News & notices
Honouring the Aboriginal XI – 150 year anniversary
This Boxing Day marks 150 years since an Aboriginal XI played against the Melbourne Cricket Club on the MCG on Boxing Day in 1866. As part of Australian cricket’s celebrations to honour the Aboriginal XI involved in the 1866 Boxing Day Cricket Match and the first cricket team to tour internationally in 1868, the inaugural Mullagh-Wills Oration was held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. This was the first of a series of three orations that Cricket Australia will host over the next two years and is the first oration to be delivered with a focus on the connection between historical events and the present, between cricket and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The 2016 inaugural oration was co-delivered by Dr Greg de Moore – Associate Professor of Psychiatry based at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital and author of Tom Wills – First Wild Man of Australian Sport, and NCIS Director and former Australian of the Year – Professor Mick Dodson AM. The oration is named in honour of Tom Wills, who captain coached the Aboriginal XI in 1866, and Johnny Mullagh, the side's star all-rounder who later went on to captain the Aboriginal XI to tour England in 1868.
The activities associated with marking both the 1866 and 1868 anniversaries, including the oration, are aimed at honouring the past and the achievements of that landmark team, reflecting on Cricket Australia’s recent growth in Indigenous participation, and acknowledging Cricket Australia’s commitment to working even harder to ensure Cricket continues to be a sport for all Australians.
The full oration can be viewed at cricketaustralia.com.au/150. The oration was made possible in partnership with the Melbourne Cricket Club and Victoria University.
Dr Sophia Close graduation
Congratulations to Dr Sophia Close, who was awarded her PhD at the ANU Graduation Ceremony today. Sophia's PhD dissertation was accepted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in June this year.
NCIS Director – Professor Mick Dodson, ANU College of Law Senior Lecturer and former NCIS HDR Program Manager – Dr Asmi Wood, and the current NCIS HDR Program Manager – Dr Diane Smith, attended the Graduation Ceremony as part of the academic procession, and also an NCIS afternoon tea beforehand at which Sophia was presented with a commemorative ANU plaque.
Sophia is the Centre’s third graduand and already has taken up an exciting employment opportunity in London with a Non-Government Organisaiton to provide gender and peacebuilding programs. Sophia is now also an Honorary staff member of NCIS, which means we will continue to be able to work with her in the coming years.
Welcome to NCIS, Dr Michael Davis
Historian Dr Michael Davis has joined NCIS as a Research Assistant for six months, working alongside NCIS researchers Dr Cressida Fforde, Dr Bill Fogarty and Mr Benjamin Wilson on the Narrative Framing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing: A Review research project that has been developed in close liaison with the Lowitja Institute.
As a historian, Michael works across the humanities and social sciences. His research interests include historical and policy issues focusing on Indigenous knowledge, heritage and environment, and discourse and post-colonial studies. He also researches and writes about Aboriginal/European histories and encounters, relationships between Indigenous and other knowledge systems, ecology and place, and ethical guidelines and protocols for Indigenous research. Michael has many years’ experience working with a range of organisations, including in academia and government, and with Aboriginal community organisations, and also as an independent researcher. He has also conducted extensive archival research on noted anthropologists and historians specialising in Indigenous and Pacific cultures, and from 2011 to 2014, carried out post-doctoral research fellowship in the Department of History at the University of Sydney, researching and writing about European/Aboriginal environmental encounters in nineteenth century north east Queensland.
Michael’s publications include (as co-editor with Joni Adamson) Humanities for the Environment: Integrating Knowledge, Forging New Constellations of Practice (Routledge Earthscan 2016), ‘Encountering Aboriginal knowledge: explorer narratives on north-east Queensland, 1770 to 1820’ (Aboriginal History vol.37, 2013), and Writing Heritage: the Depiction of Indigenous Heritage in European-Australian Writings (2007, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, and National Museum of Australia Press, Canberra).
Welcome AIGI to the NCIS
The Australian Indigenous Governance Institute (AIGI) is an Indigenous-led national centre specialising in governance knowledge and excellence. AIGI supports the economic, social and cultural aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by connecting them with world-class governance practice, research, thought leadership and educational resources.
AIGI and NCIS have a long-standing relationship through our respective commitments to further understand and promote best-practice Indigenous governance. To foster collaboration and facilitate joint research, events, resource development and other opportunities, NCIS has recently awarded select AIGI Directors and staff, honorary status at the Centre. As part of the arrangement, the AIGI Head Office will henceforth be housed at NCIS in Canberra.
NCIS Director speaks at the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 30th anniversary ‘RightsTalk’
Professor Mick Dodson, the NCIS Director, gave a keynote address as part of a Human Rights Commission ‘RightsTalk’ entitled Predictive – Future challenges for human rights in Australia, with a particular focus on Indigenous social justice. The RightsTalk are a series of discussions on topical human rights issues, and are open to the public. This RightsTalk marked the 30th anniversary of the Australian Human Rights Commission and was chaired by Deputy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Robynne Quiggin. Other guest speakers were Geoff Scott and Professor Cheryl Kickett-Tucker.
HDR scholar Magali McDuffie wins the 2016 Watervale Graduate Award
The Watervale Graduate Award, valued at $10,000, has been generously endowed to NCIS by Ian and Laurel Fisher with the objective of supporting Higher Degree by Research (HDR) scholars enrolled at NCIS to achieve the valued personal and professional goal of MPhil or PhD completion. Awards are made annually on a competitive basis upon application, and priority is given to scholars in write-up or the final stages of completion of their thesis.
NCIS warmly congratulates Magali McDuffie for winning this year's Watervale Graduate Award, and wishes her all the very best for thesis completion. The award was presented to Magali by the ANU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Margaret Harding, during the annual NCIS HDR Research Retreat.
My Big Idea winner, Johanna Parker
Congratulations to NCIS HDR scholar, Johanna Parker, for being one of the winners of the Australia-wide My Big Idea competition.
The competition, hosted by the Australian Futures Project, invited Australians to submit their proposals on how to address specific challenges facing Australia, and to vote for other ideas that they feel passionate about. Ten submitted ideas were selected to be developed, with the project partners, to effect real change for real people.
Johanna's proposal, entitled ‘Widows Are Not On Their Own’, was to develop a platform that supports widows and widowers to negotiate the minefield that is changing their life back into their name – sorting out bank accounts, pensions, bills – at this incredibly traumatic time.
Congratulations Dr Close
HDR scholar Sophia Close is our latest pride at NCIS. Sophia received excellent comments from her thesis examiners, with recommendation for the JG Crawford Prize which is awarded to graduate students most deserving of recognition for the quality of their graduate work.
Please join us in hearty congratulations to Sophia.
She will be joining NCIS as an Honorary Research Fellow. We look forward to seeing her graduate at the end of the year.
Farewell Jill Guthrie
Dr Jill Guthrie joined NCIS in April 2012 as a Research Fellow. Her PhD, undertaken through the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales, is titled A phenomenological exploration of the experiences of families of Indigenous children hospitalised in the Australian Capital Territory. Jill is a graduate of the Master of Applied Epidemiology (MAE) Program at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH) at ANU.
NCIS is sad to see her leave. She looks forward to new opportunities and new beginnings and NCIS wishes her all goodness and kindness for the future.
Welcome Dr Siobhan Mcdonnell
NCIS extends a warm welcome to NCIS Research Associate, Dr Siobhan Mcdonnell. Siobhan is a Legal Anthropologist with eighteen years' experience working on legal and policy issues with Indigenous people in Australia and Melanesia. She recently submitted her PhD in Legal Anthropology entitled: ‘My Land My Life: Property, Power and Identity in Land Transformations in Vanuatu’.
Siobhan will work closely with the NCIS Director, Professor Mick Dodson, assisting him in various projects.
Farewell Dr Fleur Adcock
Dr Fleur Adcock was a doctoral scholar with NCIS, graduating with her PhD in July 2014. Her doctoral dissertation, titled ‘The United Nations Special Procedures and Indigenous Peoples: A Regulatory Analysis’, explored how the international human rights system regulates state behaviour towards Indigenous peoples. Fleur also holds a Master of Laws with Distinction from the Victoria University of Wellington and a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (Maori Studies) from the University of Canterbury. Fleur was admitted to the Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 2003.
Fleur has moved back to New Zealand to be closer to her family. NCIS will miss her dearly, and we look forward to seeing her back to visit as an Honorary Fellow.
Farewell Julia Torpey
Ms Julia Torpey Hurst joined NCIS in July 2014 as a Research Officer working with Associate Professor Cressida Fforde on the ARC Linkage project 'Return, Reconcile, Renew'.
Julia is an Aboriginal writer, playwright, director and historian. Her mother's Aboriginal family is from New South Wales and their experience as a family is of separation and continuing to reconnect with history.
Julia and her partner and new-born have moved to Melbourne, and we are sad to see her leave. We wish Julia and her family all the best.
Farewell Phyll Dance
Phyll Dance has been with NCIS on a part-time basis since April 2014. During her time at NCIS, Phyll worked as a Chief Investigator on a research project focused on Justice Reinvestment that was led by NCIS Research Fellow Dr Jill Guthrie. Phyll's research has largely focused on Indigenous health, and has been conducted in collaboration with Indigenous organisations and individuals and has included two-way transfer of skills.
Although she has completed her employment here at NCIS, she will continue to work with Jill and colleagues on the Justice Reinvestment project. We are happy to still see Phyll around the traps.