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Special interest groups

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Special interest groups

Barks, Birds & Billabongs: Exploring the Legacy of the 1948 American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land. 16-20 November 2009.

Friday 20 November, 9.30am – 5.30pm

The final day of the symposium was devoted to workshops targeted at relevant special interest groups in the natural and social sciences. These workshops brought together experts from around Australia and the United States of America in fields such as bark painting research and conservation, film archiving, digital repatriation and the natural sciences.

This day was organised in collaboration with the Research School of Humanities and the Institute for Professional Practice in Heritage and the Arts, The Australian National University.

Workshop 1: Contemporary issues in the natural sciences: Progress since 1948?

Chair: Associate Professor Alison Specht, Southern Cross University

Coordinator: Dr Lynne McCarthy, National Museum of Australia

Contributors include:

  • Professor Raymond Louis Specht, University of Queensland
  • Alison Martin, Greenloaning Biostudies Pty Ltd
  • Stefanie Pidcock, Soon to be at University of Adelaide
  • Dr Emilie-Jane Ens, Australian National University
  • Gillian Towler, National Herbarium of NSW
  • Emmanuel Namarnyilk, Warddeken Ranger

This workshop will explore the role of data collection in modern-day science. The use of data, records and scientific inventories as a basis for decision making on issues such as biodiversity, conservation science and policy will be discussed. The vast amount of scientific data generated on the 1948 Arnhem Land Expedition will be used as a vehicle to discuss these contemporary issues facing the natural sciences today.

Time: 9.30am – 12.30pm

Location: The Studio, National Museum of Australia

Workshop 2: Paintings from the 1948 Arnhem Land Expedition

Convenors: Professor Howard Morphy and Dr Sally K May, Research School of Humanities, Australian National University

Contributors include:

  • Margo Neale, National Museum of Australia
  • Eric Archer, National Museum of Australia
  • Nicki Smith, National Museum of Australia
  • Sarah Bunn, Art Gallery of New South Wales
  • Professor Deb Kane, Macquarie University
  • Samantha Shellard, Queensland Art Gallery
  • Wukun Wanambi, Mulka Project, Yirrkala
  • Naminapu Maymuru-White, Artist and Creative Fellow, Australian National University
  • Wilfred Nawirridj, Injalak Arts and Crafts Centre, Gunbalanya
  • Sabine Hoeng, Australian National University
  • Professor Paul Tacon, Griffith University

This workshop aims to bring together individuals and organisations working with bark paintings or paintings on paper collected during the 1948 Arnhem Land Expedition. It will include discussion of the future of the collections (management and new conservation techniques) as well as past and ongoing research relating to the painting collections.

Time: 9.30am – 12.30pm

Location: Bunyip/Biami Room, National Museum of Australia

Workshop 3: Archaeology collections and museums: Inaugural meeting of Museums Australia's National Network

Chair: Dr Keryn Walshe, Aboriginal and Archaeology Collections, South Australia Museum and President of the Archaeology of Collections in Museums National Network

This workshop will constitute the inaugural meeting of Museums Australia's National Network on archaeology collections in museums. The aim of this meeting is to develop an active network to raise the profile of archaeology collections in Australia, to lobby for consistent and adequate resourcing and to consider how research into the collections can increase public knowledge.

Time: 11am – 12.30pm

Location: Council Room, National Museum of Australia

Workshop 4: Recovering Voices: Reconnecting communities with collections

Convenors:

  • Dr Joshua A Bell, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
  • Sabine Hoeng, Australian National University

Contributors include:

  • Wukun Wanambi, Mulka Project, Yirrkala
  • Wilfred Nawirridj, Injalak Arts and Crafts Centre, Gunbalanya
  • Anthony Murphy, Injalak Arts and Crafts Centre, Gunbalanya
  • Donna Nadjamerrek, Kunwinjku Language Project
  • Thomas Amagula, Groote Eylandt
  • Adrienne L Kaeppler, Smithsonian Institution
  • Lindy Allen, Museum of Victoria
  • Andrew Blake, Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala

This workshop will focus on ongoing and future projects designed to reconnect Indigenous communities with collections in institutions such as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Collections from the 1948 Arnhem Land Expedition will be a particular focus of discussions, along with the use of new digital technologies in enabling and facilitating knowledge repatriation initiatives. Possible future collaboration between institutions such as the Smithsonian and the National Museum of Australia will also form part of the discussion.

Time: 1.30–3.30pm

Location: Visions Theatre, National Museum of Australia

Workshop 5: Working with archival film

Chair: Dr Darryl McIntyre, CEO, National Film and Sound Archive

Convenor: Liz McNiven, National Film and Sound Archive

Contributors include:

  • Ian Dunlop, Ethnographic filmmaker
  • Ray Edmondson OAM, Director, Archive Associates Pty Ltd
  • Tom Eccles, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • David MacDougall, Australian National University (TBC)
  • Kim McKenzie, Australian National University

This workshop will explore issues surrounding the contemporary use and preservation of archival film. Contributors, who include film archivists and contemporary ethnographic filmmakers, will discuss these issues from diverse perspectives.

Time: 3.30–5.30pm

Location: The Studio, National Museum of Australia

Workshop 6: Yirrkala string figures

Coordinator: Robyn McKenzie, Australian National University

Facilitator: Julie Djarpirr Mununggurr

This hands-on workshop is designed to explore the significance and meaning of string figures through the practice of making. Participants will be introduced to handling the string, using characteristic openings and manipulations to make a sequence of figures from the 1948 collection which remain in the contemporary Yirrkala repertoire.

Time: 3.30–5.30pm

Location: Friends Lounge, National Museum of Australia