Featured past event:
‘Land, property and authority’

A public lecture by Siobhan McDonnell, legal advisor to the Minister of Lands, Vanuatu, on creating a new model of Indigenous land rights and legal pluralism in Vanuatu informed by the principles of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (NT).

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<strong>Featured past event:</strong> <br />‘Land, property and authority’

Featured past event:
2013 Annual ANU Reconciliation Lecture

Each year, a renowned Australian individual is invited to speak publicly on the topic of reconciliation. In 2013, the lecture was given by Professor Patrick Dodson.

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<strong>Featured past event:</strong> <br />2013 Annual ANU Reconciliation Lecture

Featured past event:
Postgraduate research retreat

18 – 20 September 2013: NCIS hosted a workshop for Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates who are Indigenous to Australia, or are undertaking research into indigenous topics.

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<strong>Featured past event:</strong><br />Postgraduate research retreat

Featured past event:
Justice Reinvestment Forum

2 August 2012: NCIS co-hosted a 1-day discussion forum with academic and government leaders, about issues related to Justice Reinvestment.

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<strong>Featured past event:</strong><br />Justice Reinvestment Forum

Featured past event:
Common Roots: Common Futures conference

20 – 22 February 2012: NCIS co-hosted a 3-day conference and workshop at the University of Arizona, focusing on national and international Indigenous governance and development.

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<strong>Featured past event:</strong><br />Common Roots: Common Futures conference


NCIS-hosted events are listed on this page. Events that may be of interest to researchers and students in the Indigenous studies field, including but not exclusively those hosted by NCIS, are listed on our Indigenous studies calendar.


Monthly research hour

NCIS holds a monthly research meeting which provides a space for NCIS members and friends to come together informally for discussions of research issues, presentations, fieldwork reports, seminars, etc.

Time & venue: Generally the third Wednesday of each month at 4 – 5pm in the Phillipa Weeks Staff Library, ANU College of Law.

Enquiries & RSVP: Please contact the NCIS Administrative Officer if you would like to attend, and to confirm the date, location and topic of the next meeting.


Public lecture: ‘Repatriation stories from a far away land: Progress and obstacles in the repatriation of Indigenous human remains in the USA’

It has been nearly 25 years since the United States enacted sweeping federal legislation regarding the repatriation of Native American human remains and other cultural items. The two federal statutes – the National Museum of the American Indian Act and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act – require the Smithsonian Institution, all federal agencies, and all institutions that receive federal funds (over 1000 in all) to provide inventories of their collections to Indigenous communities and, upon request, repatriate human remains and associated funerary objects to lineal descendants and culturally affiliated Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organisations. Other provisions require the disposition of Native American human remains and funerary objects recently found on federal or tribal lands (about one third of the land area of the U.S.) to appropriate Indigenous groups as well as apply criminal penalties to the illegal trafficking of such items. The estimated repatriation of the remains of over 60,000 individuals and over a million funerary objects is one of the largest and broadest transfers of "museum property" to date. But much remains to be done as the remains of another 130,000 individuals and a million funerary objects remain on museum shelves. This presentation will review the progress made and obstacles encountered in implementing repatriation law in the U.S. and offer thoughts on the applicability of some of these processes to the repatriation of Australian Indigenous remains from U.S. and other museums.

NCIS Adjunct Fellow, Dr C. Timothy McKeown is a legal anthropologist whose career has focused on the application of anthropological research methodologies to enhance thoughtful policy development, effective statutory implementation, and fact-based judicial resolution. For 18 years, Tim served as a Federal official responsible for drafting regulations implementing Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), developing databases to document compliance, establishing a grants program, investigating allegations of failure to comply for possible civil penalties, coordinating the activities of a Secretarial advisory committee, and providing training and technical assistance to nearly 1000 museums and Federal agencies and 700 Indian tribes, Alaska Native corporations, and Native Hawaiian organisations. Since 2010, Tim has also consulted on repatriation of cultural items with several Indian tribes, prepared policy recommendations, and provided training at annual meetings of the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers. The University of Arizona Press recently published his comprehensive review of the legislative history of U.S. Federal repatriation mandates In the Smaller Scope of Conscience: The Struggle for National Repatriation Legislation, 1986-1990.

Tim previously served as a Fulbright professor and researcher at Janus Pannonius University (now the University of Pécs) in Hungary. He was recently awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant and will spend November 2014 in Australia working with NCIS on the ARC Linkage project 'Return, Reconcile, Renew Project: understanding the history, effects and opportunities of repatriation and building an evidence base for the future' being conducted at the Centre.

Time & venue: 4–5pm, Tuesday 25 November; Theatrette (room 2.02), Sir Roland Wilson Building (building 120), McCoy Circuit, ANU campus.

Enquiries & RSVP: This lecture is free and open to the public. To RSVP to attend this event and for further details please visit the event registration page. For further details, please contact the NCIS Centre Administrator, Ms Tamai Heaton, on ncis@anu.edu.au or 6125 6708.


The 2014 Annual ANU Reconciliation Lecture

Each year, a renowned Australian is invited to speak publicly on the topic of reconciliation. The 2014 lecture will be given by Senior Australian of the Year 2014 and Reconciliation advocate, The Hon Fred Chaney AO.

Time & venue: 6 – 7pm followed by refreshments; Arc Cinema, National Film and Sound Archive, 1 McCoy Circuit, Acton, ACT.

Enquiries & RSVP: The event is free and open to the public. Registration is essential. For further details, please contact the NCIS Centre Administrator, Ms Tamai Heaton, on ncis@anu.edu.au or 6125 6708.

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Conference: 'Defending country: Sharing stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service'

Hosted by the Serving Our Country research project at NCIS, this conference brings together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans, former and currently-serving personnel and family members, researchers, community organisations and representatives from the project Partner Organisations to discuss issues of remembrance and commemoration of Indigenous service. The conference will contribute to the development of research outputs for the project as well as promote wider recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander veterans and ex-service personnel.

Panel discussions during the conference will feature Veterans, ex-service women and men, and other key researchers. Discussion topics will include:

  • citizenship and activism
  • labour and defence service (including auxiliary services such as coastguards)
  • commemoration and remembrance
  • women and Defence Service
  • families and the Home Front
  • social justice: land, health care and pensions, plus legal issues.

Other conference activities will include:

  • a project-specific guided tour of the Australian War Memorial led by the Australian War Memorial Indigenous Liaison Officer
  • curator-led workshops on caring for photos and papers, and finding out more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service and other records
  • recording of oral and video histories with Veterans and ex-service people.

Time & venue: 9am – 5pm, Monday 1 December – Wednesday 3 December; Crawford School, The Australian National University, Canberra. » map

Enquiries & RSVP: For more information about the conference, please visit the Defending Country conference webpage or contact Kate Macfarlane on kate.macfarlane@anu.edu.au or 02 6125 8437.

Conference registration is essential. Registrations close by 15 November.


NCIS Indigenous studies reading group

NCIS hosts an Indigenous studies reading group, which aims to develop scholarly understandings of the Indigenous studies field within ANU. Reading group meetings and are open to all ANU graduate scholars and staff with an interest in Indigenous studies.

Each meeting of the reading group will involve a facilitated discussion on a predetermined text; this is usually a journal article, book chapter or book excerpt, but documentaries, novels and other relevant media may also be set. The readings will be carefully selected to help establish an understanding of the key scholarship, themes and debates in the Indigenous studies field. All participants are encouraged to raise questions, offer comments and suggest readings for future discussion.

Time: The first Thursday of alternate months (February, April, June, August, October, December) at 3 – 4.30pm.

Enquiries & RSVP: Please contact the reading group coordinator, NCIS Research Associate, Fleur Adcock, if you would like to participate, and to confirm the date, location and topic of the next reading group.

Updated:  25 November 2014/ Responsible Officer:  NCIS Project Coordinator/ Page Contact:  NCIS Administrative Officer