Western museums need to meaningfully come to terms with their colonial past and present to fulfil their role as places of knowledge.
Western museums are beginning to re-evaluate how they portray cultures and history and return stolen artifacts. But for change to be meaningful, it needs to be truly inclusive.
Shield, collected by Admiral John Elphinstone Erskine, c.1851. National Museums Scotland.
Photo: National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh.
Stone tools, clubs, boomerangs, decorative shellwork: a survey of 45 museums in the UK has found a vast number of Indigenous Australian objects. Not all were stolen; some were gifted or traded.
A mural of the Rainbow Serpent in the NSW town of Bourke, pictured in 2015.
The Rainbow Serpent features in murals across the nation and as an Indigenous fairytale in books. But such images are often far removed from this Ancestral Being’s traditional ambivalent meanings.
Indigenous artists have been engraving rock shelters for millennia - long before the Kimberley’s celebrated rock art paintings. Now the rocks’ natural coatings are yielding clues to the engravings’ creation.
A Gunaikurnai Jeraeil re-enactment c.1883 with men, women, and children. Left to right: (standing) Big Joe, Billy the Bull, Wild Harry, Billy McDougall, Snowy River Charlie, unidentified man, Bobby Brown, Billy McLeod (Toolabar), Larry Johnson. Woman, second from right: Emma McDougall.
State Library of Victoria
It was the site of historic gatherings, such as a four-day initiation ceremony for young men. Then colonial authorities quashed such practices. The place was lost for more than a century, until now.
December 1972: Billy Miargu, with his daughter Linda on his arm, and his wife Daphnie Baljur. In the background, the newly painted kangaroo.
Photograph by George Chaloupka, now in Parks Australia's Archive at Bowali.
How does rock art matter? New research finds it can act as a kind of intergenerational media –even when no longer visible to the eye.
AAP Image/Joel Carrett
Bushfire Recovery Victoria has a focus on Aboriginal culture and healing – a long overdue approach in disaster recovery.
The Moon is not only a guide to the best time to fish and plant food, it also provides evidence of a long connection between the people on different islands in the Torres Strait.
Incoming Australian Greens Senator Senator Lidia Thorpe lifts one fist and carries a message stick, during a swearing-in ceremony at Parliament House, Canberra.
Pre-Invasion, message sticks were sent between distant communities to maintain diplomatic relations. They demanded acknowledgement and mutual respect.
A Maliwawa macropod found in the Namunidjbuk clan estate of the Wellington Range.
More than 500 paintings at 87 rock shelters provide a remarkable glimpse into past Aboriginal life.
Children at Lajamanu, NT, telling sand stories in Light Warlpiri .
Strong language and culture is listed among the fresh Closing the Gap targets. But, as the latest research on speakers and learners shows, language is fundamental to well-being across the board.
Graeme Samuel, left and Environment Minister Sussan Ley.
The Morrison government has seized on environment law reform proposed on Monday. I was a federal environment official for 13 years – and I know these things cannot be rushed.
Yirrŋa Yunupiŋu sings.
A series of four live-streamed concerts from Arnhem Land offers a welcome break from bad news and a way for Indigenous musicians to share their talents with the world.
The traditional owners have won widespread support for their fight to protect Djab Wurrung Country and their sacred trees.
Djab Wurrung Embassy
Laws in other countries recognise ‘rights of nature’. But even trees sacred to Indigenous Australian communities have no special protection.
The sacred site of Uluru. In our Law we know that rocks are sentient and contain spirit.
There are memorial stones scattered along songlines throughout the Australian landscape, victims and transgressors transformed into rock following epic struggles to stand as cautionary tales.
From Country to Culture:
Artist: Lisa Waup. Designer: Verner. Collection: Journeys.
Indigenous fashion design today is being shaped by First Nations people at every level.
Ranger Trevor Bramwell on the walk up to the Split Rock art galleries in Cape York’s Quinkan Country in 2017.
The World Heritage Listing for Victoria’s Budj Bim fish traps was ground-breaking. Here are five other Australian Indigenous sites that also deserve greater attention.
Composer William Barton in 2013. Indigenous composers have long been working in the field, but the contribution of Indigenous music and culture to Australian composition deserves greater recognition.
Australian composers have long referenced Indigenous music and culture in their works. A new platform paper suggests a more collaborative way forward.
Miranda Tapsell in Top End Wedding, a new Australian film about identity and belonging, directed by Wayne Blair (The Sapphires).
Courtesy of Universal Pictures
Romantic comedy meets road movie in Wayne Blair’s much anticipated new film.
A new 50 cent coin marks the International Year of Indigenous Languages.
Royal Australian Mint
A new 50 cent coin recognises the diversity of Australian Indigenous languages.