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Rear side of boomerang with words "Made in Australia by Aborigines" and signature "Ben Blakeney Bennelong"
Research_

Reclaiming Indigenous performance

Informing debate on the assimilation era
We aim to reframe a period of Australian history, the assimilation era (1935–75), to demonstrate the active intervention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in public affairs through performances of music and dance.

About the project

By reframing a period of Australian history, the assimilation era (1935-1975), we will demonstrate the active intervention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people in public affairs through performances of music and dance. The project will collaborate with present-day communities aiming to construct an alternative history of cultural resilience and agency.

Outcomes directed at academic, community and public audiences aim to better inform debates on Australian identity, support the work of contemporary practitioners, build international networks and validate histories hitherto hidden at the heart of Australian nationhood.

Investigators
  • Professor Linda Barwick, Lead Investigator, University of Sydney
  • Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker, University of Melbourne
  • Matt Poll, University of Sydney
  • Tiriki Onus, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Rachel Fensham, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Amanda Harris, University of Sydney
  • Professor Jakelin Troy, University of Sydney
  • Associate Professor Jacqueline Shea Murphy, University of California
Logo for Australian Research Council.

Featured image (top of the page): signed back of a boomerang made in 1983 by NSW performers and artists Stan Roach and Ben Blackeney OAM. Donated to Macleay Collections by Beth Dean and Victor Carell.

Mathew Poll

Assistant Curator, Indigenous Heritage, Macleay Collection