Murrudha: Sovereign Walks - Track #1

Wednesday, 8 December 2021, 12:00:00 am UTC

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Session Convenors

Dr Brenda L Croft, Associate Professor, Indigenous Art History and Curatorship, Australian National University

Session Moderators

Dr Brenda L Croft, Associate Professor, Indigenous Art History and Curatorship, Australian National University

Session Speakers

Dr Jilda Andrews, Australian National University
Will Kepa, Australian National University
Maeve Powell, Australian National University
Sam Provost, Australian National University
Professor Jamie Pittock. Australian National University

'Murrudha' - Wiradjuri term meaning ‘on track’. Walking on Country enables bodily engagement with Country, maintained since time immemorial, representing the non-linear concept of the Everywhen, which colonisation disrupted. These interconnected panels address a sovereign action enacted in 1927, with reference to an earlier action in 1873. In May 1927 Wiradjuri Elders Jimmy Clements (c. 1847 –28 August 1927) and John Noble (c. 1847 – March 1928) walked from Brungle Mission, the oldest Aboriginal Reserve in NSW, across the Brindabella Ranges to be present at the opening of Parliament House, Canberra, on 9 - 10 May. The Melbourne Argus (10 May 1927) acknowledged their presence as: ‘[claiming] sovereign rights to the Federal Capital Territory’. Reclaiming and asserting connection to Country is a sovereign action ensuring cultural maintenance and transmission, a positive predictor for improved First Nations Health and Wellbeing. Panellists include First Nations cultural practitioners, creative-led researchers and Knowledge Holders engaging multi-disciplinary modalities, culturally appropriate research processes and creative praxes. Critical First Nations collaborative auto-ethnography, Storywork and Storymapping methodologies inform this project. Murrudha: Sovereign Walks – tracking cultural actions through art, Country, language and music is an ANU Grand Challenges: Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Collaborative Scheme project.

THIS SESSION IS A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION

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Biographies

Dr Brenda L Croft, Associate Professor, Indigenous Art History and Curatorship, Australian National University

Dr Brenda L Croft is from the Gurindji/Malngin/Mudburra peoples from the Victoria River region of the Northern Territory of Australia, and Anglo-Australian/German/Irish/Chinese heritage. Brenda’s multi-disciplinary practice-led research encompasses critical performative Indigenous auto-ethnography, representation and identity, Indigenous Storying and creative narratives, installation, multi-media and multi-platform work, personal and public archives, memory and memorialisation. Brenda is a team leader on 'Murrudha: Sovereign walks - tracking cultural actions through art, Country, language and music' (2020 - 2025), an ANU Grand Challenges: Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Collaborative Scheme.


Dr Jilda Andrews, Australian National University 

Dr Jilda Andrews is a Yuwaalaraay woman, cultural practitioner and researcher based in Canberra. Jilda draws from her heritage to investigate the connectedness of land, story and culture to objects in museum collections. Her focus on material culture and their associated stories continue to push the definition of custodianship, from one which is focused on the preservation of objects, to one which strives to maintain connections between objects and the systems which produce them.


Will Kepa, Director, Yill Lul Studio, School of Music, Australian National University

Will Kepa is a proud Iamalaig man from the Kulkalgau Clan of Iama (Yam Island) and the Kulkalgal Nation of Central Zenadth Kes (Torres Strait Islands). A multi-instrumentalist, session musician, music producer and sound engineer, studying a Bachelor of Music – Composition for Film and Video Games at ANU. He has recorded and produced over twenty albums of traditional, sacred and secular music from Indigenous communities in Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands. Contemporary recording projects include jingles, score and design film music. He is leading the Indigenous Recording Studio (Yil Lull) at the ANU School of Music.


Maeve Powell, Research Associate and PhD Scholar, College of Asia & the Pacific, Australian National University

Maeve Powell is a Ngiyampaa woman who grew up in Sydney and Canberra with links to western New South Wales. She has a Bachelor of Arts/Economics from ANU in 2014 and in 2017 completed a Masters of Philosophy in Indigenous Studies at the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø. In 2016 she undertook the Indigenous Studies Summer Program at Columbia University in New York. She sees her academic work as situated within a trans- Indigenous scholarship at the intersection of Indigenous studies and critical geography. She is interested in spatial decolonisation, urban Indigenous belonging, digital story mapping and Indigenous education.


Sam Provost, Research Associate and PhD Scholar, College of Science, Australian National University

Sam Provost is a Yuin man from the far south coast of NSW, developing collaborative, community-led research supporting Indigenous communities to leverage emerging digital technologies for self-determination and assertions of sovereignty over their lands and waters. Combining geospatial information with film and photography, Sam’s work aims to create rich and detailed digital cultural heritage assets that can interface with Indigenous relationality and cultural resurgence. Sam is a Lecturer and PhD scholar at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the ANU and is an Executive Member of Maiam nayri Wingara Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Data Sovereignty Collective.


Professor Jamie Pittock. Australian National University

Dr Jamie Pittock (BSc, Monash; PhD, ANU)is Professor in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at The Australian National University. His research from 2007 has focussed on better governance of the interlinked issues of water management, energy and food supply, responding to climate change and conserving biological diversity. Jamie directs research programs on irrigation in Africa, hydropower and food production in the Mekong region, and sustainable water management in the Murray-Darling Basin. He is a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists and is a scientific adviser to TNC and WWF in Australia.