Indigenous Excellence in STEM Webinars
The Australian High Commission, Singapore, with Agency presented its first-ever Indigenous Excellence in STEM pre-recorded webinar sessions. We invited leading Australian Indigenous Women in STEM to share their wisdom and cultural knowledge with us.
Aboriginal Plant Knowledge with Zena Cumpston
This webinar featured a conversation with Barkandji researcher, writer, and curator, Zena Cumpston. The conversation highlights the significance of Country in Aboriginal knowledge systems while exploring Zena’s research on native plants and their applications.
The host of the series, Krystal de Napoli, is a Gomeroi astrophysicist and a passionate advocate for Indigenous sciences and Indigenous astronomy in particular. Her book “Astronomy: Sky Culture” co-authored with Karlie Noon was recently published by Thames & Hudson focusing on Aboriginal knowledge of the night skies and its connection to Country.
Zena Cumpston is a researcher, writer and storyteller who also sometimes works as a curator and consultant. She is a Barkandji woman who is passionate about plants and particularly in the many ways they elucidate the ingenuity and scientific knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In 2022 the exhibition she curated, Emu Sky, can be seen at the Old Quad, University of Melbourne Parkville campus. In late 2022 her book 'Plants' will be released as part of the First Knowledges series.
▶ You can watch this session on AHC Singapore and Agency Projects: Indigenous Excellence in STEM
Australian Indigenous Elders Wisdom Series
The Australian High Commission, Singapore, presented its first-ever Indigenous Elders Webinar sessions where we invite various Australian Indigenous Elders from different states and territories to share their wisdom and cultural knowledge with us. Learning from the knowledge keepers (Indigenous Elders), we hope these sessions will help continue retaining and sharing the Indigenous knowledge systems and our connection to healing and closing the gap.
Aunty Bilawara Lee (Aunty B)
The Australian High Commission would like to say a big thank Aunty Bilawara Lee for speaking at our first Australian Indigenous Elders Wisdom Series.
The live webinar session with Aunty Bilawara Lee, Senior Elder of the Larrakia Nation (Northern Territory) was held on 2 November 2021 and our first event for the series. Aunty B, a recipient of the Female Elder of the Year 2021 NAIDOC Awards in Darwin and the first and only Larrakia Academic in Residence at Charles Darwin University shared her wisdom on Aboriginal Culture and Protocols.
▶ You can watch her session on Australian High Commission: Australian Indigenous Elders Webinar: Aunty Bilawara Lee - YouTube
Uncle Rodney Dillon
The Australian High Commission would like to thank Uncle Rodney Dillon for sharing his wisdom at our Australian Indigenous Elders Wisdom Series.
Australian Indigenous Elders Wisdom Series live webinar session with Uncle Rodney Dillon, Respected Palawa Elder (Tasmania) and Indigenous Rights Advisor for Amnesty International Australia was held on 10 February 2022. Uncle Rodney Dillon is a highly respected Elder of the Palawa Nation. He is the Indigenous Rights Advisor at Amnesty International Australia and former Tasmanian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) Commissioner. Uncle Rodney has been a lifelong advocate for Indigenous peoples' rights, particularly fishing and hunting rights, repatriation of Indigenous people's remains, and people's rights to live in their traditional homelands.
Uncle Rodney was Tasmanian nominee for 2011 Australian of the Year, 2006 NAIDOC male Person of the Year and presented the 2013 Human Rights Individual Award at the Tasmanian Human Rights Awards. Uncle Rodney shared his stories around the Original Tasmanians, Stolen Generation, truth-telling, the repatriation of Indigenous people's remains and education. Uncle Rodney Dillon biography
▶ You can watch his session on Australian High Commission, Singapore: Australian Indigenous Elders Webinar: Uncle Rodney Dillon - YouTube
Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson & Professor Duane Hamacher
First Nations Elders have long been experts and masters of astronomy knowledge which stretches back to over 70,000years. They teach that everything on the land is reflected in the sky, and everything in the sky is reflected on the land. Be prepared to be starstruck at this webinar session.
This live webinar session featured Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson, Senior Law Man, Elder, and leader of the Euahlayi Nation and Professor Duane Hamacher, Associate Professor of Cultural Astronomy in the ASTRO-3D Centre of Excellence and the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne.
Uncle Ghillar and Professor Hamacher discussed Indigenous sky knowledge and drawing references from their recently released book –The First Astronomers: How Indigenous Elders Read the Stars.
Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson is a Senior Law Man, Elder, and leader of the Euahlayi Nation from Goodooga, New South Wales. He is the only surviving co-founder of the 1972 Aboriginal Tent Embassy and has been an activist for more than 50 years. Uncle Ghillar was taught Euahlayi customs and traditions through his people's sacred ceremonies. He is a traditional astronomy expert, has published several academic papers on Aboriginal astronomy, and is co-author of The First Astronomers. In 2021, a 2.7 km wide asteroid was named 10040 Ghillar by the International Astronomical Union in honour of his contributions to astronomy.
Professor Duane Hamacher is an Associate Professor of Cultural Astronomy in the ASTRO-3D Centre of Excellence and the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne. His work specialises in the intersection of astronomy with culture, heritage, history, and society. He earned graduate degrees in astrophysics and the social sciences and led initiatives in Indigenous astronomy and dark sky studies.
▶ The recording of the webinar conversation between Uncle Ghillar and Duane, and audience is available here: Australian High Commission, Singapore: Australian Indigenous Elders Webinar: The First Astronomers - YouTube
Dr Jackie Huggins AM FAHA
The High Commission organised a live webinar session with Dr Jackie Huggins, AM FAHA, Author and Historian, where she discussed and drawing references from her recently launched co-authored (co-authored with sister Ngaire Jarro) book: Jack of Hearts: QX11594.
The book is based on her father’s story, John Henry (Jack) Huggins III. Jack Huggins has spent three years as a prisoner of war during WWII and was captured after the fall of Singapore in Feb 1942. He was imprisoned along with 130,000 other allied troops and was sent up to work on the notorious Burma-Thailand railway. 'Jack of Hearts QX11594' is an excellent story of tradition and survival that spans over a century as Dr Huggins and Ms Jarro look deep into their family history.
About the speaker
Dr Huggins is a historian and author who has travelled nationally and internationally on speaking and writing tours. She has been a keynote speaker and panellist at numerous seminars and conferences.
She has made her career over four decades in reconciliation, history, the arts, environment, leadership, education, prison reform, domestic and family violence, health, housing, literacy, disability, human rights, women’s issues and other social justice initiatives.
Dr Huggins is a former Co-Chair, Reconciliation Australia, Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. The latter was elected from First Nations peoples across Australia, and she also represented her people at the United Nations. She served as the Chair of the Queensland Domestic Violence Council, Board Australian Institute Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Director for the Qld State Library and Commissioner for Queensland for the National Inquiry Into The Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children From Their Families (The Stolen Generation).
Dr Huggins has devoted her life to ensuring a just and equitable outcome for her people and reconciling an honest and fair Australia in which we all enjoy the benefits.
▶ The recording of the webinar conversation with Dr Jackie Huggins and audience is available here: Australian High Commission: Facebook
Aussie Film Festival 2022
The Australian High Commission Singapore presented the inaugural Aussie Film Festival from 17 to 27 March at The Projector. Presented in tandem with Harmony Week in Australia to celebrate Australian multiculturalism, the festival features contemporary films that reflect Australia’s rich cultural diversity.
The festival features four films that are built on inclusiveness, respect, and a sense of belonging. Curated to empower connection through shared stories, the festival presents a good mix of frontier films and light hearted romantic comedies. The films for the inaugural edition of the festival are:
High Ground - directed by Stephen Johnson
Rhapsody of Love
Get a Life, Alright! - directed by Joy Hopwood
The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson - directed by Leah Purcell.