elder Mob, is a culturally responsive contemporary art program established by Dr Keft and delivered through the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia. The initiative is entirely Aboriginal designed, implemented, and delivered. Art Yarns proposes to provide positive art experiences for older people in an informal shared social environment. The program fosters the notion that intergenerational exchange is integral to bolstering strong connections to cultural identity. The program hopes to contribute to filling the considerable gap in current well-being services available to those living with dementia in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander urban Community. **About Dr Virginia Keft** Dr Virginia Keft is a proud Muruwari Woman; First Nations Producer, a practicing artist, curator, and award-winning researcher with over 25 years’ experience working in the Arts Sector. Virginia has produced and curated artistic and cultural programs that celebrate and recognise the continuity of Culture and the important contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have made, and continue to make, to the Arts, education, community, and care of Country. [More on YouTube.](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXo0mkukEa0 )
  • Free online event: Yarning & Art: Cultural Wellness and Caring for Mob in the Museum

    5th May, 2022

    The First Nations Speaker Series is presented in collaboration with GML Heritage and the Research Centre for Deep History. Join us for a conversation with Dr Virginia Keft about cultural wellness and caring for Mob in the Museum. What: Yarning & Art: Cultural Wellness and Caring for Mob in the Museum with Dr Virginia Keft When: Thursday 5 May 2022, 6pm–7pm Where: Free Online Event. The session will be recorded and made available after the event. Register: Bookings are required, [register for your free ticket here](https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/events/yarning-art-cultural-wellness-and-caring-mob-museum). Dementia is nationally recognised as one of the largest growing health concerns across the population in Australia. Research has shown that dementia prevalence amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians is almost five times higher than that of the general population. Dr Virginia Keft identifies a major gap in the availability of services that provide culturally appropriate and informed creative and social programs to better engage and support older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with dementia and their families. Specifically, she discusses the significant role that art and art making may play in supporting positive connections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to culture, Country, kinship, knowledge systems and beliefs. Art Yarns: For Older and Elder Mob, is a culturally responsive contemporary art program established by Dr Keft and delivered through the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia. The initiative is entirely Aboriginal designed, implemented, and delivered. Art Yarns proposes to provide positive art experiences for older people in an informal shared social environment. The program fosters the notion that intergenerational exchange is integral to bolstering strong connections to cultural identity. The program hopes to contribute to filling the considerable gap in current well-being services available to those living with dementia in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander urban Community. **About Dr Virginia Keft** Dr Virginia Keft is a proud Muruwari Woman; First Nations Producer, a practicing artist, curator, and award-winning researcher with over 25 years’ experience working in the Arts Sector. Virginia has produced and curated artistic and cultural programs that celebrate and recognise the continuity of Culture and the important contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have made, and continue to make, to the Arts, education, community, and care of Country. Read more. [Register for this free event here](https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/events/yarning-art-cultural-wellness-and-caring-mob-museum). Attendees will be sent a link to the Zoom meeting after registering.
  • Free online event: Kurrwa to Kartak: hand–made/held–ground with Professor Brenda L Croft

    3rd March, 2022

    The First Nations Speaker Series is presented in collaboration with [GML Heritage](https://www.gml.com.au/news/first-nations-speaker-series/) and the Research Centre for Deep History. Join us for the first session for 2022. What: Kurrwa to Kartak: hand–made/held–ground with Professor Brenda L Croft When: Thursday 3 March 2022, 12pm–1pm Where: Free Online Event. The session will be recorded and made available after the event. Register: Bookings are required, [register for your free ticket here](https://my.sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/208099). How can notions of home, community, and Country be represented within histories of both endurance and dislocation? At this event, Brenda L. Croft will present a Gurindji-specific historiography that engages with the pastoral impact on Gurindji Country from the late nineteenth century, the experience of Stolen Generations members and their descendants, and contemporary Gurindji experience into the 21st century. These are themes represented at Still in my mind: Gurindji location, experience and visuality, a national touring exhibition Brenda has collaboratively curated with Gurindji family and community members, reflecting on events preceding and following the 1966 Walk-Off at Wave Hill Station that sparked the national land rights movement. ![Brenda_Croft.jpg](/uploads/Brenda_Croft_a9d81ca848.jpg) ###### Photo of Professor Brenda L Croft Professor Brenda L Croft is from the Gurindji/Malngin/Mudburra Peoples from the Victoria River region of the Northern Territory of Australia, and Anglo-Australian/ Chinese/German/Irish heritage. She has been involved in the Australian First Nations and broader contemporary arts and cultural sectors as a multi-disciplinary creative practitioner since the mid-1980s as an artist, consultant, curator, educator and researcher. She has received numerous regional, national and international awards, fellowships and residencies throughout her professional practice, and is extensively published nationally and internationally. [Read here](https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/profile/professor-brenda-croft). [Register for this free event here](https://my.sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/208099). Attendees will be sent a link to the Zoom meeting after registering.
  • Working with Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property: An Introduction to the True Tracks ICIP Protocols, Terri Janke

    25th November, 2021

    Working with Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property: An Introduction to the True Tracks ICIP Protocols, Terri Janke Join special guest speaker, Terri Janke, at the First Nations Speaker Series. The talk will be held online and in person on Gadigal Country, The Mint (Gold Melting Room), Sydney on 9th December, 6-7pm. Terri Janke is a Wuthathi/Meriam woman and international authority on Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP). In 2000, she set up the award-winning legal firm Terri Janke and Company which today has a broad and diverse client base including Indigenous and non-Indigenous creatives, entrepreneurs, businesses and government departments. The firm specialises in Commercial Law and leads the way in ICIP protocols and Indigenous engagement for various sectors including the arts, museums and galleries, film and business. Terri is also an author of fiction and non-fiction, her most recent book True Tracks: Respecting Indigenous knowledge and culture came out in 2021. When: 9 December, 6-7pm Where: Online – [Register here to attend online](https://my.sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/208099/215890) Where: In person – Limited seating is available at The Mint, Sydney. [Register here to attend in person](https://my.sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/208099/215891).
  • Articulating Sydney’s Aboriginal Past in the Public Realm

    22nd November, 2021

    In October, Matt Poll, Manager of Indigenous Programs at the Australian National Maritime Museum, spoke on Sydney’s Aboriginal history as part of the [First Nations Speaker Series](https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/events/first-nations-speaker-series). This series, which began as a collaboration between [GML Heritage](https://www.gml.com.au/news/first-nations-speaker-series/) and the ANU Research Centre for Deep History, now also involves Sydney Living Museums who hosted the presentation in the Gold Melting Room at the NSW Mint. In his talk, Poll painted a picture of Sydney’s deep human history and heritage across several thousand years, and illustrated that these rich and diverse cultural expressions are not so much relics of the deep past but are alive today. The material traces of First Nations peoples are everywhere around the city, including the thousands of rock art sites, some of which include several hundred motifs and extend back over many tens of thousands of years. This, Poll told us, makes the east coast of Australia an extensive and extraordinary outdoor art gallery. Yet, making meaning of this gallery requires interpretive work. The expertise of First Nations Elders, artists, researchers, and archaeologists is needed to help develop a fuller, equitable and more accurate sense of Sydney and Australia’s history. As Poll highlighted, while these tangible traces hold different meanings for different people, meaning can be understood more broadly. Quoting Yirrkala artist and leader, Wandjuk Marika on the sandstone engravings in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase national park, Poll said: ‘There is no-one who can properly say why this whale or that boomerang was carved in the rock, or whether his whale is a natural whale or a supernatural whale, or even whether this shape was meant to signify any kind of whale at all. All that the living can be absolutely sure of is that the stone records were made because certain knowledge inspired their creation at different times. They became a source of inspiration themselves, and now they inspire peoples unknown to the artists and even undreamt by them.’ By discerning the broad inspiration of the original artists many thousands ago, the engravings can be understood as representing a deep and enduring knowledge of, and connection to, Country. Today, people can connect with knowledge and culture, like the artists before them, by working with the engravings, reproducing them, transforming them, and through that practice, engaging Country itself . For many in the audience, Poll’s compelling talk illuminated the breadth of projects that are articulating Sydney’s Aboriginal past in the public realm. Using a range of case studies, he presented the diverse approaches First Nations artists and researchers are taking to incorporate these pasts into cultural institutions. This includes Gadigal elder Charles Madden’s work in adopting motifs found in rock engravings and inscribing them on shields, transposing them into contemporary art objects now held at the [Australian Museum](https://australian.museum/about/history/exhibitions/gadi/). This process involved working through protocols of access and permission to select and work with bark and colour, demonstrating a reclamation and reimagining of rock art motifs. Similarly, Waanyi artist Judy Watson’s planned installation of a monument titled [Bara](https://www.cityartsydney.com.au/artwork/bara/) takes the well-worked shape and design of a Sydney-region fish-hook and translates it into marble. This is not just a transformation of form, but also speaks to the knowledge with which this material trace of history can be understood. Through translating an object found in shell middens—otherwise classified as an artefact for archaeologists to work with—into a public art project, Watson is creating a monument to the Eora that will inscribe Dubbagullee/Bennelong Point as a place of gathering and abundance that recognises the deep connection of Gadigal people to Country. These artistic practices are developed through a range of creative engagements with Country, with cultural knowledges, and with deep history and heritage. Poll described them as translations and as interpretations and re-creations of places and objects. This conveys an important sense of the way they work by translating both the past and the knowledges that represent and connect that past with the present, bridging the conceptual gulf between the deep past and the present and working to reimagine dominant narratives. These transposed and translated histories and heritages do not just add to knowledge, but rather transform the terms of our historical knowledge. The artistic works Poll shared with us are not, in other words, translations that render Indigenous knowledges transparently available to non-Indigenous people; rather they are engagements that generate and expand spaces of cultural potential. Translation here is a bridge between cultures or languages, expressing that bridge as a site of meaning-making on a continuum of transformations. It does not convey or define original meaning, as Wandjuk Marika cautioned against above. It rather offers a glimpse of a new or different world. The First Nations artistic works that Poll described, each of which references and works with traces from the past, are engagements with Country that ‘re-energise’ and ‘re-awaken’ the Sydney landscape and create ‘social spaces where the Aboriginal past is activated and brought into the present’. This has something to offer us all.
  • Articulating Sydney’s Aboriginal Past in the Public Realm, with Matt Poll

    26th October, 2021

    If you missed this second talk in the First Nations Speaker Series, or would like to watch it again, you can [view the recording here](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLgYyGiCVeU). Along Australia’s east coast, Greater Sydney is unique, with over 800 known Aboriginal rock engraving sites recorded across Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park alone, each containing multiple motifs and designs denoting a rich artistic vocabulary. Being one of the largest outdoor Aboriginal art sites remaining on the east coast of Australia, Sydney rock engraving galleries are a testament to the rich artistic tradition of the Aboriginal cultural landscape. This heritage stands as a signpost of the role of public art as a teaching and learning tool. Cultural revitalisation projects using knowledge gleaned from a myriad of historical sources present challenges for Sydney’s Aboriginal community when rearticulating these forms of knowledge today. How do artists and community representatives work with commissioning agencies to develop authentic and ethical interpretation of historical knowledge regarding Aboriginal Sydney’s lands, waters and skies? The imperative of authenticity against artistic adaptation is increasingly at the intersection of developing a new language incorporated into Sydney’s architecture, landmarks and social spaces. As some arts practices and historical knowledge evolve into large-scale commercial enterprise, the importance of protecting cultural intellectual property involves deeper communication between historians, community representatives, artists and academics. In this presentation Matt Poll reflects on new additions, and historically significant examples of where consulting with Sydney’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities’ representatives has built consultation frameworks and templates for increasing the visibility of Sydney’s Aboriginal past into future place-based projects in Sydney’s built environment. Matt is the newly appointed manager of Indigenous programs at the Australian National Maritime Museum.
  • Articulating Sydney’s Aboriginal Past in the Public Realm, with Matt Poll

    13th October, 2021

    Wednesday 13 October 2021, 4–5pm Join us for the next talk in the First Nations Speaker Series, a collaboration between the Research Centre for Deep History, [GML Heritage](https://www.gml.com.au/), and [Sydney Living Museums](https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/). [Register to join the online talk and learn more](https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/events/first-nations-speaker-series). Along Australia’s east coast, Greater Sydney is unique, with over 800 known Aboriginal rock engraving sites recorded across Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park alone, each containing multiple motifs and designs denoting a rich artistic vocabulary. Being one of the largest outdoor Aboriginal art sites remaining on the east coast of Australia, Sydney rock engraving galleries are a testament to the rich artistic tradition of the Aboriginal cultural landscape. This heritage stands as a signpost of the role of public art as a teaching and learning tool. Cultural revitalisation projects using knowledge gleaned from a myriad of historical sources present challenges for Sydney’s Aboriginal community when rearticulating these forms of knowledge today. ![Hybrid amorphous rock engraving at Ku-ring-gai Chase National park](/uploads/Hybrid_amorphous_rock_engraving_ku_ring_gai_national_park_a00e02fdbb.jpg) ###### Hybrid amorphous rock engraving at Ku-ring-gai Chase National park How do artists and community representatives work with commissioning agencies to develop authentic and ethical interpretation of historical knowledge regarding Aboriginal Sydney’s lands, waters and skies? The imperative of authenticity against artistic adaptation is increasingly at the intersection of developing a new language incorporated into Sydney’s architecture, landmarks and social spaces. As some arts practices and historical knowledge evolve into large-scale commercial enterprise, the importance of protecting cultural intellectual property involves deeper communication between historians, community representatives, artists and academics. In this presentation Matt Poll will reflect on new additions, and historically significant examples of where consulting with Sydney’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities’ representatives has built consultation frameworks and templates for increasing the visibility of Sydney’s Aboriginal past into future place-based projects in Sydney’s built environment. ![Matt Poll](/uploads/Matt_Poll_aadc78e830.jpg) ###### Hybrid amorphous rock engraving at Ku-ring-gai Chase National park Matt Poll is the newly appointed manager of Indigenous programs at the Australian National Maritime Museum. [Register to join the online talk here](https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/events/first-nations-speaker-series).
  • Ongoing responsibilities and finding answers

    23rd June, 2021

    In May, Dr Leah Lui-Chivizhe presented the first talk of the First Nations Speaker Series, a collaboration between GML Heritage and the ANU Research Centre for Deep History. In this talk, she engaged with some of the challenges of working with collections gathered during colonisation—specifically ancestral remains—and the unresolved issues this creates for First Nations people. In 1875, William John Macleay visited Erub, in the Torres Strait, as leader of the Chevert expedition. His relatively short voyage, lasting less than five months with approximately 60 days of collecting, yielded an astonishing amount: he brought thousands of natural history specimens back with him. The expedition spent only two weeks in Erub, where they dredged for sea life, including shells, fish, and coral, collected about 100 cultural objects including a turtle shell mask, and also, most disturbingly, collected human materials. This included the mummified body of a man, and thirteen human skulls. This entire collection now sits at the University of Sydney, which has not yet repatriated the ancestral material to Erub. What, Lui-Chivizhe asked, is to be done with the collection? In re-visiting Macleay’s voyage, and Erubam le memories of his visit and knowledge of the collection, Lui-Chivizhe re-contextualised the expedition by placing it within the history of Erub. Macleay arrived there during what was, to Erubam le, the season of Sager, a time of trade and ceremony. It was therefore no surprise when the winds blew the Chevert in, and the Erubam le were ready for strangers to arrive and prepared to make exchange with them. But this was no ordinary year. In 1875, a measles epidemic had spread across the Pacific and, when a London Missionary Society vessel travelled around the Torres Strait Islands, carrying a group of Islanders teachers to spread the light of Christianity, they also spread the threat of disease across the region. Macleay arrived on Erub to find a community devastated and in mourning, struggling with the death of a substantial proportion of the population. Placing the collection in these local contexts, which are also regional, international, or imperial contexts, helps make sense of the relationships between collecting and colonialism, and present day relationships to histories and heritage. As Lui-Chivizhe told us, Erubam le today are aware of the removal of their ancestors and their estrangement from stories of and from Erub. They want to return them both to a final safe resting place and to a different historical context, to Torres Strait Islander history and heritage. “Do you think”, Lui-Chivizhe was asked by her uncle, that “universities or museums will ever be finished with our things and old people?” The question hangs unanswered; a reminder to us of the importance of the work of return. ![Ben Silverstein (RCDH), Charlotte Feakins (GML) , Leah Lui-Chivizhe, and Sharon Veale (GML)](/uploads/Ben_Charlotte_Leah_Sharon_680be95579.jpg) ###### Ben Silverstein (RCDH), Charlotte Feakins (GML) , Leah Lui-Chivizhe, and Sharon Veale (GML)
  • Event: Ongoing responsibilities’ and finding answers

    13th May, 2021

    GML Heritage and the Research Centre for Deep History are pleased to announce their collaborative event series, ‘First Nations Speaker Series’. The series creates space for a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members to talk about history, heritage and culture. Dr Charlotte Feakins of GML and a collaborating scholar of RCDH, and Dr Ben Silverstein of RCDH are co-convenors of this innovative series which highlights the potential for collaborations across institutions to engage with public history and heritage in the context of deep history and Indigenous histories. The first event features Dr Leah Lui-Chivizhe, who will present ‘Ongoing Responsibilities and Finding Answers’ online via Zoom. Dr Lui-Chivizhe is a postdoctoral fellow in history at the University of Sydney, and is a Collaborating Scholar at the Research Centre for Deep History. ‘Ongoing Responsibilities and Finding Answers’ is a talk about the challenges of working with collections gathered during colonisation—specifically ancestral remains—and the unresolved issues that this creates for First Nations people. Guests will have the chance to reflect and discuss this deeply important issue. When: Thursday 13 May 2021. Time: 6.00pm-7.30pm. How to Book: Bookings are required, and attendees will be sent a link to the Zoom meeting after registering. [Please reserve your spot here](https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/online-event-finding-answers-and-ongoing-responsibilities-tickets-152813961673). The session will be recorded and made available after the event.