Workshops

Constellation by Gail Mabo. © Gail Mabo/Copyright Agency, 2021

Please note that these workshops are all in-person and are available only to conference registrants.

Show up! Make Changes! – Indigenising Your Curriculum

Facilitated by Demelza Hall and Emily Direen, 9.30 – 11am 4 July

There’s growing momentum in educational spaces for what’s been dubbed “Indigenising” and “decolonising” work, but what does ‘Indigenising the curriculum’ really mean? And how can you contribute to this ongoing project in a tangible way that creates meaningful change in the classroom? This masterclass, inspired by the NAIDOC week theme of ‘Get up! Stand up! Show up!’, offers participants practical ways to embed First Nations perspectives into their curriculums and learning environments. Facilitated by Emily Direen (Palawa woman and academic) and Dr Demelza Hall (non-Indigenous, settler academic), the masterclass will not only give participants a safe space to ask questions but will also inspire a hands-on approach to Indigenise your curriculum and take action to support and elevate First Nations perspectives and voices.

In this workshop, we will reflect on contemporary Indigenous scholarship around decolonising practices and consider questions such as: What counts as knowledge? Whose job is it to change the curriculum? And what it might mean, for both you and your students, to participate at the “cultural interface” (Martin Nakata).

Demelza Hall has worked as a sessional academic at number of Victorian universities and specialises in the field of Australian literature. She is particularly interested in Indigenous women’s writing and decolonising approaches to learning and teaching and her most recent article, “Adapting the Australian Canon and Decolonising the Tertiary Classroom: Settler Students Respond to Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife,” which was co-written with three undergraduate students from Federation University, has been published in English: Journal of the English Association. Demelza is working currently in a new academic research leadership role at Guilford Young College in Tasmania

Emily Direen is a lecturer and Indigenous Fellow at the School of Humanities in the College of Arts, Law and Education. Emily has long-running interests in Indigenous education, First Nations sovereignty work, and community outreach; and cultural representations of childhood and youth. Before joining the University of Tasmania, Emily was Co-Director and Lecturer in the Bachelor of Arts Extended (BAX), an undergraduate program jointly run by the University of Melbourne and Trinity College. In this role, Emily was involved in education sovereignty work including Indigenising and decolonising Arts curricula; promoting Indigenous culture, scholarship, and knowledge practices; and creating culturally safe pathways for Indigenous students into tertiary degrees. Prior to this role, Emily worked in Indigenous outreach at Murrup Barak (Melbourne Institute for Indigenous Development) at the University of Melbourne.

Beneath the Skin: Decolonizing Literary Associations

Facilitated by Adelle Sefton-Rowston and Yvette Holt, 11.30am – 1pm 4 July

What does decolonisation look like at an organisational level? Can a Mabo-esque narrative that is optimistic about decolonising associations be acquired to inform Australia’s revolutionary potential? This workshop takes a serious and analytical approach to the Mabo legacy to critically examine the cultural structures and protocols that operate in literary associations, universities, publishing houses, and literary journals. What lies beneath the desert skin is a conversation aimed to invigorate new ways of understanding language, relationships, and racial power structures that are non-hierarchical, but like a body of water, deep and fluid enough to sustain the difficult work of decolonising the material world. Presidents of two literary associations, Yvette Holt and Adelle Sefton-Rowston will share their experiences of literature’s stubborn relationship to, and reliance on the state, while facilitating interactive activities that aim to cleanse the intellectual pallet. The workshop will be in person and recorded online. Writers, editors, publishers, literary committee members, university staff and students are all welcome to join the workshop in a spirit of action and collaboration with, and for, First Nations people.

Yvette Henry Holt

Yvette Henry Holt heralds from the Bidjara, ìman-Yìman, Wakaman Nations of Queensland a multi-award-winning poet, editor, femin_artist of environmental desert photography, national facilitator of literary workshops, Chairperson of the First Nations Australia Writers Network FNAWN, Board Director of AP Australian Poetry. Yvette was the recipient of the David Unaipon Award 2005, Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing 2008, Scanlon Prize for Poetry NSW 2008, RAKA Kate Challis Award 2010, and Highly Commended for the Oodgeroo Noonuccal Poetry Prize 2018. Yvette’s works of poetry and photography have been extensively published and numerously anthologised in online journals and publications.

Adelle Sefton-Rowston is an activist-scholar at Charles Darwin University and recipient of this year’s Fulbright Scholarship. She lives on Larrakia country and holds a PhD in Literary Studies and is third time winner of the NT Literary Awards Essay Prize. Adelle is President of the Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association (AULLA). Her research focuses on how art and literature address global problems such as mass incarceration. Her current project examines prison writing alongside prison education programs in Australia and the US https://ywrite.cdu.edu.au/. Adelle publishes in high-quality international journals such as ‘Hypatia’ and is one of the founding editors of the new literary journal for the Northern Territory: ‘Borderlands Magazine’ https://borderlands.cdu.edu.au/.

Writing for the Public: A Workshop for Postgrads and ECRs

Facilitated by Imogen Wegman, 2 – 3.30pm 4 July

The public has an interest in the work academics do, but it’s up to us to bring it to them.

Every day, thousands of people read articles on The Conversation, Nature’s Communications, or other publications that target the public. These sources are trusted because they offer academic research in accessible language and equip the general reader with reliable information about a topic of interest. The popularity of these sites demonstrates that there is an appetite for current research, whether it is about how to simplify tax systems, the environmental impact of Oodies, or a history of international borders. This session will teach you how to find your own public voice and to bring your work to a wider audience.

In this workshop, you will learn how to identify the elements of your work that may be of interest to a wider audience. You will start drafting a pitch idea and together we will discuss different approaches to writing the full piece for a general audience.

We acknowledge the palawa/pakana and Gadigal people, the traditional custodians of the land upon which we live and work. We honour their enduring culture and knowledges as vital to the self-determination, wellbeing and resilience of their communities, and to shaping a just, inclusive and equitable Australian society.