Published 10 April 2019
This event is part of the Sydney Environment Institute’s NAIDOC Week celebrations.
The Southern Cross is the most famous constellation in the southern hemisphere.
Ever since colonisation it’s been claimed, appropriated and hotly-contested for ownership by a radical range of Australian groups. But for Aboriginal people the meaning of this heavenly body is deeply spiritual. And just about completely unknown. For a start, the Southern Cross isn’t even a cross – it’s a totem that’s deeply woven into the spiritual and practical lives of Aboriginal people.
One of Australia’s leading film-makers, Warwick Thornton, tackles this fiery subject head-on in this bold, poetic essay-film. We Don’t Need a Map (85 mins) asks questions about where the Southern Cross sits in the Australian psyche. Imbued with Warwick’s cavalier spirit, this is a fun and thought-provoking ride through Australia’s cultural and political landscape.
Brendan Fletcher wrote and produced the feature documentary We Don’t Need a Map. He is one of the most prolific and highly awarded film makers working in Australia today. His work covers drama, documentary and a commercial portfolio.
Kirsten Banks is a proud Wiradjuri woman with an undeniable passion for all things space and astronomy. She grew up on Ku-ring-gai country in Sydney’s Northern Beaches always loving the sky. After graduating from Davidson High School in 2014 with the title of “Most Outstanding Student”, she started a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of New South Wales with a major in Physics. Within her first year of tertiary study, Kirsten completed a successful application and was appointed an Astronomy Guide position at Sydney Observatory. It was at Sydney Observatory where Kirsten first sought out to determine where she and her ancestors came from: she learned she is of Wiradjuri descendent. Since discovering this, Kirsten has been developing her knowledge in Aboriginal Astronomy, how her great ancestors utilised the sky in many different ways.
Dr Christine Winter (Chair) is a lecturer in the Department of Government & International Relations at the University of Sydney. Her research focuses at the intersection of intergenerational, indigenous and environmental justice. Drawing on her Anglo-Celtic-Māori cultural heritage she is interested in decolonising political theory by identifying key epistemological and ontological assumptions in theory that are incompatible with indigenous philosophies. In doing so she has two aims: to make justice theory just for Indigenous peoples of the settler states; and to expand the boundaries of theories of intergenerational justice to protect the environment for future generations of Indigenous Peoples and their settler compatriots.