'‘The people of Borroloola are expressing what a lot of First Nations people are feeling across Australia, that this is a waste of their time…they have their own voice and they are prepared to use it’ (Labor senator Malarndirri McCarthy in Allam 2018). Each edition we thank the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who continue to commit to the promise of research. They permit, champion, enable and participate in research to teach people more about who we are, how we live and our hope for a self-determined future. You would not blame them being discouraged at the latest attempt to impose English language and even ways of thinking onto Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (Allam 2018). Ethical, quality research conducted with our people is crucial in such situations: research provides evidence of the damage caused by the paternal approach in Indigenous affairs, including the use of schools to ram home assimilation. Research also shows us how acts of cultural resurgence lead to strong, healthy communities. Research is still a good medium for us to speak for ourselves. ' (Editorial introduction)
Contents indexed selectively.
'A picture is worth a thousand words, but the paintings I discuss in this paper capture what words could not. The Picture Talk Project commissioned Australian Aboriginal artists to paint research results, to be used as a visual medium to present findings back to the Aboriginal communities. However, the way in which the artists were briefed, the process of creation and the artists' lived experiences all emerged in the paintings. The process reinforces the fact that efforts to ensure greater collaboration take place within a long history of power inequities. The experience is a sober reminder that we must embody appropriate cultural frame works of communication every step of the way.' (Publication abstract)
'Growing up Aboriginal in Australia, edited by Anita Heiss, is an honest, poignant and often heartbreaking collection of short stories. It is an uplifting recount of our own people, our own stories and our own social, cultural and interpersonal strengths.' (Introduction)
At a sandstone outcrop in Arnhem Land known an Injalak Hill, a traditional owner points to an enormous rock face. Adorning it are earthy reds and yellows, along with startlingly white clay. Spread across two pages in glossy colour, this image is but one of many in this book that may remind its Italian readers (some who may be reading this volume in its Italian edition) of treasured frescoes much closer to home. But instead of the familiar characters from the Book of Genesis are countless figures side by side or overlain: fish, kangaroos and crocodiles, all outlined in striking clarity and infilled with intricate designs. On the next page, anthropologist-and-philosopher Tony Swain has stressed that in Australia’s north, art and cosmology are deeply aligned and sometimes the same; Dreamings collide with the land, and once one is accustomed to experiencing them, then the country is alive with signs of their presence .' (Introduction)
'A few years ago — prior to my current role — I was interviewed for a job at AIATSIS. After providing a description of my previous experience working as an archaeologist, I was informed by the chair of the interview panel that AIATSIS no longer undertakes archaeological research. I was surprised to learn this. Was I the only person in the interview room who knew of the historical association between AIATSIS and the discipline of Australian archaeology? Following the interview I set about hatching plans for an oral history project that would highlight the long historical association between AIATSIS and archaeology, in order to produce a more detailed account beyond the odd reference that seemed to exist within the published sources. Then I read Billy Griffiths’ Deep time Dreaming: uncovering ancient Australia and breathed a sigh of relief.' (Introduction)