Taragara Aboriginal Corporation visit to the Research Centre for Deep History

On Tuesday, 16 May the Research Centre for Deep History hosted Dr Lorina Barker (University of New England and Deputy Chair of the Centre’s Indigenous Advisory Committee) and members of the Taragara Aboriginal Corporation’s team for a symposium designed to share research and ideas. The workshop provided an important opportunity for the Centre to engage with Indigenous knowledge holders to discuss research and questions around archives, stories, and the importance of Deep History.

Attending the symposium were community members from Bourke, Dubbo, and Armidale, including Uncle Rick Elwood, Aunty Gwen Barker, Aunty Elva Barker and Phillipa Trelford with young community members Leroy, Lacey, Peta, Jerone and Maddison. Also participating in the session was Jennifer Bird, RCDH project manager, Ben Silverstein, PhD student Neil Brougham, and post-doctoral research fellow Beth Marsden.

Following introductions and morning tea, Research Centre Director Ann McGrath shared an overview of the Marking Country Project, including the project aims and ways of working with communities. Ann presented some of the work completed for the Marking Country website, including the ‘Walking Deep History: Carnarvon Gorge’ project, led by Bidjara Elders Uncle Fred ‘Cotto’ Conway and Professor Jackie Huggins, with RCDH Member Amy Way. Ben discussed the collaborative work produced by the Yawuru storytellers, and RCDH Member Mike Jones.

Following lunch, Lorina led a discussion of the Taragara Aboriginal Corporation’s recent projects in the fields of arts, research and culture. This included Songlines of Country, Weaving Workshops and Mura Maarni: Chasing Mob through the Archives. You can read more about Taragara’s work here.

The symposium concluded with an open discussion about the importance of questioning the legitimacy of colonial approaches to research processes and sources.

Ann McGrath and Lorina Barker