Call for papers, Duranbinjma-Burre: International Indigenous Knowledge Conference, Australia. Due: Sept 30, 2016

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Duranbinjma-Burre: International Indigenous Knowledge Conference Australia 26 – 28 June 2017

The interdisciplinary conference, Duranbinjma-Burre: International Indigenous Knowledge Conference Australia to be hosted by the Wearuruk Research Centre at the Institute of Koorie Education Deakin University will examine the impact of Indigenous Knowledge systems and approaches to research across the disciplines of the Humanities and Creative Arts, Education, Health, Law and Philosophy. It aims to extend debates on how Indigenous ontology and epistemology articulate modes of knowledge production that give rise to transforming discourses and have the capacity to solve real world problems.

Leading and emerging Scholars from Australia and overseas will extend the frontiers of this burgeoning paradigm of research through debates on how Indigenous knowledge systems have the potential to reframe western approaches to knowledge by articulating the implications, applications and benefits of indigenous research both within and beyond Indigenous communities and research arenas.

Duranbinjma-Burre denotes the idea of the growing up and nurturing of persons, ideas and entities. This notion is aligned with our aim of illuminating and advancing Indigenous Paradigms of knowledge production and transmission. The question of what new knowledge and understandings Indigenous approaches can reveal that may not be revealed by other modes of research underpins the objectives of this conference. Further questions outlined below and that provide a framework for articulating this are based on the work a group of postgraduate researchers from the Institute of Koorie Education, Deakin University Australia.

Keynote Speakers:


Distinguished Professor Hingangaroa Smith is an internationally renowned Māori educationalist who has been at the forefront of the alternative Māori initiatives in the education field and beyond. Professor Smith has made significant contributions to the political, social, economic and cultural advancement of Māori communities. He has also worked extensively with other indigenous/ First Nations peoples across the world, including Canada, Hawaii, US mainland, Taiwan, Chile, Australia and the Pacific nations.

Pausauraq Jana Harcharek has worked with the North Slope Borough School District (NSBSD) in the department of Iñupiaq Education for over fifteen years. During this time she facilitated a number of long-term projects including the Iñupiaq Education Initiative that resulted in the development of the Iñupiaq Learning Framework (ILF). Jana has been a critical force in promoting and maintaining the Iñupiaq culture, language and way of life in education.

Professor Norm Sheehan is a Wiradjuri man born in Mudgee NSW. In 2013 Professor Sheehan commenced as Director of Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples Southern Cross University. Norm’s current Respectful Design research seeks to outline and employ culturally recognisable and affirming methods to activate cultural growth and redirection within communities.

• What is reality? How is it seen and how do meanings emerge from Australian Indigenous Knowledge systems? Art and Symbols

  • What is the importance of symbols, story-telling and art in Indigenous research?
  • How are natural, symbolic, material, spiritual and ceremonial entities related in Indigenous Knowledge systems?
  • How is time viewed in Indigenous Epistemology and ontology?


  • In what ways does the researcher’s lived experience influence and validate knowledge emerging from research
  • How does the researcher’s experience operate in relation to the experience of others? Positioning
  • How are men and women positioned in relation to Land and Country?
  • Who is seen and heard in Indigenous research?
  • How do visible/invisible and outsider/insider relations operate
  • Who benefits from the research? Who controls the research and the emergent knowledge?

    Abstracts of 250 words are invited for single authored or co- authored 20–minute presentations that address (though not exclusively nor comprehensively) the above questions for consideration through double blind refereeing. Please also include the title of your paper, a 150- word biography, institutional affiliation and full contact details with your submission
    Presenters will later be invited to submit full papers to be refereed for publication in full conference proceedings.

Please send abstracts by 30 September 2016: Ms Julie Nichols Email:





Victorian Government to begin talks with First Nations on Australia’s first Indigenous treaty

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Victorian Government to begin talks with First Nations on Australia’s first Indigenous treaty

Updated Fri at 3:56am

The Victorian Government will begin talks to work out Australia’s first treaty with Indigenous people within weeks.

Aim of Victoria’s First Nations Treaty:

  • Recognition of past injustices
  • Recognition of all 39 First Nations and their Clans Authority
  • Recognition of and respect for country, traditions and customs
  • A futures fund to implement and establish the treaty
  • Establishment of a democratic treaty commission
  • Land Rights and Land Acquisition Legislation and Funding
  • Fresh Water and Sea Water Rights

(From the Victorian Traditional Land Owner Justice Group)

A meeting with First Nations representatives, convened by the State Government earlier this month, firmly rejected Constitutional recognition in favour of self-determination and a treaty.

The treaty would be a legal document over Aboriginal affairs and services and addressing past injustices.

It would be the first such agreement in Australia and follow similar arrangements with First Peoples in Canada, the US and New Zealand.

Victoria’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister Natalie Hutchins told Lateline the Government was committed to making it happen.

“At the end of the day it’s pretty disappointing that we, in the year 2016, don’t have a treaty or a national arrangement with our First Peoples,” she said.

Ms Hutchins said Victoria will look at treaty examples in other Commonwealth countries.

“In fact, Canada have been doing it for a long time, New Zealand has successfully done it, so it’s time for Australia to step up,” she said.

Constitutional recognition ‘a distraction’

Dja Dja Warrung elder Gary Murray said the state must pursue the best outcome.

“It’s not difficult to scope a treaty given what’s happened in Canada and New Zealand and other places,” he said.

“I think we pick the best from that and bring it into the modern world.”

Mr Murray said the national debate around Constitutional recognition was just “a distraction”. Read More…

ABC News. “Victorian Government to begin talks with First Nations on Australia’s first Indigenous treaty.” Retrieved from: on March 1, 2016

Indigenous translation of UN Declaration of Human Rights

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 Indigenous translation of UN Declaration of Human Rights

ANU Researcher Dr Sarah Holcombe has translated the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights into the central-Australian language of Pintupi-Luritja. Image: Stuart Hay, ANU.

Thursday 22 October 2015

A researcher at The Australian National University (ANU) has translated the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) into the central-Australian language of Pintupi-Luritja, making it the first time the world’s most translated document has been made available in an Aboriginal language.

The translation of the document’s 30 articles and preamble took more than two years and involved working closely with Pintupi-Luritja translators and stakeholder groups.

Project Leader and social anthropologist Dr Sarah Holcombe said the process of translating the document was revealing.

“Very few Anangu people (Pintupi-Luritja speakers) had heard of universal human rights,” Dr Holcombe, from the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, said.

“Many were surprised at the fact that Aboriginal people are equal to all other people, because the fact is that is not the way they are treated.

“The articles about the rule of law, for example that all should be innocent until proven guilty and that the law should be treating all people equally, are apocryphal when applied to Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.”

The UDHR was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 as the first global expression of human rights. It has been translated into more than 460 languages.

Dr Holcombe said the UDHR was developed following the Second World War and was foundational to western law and culture.

“The mass atrocities after the Second World War horrified the world and there was wide recognition that there needed to be fundamental standards of human dignity,” she said.

“These standards are now in international law. They include the right to equality, freedom of religion, free speech, the right to vote and so on.

“Though we are the only western democratic country without a national bill or charter of rights, we are a signatory to the major international conventions that enshrine these rights.

“All these fundamental elements of our life that we all take for granted, are embedded in this document. It forms part of a contract of citizenship”.

“Yet, Aboriginal people, in remote areas especially, have not been widely exposed to this contract, as it exists in the mainstream. They don’t take rights for granted.”

Dr Holcombe said she hoped the new translation would help spread awareness of human rights in Indigenous Australia and begin a conversation in language.

“Anangu have a right to know this document exists. I want it to offer people possibilities. It was meant to be an educational document after all,” she said.

The project team working with Dr Holcombe were Lance Macdonald and Sheila Joyce Dixon (of Papunya) and linguist Ken Hansen.

Link to Pintupi translation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (279K PDF)

Hawaiian Canoe Hōkūleʻa Sets Sail for Sydney Guided by Ancient Navigation

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Posted by Marisa Hayase in Worldwide Voyage on May 1, 2015

The Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa and her crew have departed New Zealand, on its way to leaving the Pacific Ocean for the first time in her 40-year history. The canoe’s master navigator, Bruce Blankenfeld, will use traditional Polynesian navigation techniques to sail to Australia. The crew of 14 are expected to arrive in Sydney in mid-May. The journey is part of Hōkūleʻa‘s 47,000 nautical-mile sail around the world to bring attention to the importance of protecting environmental and cultural treasures for future generations.
“Australia is on our sail plan because of its incredible natural and cultural treasures, and our desire to explore a part of the world that is new to us,” said Polynesian Voyaging Society president and master navigator, Nainoa Thompson. “It is a place that we can relate to because of the potential of bringing together diverse sectors to care for our ocean. In Hawaii, blending indigenous stewardship practices with other best practices can help us find positive ways forward, and we are seeking to learn from similar approaches in Australia so we can share that knowledge with other communities as we continue to voyage around the world.” ...Read more.

‘Dreamings’ and dreaming narratives: what’s the relationship?

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February 5 2014, 2.46pm EST

‘Dreamings’ and dreaming narratives: what’s the relationship?


Christine Nicholls

Senior Lecturer at Flinders University

Shorty Jangala Robertson, 2011, Warlpiri, ‘Ngapa Jukurrpa’ (Water Dreaming) – Pirlinyanu, 76 x 76 cm. Copyright the artist; Warlukurlangu Artists, Yuendumu.

To imagine what “Australia” was like B.C. (“Before Cook”, or before colonisation), one needs to envision the entire landmass of this island/continent and most of its surrounding islands and waters as crisscrossed by “Dreamings” (in popular parlance sometimes referred to as “Songlines”).

Each of the approximately 250 separate Australian languages had their own words for and substantial vocabularies relating to what has now become known in English almost universally as “The Dreamtime” or “The Dreaming”. These usages have now entered other world languages as global tags for Indigenous Australian religion, thereby dramatically reducing outsiders’ capacity to grasp the diversity of Australian languages and cultures… Read More.


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2014   World Indigenous Health Conference

15th – 17thDecember 2014

2014  World Indigenous Domestic Violence Conference

8-10 December 2014

2014 National Indigenous Women Conference 

   Cairns 13- 15 October

 2014 National Indigenous Men’s Conference

Cairns on 13- 15 October

Indigenous Conference Services (ICS) is breaking new grounds with the establishment of the annual Indigenous Men’s and Women’s Conferences which was planned to be a yearly event sparking new interest from an unexpected vast number of Indigenous organizations from outside of Australia so much that international indigenous groups have shown keen interests in participating and registered for both the 2014 National Indigenous Men’s and Women’s Conferences in Cairns.

As such, ICS has taken the initiative position to invite a maximum of three international First Nation’s speakers at this year’s national event. This is not to say that our First nation’s brothers and sisters from overseas are not able to register as delegates and participate; in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Plans have been formulated to make both the men’s and women’s conferences to become full blown international events. As such, expressions of interest are now being sought from community groups and individuals who would wish to be part of the organizing community however dates and venue for the 2015 World Indigenous Men’s Conference and the 2015 World Indigenous Women’s Conference has not been chosen at this point in time. Because of the federal government’s tough budgets, no funding will be sought from any funding bodies. The conferences will be self funded with the initial capital for the events coming from ICS itself.

Moreover, we believe a perfect platform has been established with grass-roots communities being the driving force for both the 2014 National Indigenous Men’s and 2014 National Indigenous Women’s Conferences. To further encourage participation, a 25% discount on registration fees for the 2015 World Indigenous Men’s Conference and the 2015 World Indigenous Women’s Conference will be offered to delegates who attend this year’s event. We have many exciting guest speakers for the men’s and women’s conferences however we would like to highlight two great speakers to spark your interests.

STEVE WIDDERS is one of the motivational speakers at the 2014 Indigenous Men’s Conference. Steve is a descendant of the Anaiwan /Kamiloaroi people of Northern NSW (Armidale/Moree). He was declared medically and legally blind by the late Professor Fred Hollows at age 35. Steve will share his personal story of how he overcame severe depression, mental anguish, isolation and even suicidal ideation due to the restrictions and limitations which come with a disability. Though blind, Steve sees himself as a Man of Vision and prefers to talk of his Ability rather than his Disability. He walked the Kokoda Track in 2011 to honour Aboriginal soldiers who fought there during WW2 and rode a tandem bicycle between Brisbane and Sydney to promote men’s health and well being. Steve is appointed as 2013 NSW Senior’s Week Ambassador, member of the NSW Disability Council, member of NSW Police Advisory Council and National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee.

Furthermore, one of the exciting guest speakers for the 2014 Indigenous Women’s Conference is HON. BESS PRICE, Minister for Community Services, Statehood, Women’s Policy, Parks & Wildlife of Northern Territory. Minister Price is a Warlpiri woman from Central Australia and was born in Yuendumu in the Tanami Desert. She became a mother at the age of 13. At aged 18, after surviving years of domestic violence, she left the father of the child and began to study to become a teacher. Minister Price has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Aboriginal Community Management and Development from Curtin University. She was elected to the Northern Territory parliament in 2012. Minister Price is an outspoken advocate for women and children in Aboriginal communities and campaigns tirelessly for their protection from violence and sexual abuse. She was a nominee for the US International Women’s Courage Award in 2013.