2019 RUIAC Symposium: Reclamations of Practice

Reclamations of Practice: 3rd Annual Symposium on Indigenous Arts in the Academy

Thursday 28 November 2019, 10:00am – 5:00pm, Southbank Campus, Red Shed Building 871



Convenors: Tiriki Onus and Sally Treloyn

Reclamation, revitalisation, recovery, rematriation and repatriation are terms often used by artists and researchers in contemporary Australia and other settler states in relation to practicing and researching cultural heritage arts. For communities past, present and future, for collecting institutions, the academy, society as whole, and for individual actors and subjects (Indigenous and settler), much is at stake in reclamations of cultural knowledges, materials, practices and technologies: artistic traditions and technologies; individual and community wellbeing; family, community and national histories and futures; and local and international relationships.

Following a three-day ceremony of diplomacy on Yalukit Wilam where artists-researchers share their practices, presenters and discussants will consider the complex knowledges and work of reclamation with digital, emotional, corporeal, place-based, performed/practiced and inscribed materials. The Symposium will explore: What knowledges and materials can be reclaimed from the academy and how? What roles can Indigenous and allied settler artist-researchers play in the processes and work of reclamations? What roles can digital technologies play? How can knowledges and materials, once reclaimed, be safely and ethically repatriated to their countries and communities of practice? What role does reclamation play in wellbeing? And, what roles can knowledges, once reclaimed, play in the academy?

Reclamations of Practice is an event hosted by the Research Unit for Indigenous Arts and Culture at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, supported by the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts Cultural Development and the ARC Future Fellowship Singing the Future: Assessing the effectiveness of repatriation as a strategy to sustain the vitality of Indigenous song.


09:30     Registration, coffee and tea

10:00     Acknowledgement; University Welcome –  Padmini Sebastian (Director, Civic and Community Engagement, Chancellery (Engagement)); Symposium Opening: Tiriki Onus and Sally Treloyn (Co-Directors, Research Unit for Indigenous Arts and Cultures)

Session 1 – Keynote

10:15    N’Arweet Carolyn Briggs (Boonwurrung Foundation)The Boonwurrung Welcome

11:00    Morning tea

Session 2

11:30    Clint Bracknell (Associate Professor, Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching and Research Fellow, Edith Cowan University) New Songs, Old Style: Archives and creativity

12:00    Rona Charles, John Divilli, Lloyd Nulgit, Pete O’Connor, with Sally Treloyn (Winun Ngari, Wilinggin, Dambimangarri Aboriginal Corporations, Mowanjum Art and Culture Centre, and the  University of Melbourne) Junba Strong: A ten-year archive and dance-song revitalisation partnership in review

12:30    Tiriki Onus (Associate Dean Indigenous, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne) Reclaiming Biganga and other things: Immateriality of Material knowledges

01:00    Lunch

Session 3

01:30    Printmaking Panel, chaired by Megan McPherson

02:00    Rupert Manmurulu, Renfred Manmurulu, Reuben Brown, Isabel O’Keeffe and Ruth Singer (Goulbourn Island, University of Sydney and University of Melbourne) Musical Dialogues with the Archives: the Use of Song Recordings to Inform Manyardi Ceremony of Western Arnhem Land

02:30    Fred Gesha, James Howard, Rheannan Port, and others (University of Melbourne, Indigenous Graduate Researcher Training Program) Roundtable discussion: Researching arts across time, place and people

03:30 Symposium Close and Dance Ground Opening

Yagan-Cook Dance, Pete O’Connor. Photo by David H Ottosen, Global First Nations. All rights reserved.


Folau Umbagai. Photo by David H Ottosen, Global First Nations. All rights reserved.   


    Symposium on Indigenous Arts in the Academy. Photos by Mireille Stahle, University of Melbourne. All rights reserved.


Symposium on Indigenous Arts in the Academy. Photos by Mireille Stahle, University of Melbourne. All rights reserved.