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‘Bastard barks’: A gift from the 1948 Arnhem Land expedition

Adjunct Professor Margo Neale, National Museum of Australia

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Margo Neale explores Charles Mountford’s collection of works on paper, locating them as a useful starting point for reassessing Mountford’s reputation as a collector of Aboriginal art and stories.

art, indigenous

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The responsibilities of leadership: The records of Charles P Mountford

Suzy Russell (paper co-authored by Denise Chapman), State Library of South Australia

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Suzy Russell describes the Mountford–Sheard collection at the State Library of South Australia, shares insights recorded by Bessie Mountford in a journal she kept during the Expedition, and considers some Expedition controversies.

collection, indigenous

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Inside Mountford’s tent: paint, politics and paperwork

Dr Philip Jones, South Australian Museum

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Charles Mountford lacked formal credentials as an anthropologist or scientist, yet he led the largest and most complex scientific expedition to remote Australia. Dr Philip Jones explores Mountford’s contribution and the controversy around his leadership.

art, collection, indigenous, politics, science

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A history of the 1948 expedition

Dr Sally K May, Australian National University

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Sally K May provides a historical overview of the Expedition, its planning and execution.

collection, indigenous, politics

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Locating the expedition politically: 1948 American–Australian Relations

Professor the Hon Kim Beazley AC

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Kim Beazley situates the 1948 Expedition in the context of postwar international relations.

conflict, indigenous, politics

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Fossicking memories

Emeritus Professor Raymond Louis Specht and Martin Thomas, University of Sydney

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Expedition botanist Raymond Louis Specht is interviewed by Martin Thomas.

collection, indigenous, science

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Terra incognito no more – reflecting on change

Robyn Williams, science journalist, presenter and author

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 16 November 2009

At the time of this ‘last great expedition’, many plants, animals, aspects of human culture were unknown to science. Robyn Williams launches the symposium Barks, Birds and Billabongs with a broad-ranging talk on science since 1948.

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collection, indigenous, politics

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The 1968–69 introduction of equal wages for Aboriginal pastoral workers in the Kimberley

Fiona Skyring, consultant historian

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

Challenging the idea that equal wages caused mass eviction and unemployment for Aboriginal people, Fiona Skyring looks at other factors such as how government investigations in 1965 and 1966 discouraged station owners from appropriating pension payments.

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economy, indigenous, industry, work

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Demand responsive services and culturally sustainable enterprise in remote Aboriginal settings

Paul Memmott, University of Queensland

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

In a good-practice study of where the Dreamtime meets the market, Paul Memmott discusses the Myuma Group (of three Aboriginal corporations) in far west Queensland, which successfully manages the interplay between demand for and supply of service.

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economy, indigenous, industry

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Unfair pay: Tracing tracker wages in New South Wales, 1862–1950

Michael Bennett, historian, Native Title Service Corp

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

Hundreds of Aboriginal men were employed as police trackers from 1862. They enjoyed a regular income, but the work was risky and the pay and conditions terrible. Michael Bennett describes the system and makes the case for a compensatory scheme.

economy, indigenous, work

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