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Investigating Encounters

Investigating Encounters video

An all-Indigenous panel reflects on the exhibition Encounters: Revealing Stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Objects from the British Museum. Duration: 1:32:40.


Carol Christophersen, Ned David, Nancia Guivarra and Peter Yu discuss how the exhibition objects were originally collected, the interpretation of Indigenous culture, repatriation and telling stories from Australia’s complex history. Hosted by ABC RN’s Big Ideas presenter Paul Barclay at the National Museum of Australia on 1 December 2015. 

Read the transcript of the Investigating Encounters panel discussion

Listen to Radio National's Big Ideas episode

About the panellists

Carol Christophersen

Carol Christophersen

Carol is a member of the Muran and Bunidj clans in Western Arnhem Land and Kakadu National Park. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in anthropology from the University of Queensland and is currently an anthropologist at the Northern Land Council where she has worked for the past 13 years.

During 2011 and 2012, Carol undertook a fellowship at the Natural History Museum in London where she worked on the repatriation of human remains to Australia.

Under the mentorship of Robert Graham, Carol was acting manager of the Anthropology Branch for two years. From 2009 to 2015, she was a board member of the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority representing the people of West Arnhem. Carol is currently a member of the Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation.

Her motivation derives from an acknowledgement of those who have come before and she is determined to take on challenges around these issues and to enact positive changes that contribute to overall indigenous wellbeing.

Ned David

Ned David

Ned hails from the nation of Kulkalgal, which is the central island group of the Torres Strait. He is President of the Torres Strait Islanders’ Regional Education Council (TSIREC) and inaugural Director of Yumi Education Support Service. Ned also holds directorships of several other community organisations – he is Chair of Gur A Baradharaw Kod Sea and Land Council Torres Strait and Chair of Magani Lagaugal RNTBC, the native title holders of his homeland that includes Tudu (Warrior Island), Zagai (Long Island), Iama (Yam Island) and Mucarr (Cap Island).  

He is the longest serving TSIREC Chair and is responsible for wide-ranging reforms, including the establishment of Tagai State College and numerous Yumi Education initiatives that invest in career pathways in education, training and employment for his people in the Torres Strait.

Nancia Guivarra

Nancia Guivarra

Nancia is a Meriam (Magaram), Wuthathi and Bindal Juru woman who was born in Brisbane and raised in Gladstone, Queensland. She has more than 20 years’ experience in media production and communications, entertainment, arts and government policy.

She has worked with National Indigenous Television, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and is a lifetime member of the Gadigal Information Service Aboriginal Corporation (93.7 FM Koori Radio). Nancia was also a founder and inaugural Chair of the Australian Indigenous Communications Association.

She lectures at a range of universities on issues such as media, culture and Indigenous food science.

Peter Yu

Peter Yu

Peter Yu is a Yawuru Man from Broome in Western Australia. He has more than 35 years’ experience in Indigenous development and advocacy in the Kimberley region and at the state, national and international level.

He has been an advocate for the social, cultural and economic advancement and wellbeing of Kimberley and other Aboriginal communities for his entire career. Over this period, he has been instrumental in the development of many community-based regional organisations.

He was Executive Director of the Kimberley Land Council during the 1990s and had a national leadership role negotiating the Australian nation’s response to the High Court’s 1992 Mabo decision.

Peter was a key negotiator on behalf of the Yawuru native title holders with the Western Australian government and Shire of Broome over the landmark 2010 Yawuru native title agreement. He was the first CEO of the Yawuru Corporate Group.

He is the independent Chair of the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Managers Alliance Ltd, Deputy Chair of the AFL Aboriginal Advisory Committee, Deputy Chair of Broome Future Ltd, and a Board member of the National Museum of Australia.

ABC Radio National

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