Reclaiming indigenous performance in southeast Australia, 1935-75 This ARC Discovery Project (2018-2020)

Professor Rachel Fensham, Linda Barwick, Jakelin Troy, Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker, Tiriki Onus et al.

This ARC Discovery Project (2018-2021) aims to reframe a period of Australian history, the Assimilation era (1935-1975), to demonstrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ active intervention 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 current debates on Australian identity, support the work of contemporary practitioners, build international networks and validate histories hitherto hidden at the heart of Australian nationhood.


About Professor Rachel Fensham

Rachel Fensham is Director of the Digital Studio, Faculty of Arts and a Professor of Dance and Theatre. She is lead CI on a ARC Linkage project investigating the impact of theatre for young people in regional Victoria, that has created CIRCUIT, a mapping tool for touring of theatre in Australia; and CI for the Humanities and Social Sciences Data-Enhanced Virtual Laboratory (HASS-DEVL) for the ARDC.

In all her research, the role and integration of methodologies from the digital humanities plays a critical role alongside other methods such as fieldwork, close analysis of embodied performance and community engagement. Recent publications include "Making and Assembling" in the Routledge Handbook of Interdisciplinary Research Methods (2018) and ‘Research Methods and Problems’ for the The Bloomsbury Companion to Dance Studies (2019).

Rachael Fensham academic profile

About Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker

Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker is Senior Research Fellow – ARC Daatsia Fellow, Indigenous Studies Unit, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School Population and Global Health. He was born in Darwin and of Alyawarr decent from the Barkly tablelands region of the Northern Territory. Lyndon has been involved in advocacy, policy development, research and negotiations at the local, national and international level focused on Indigenous communities in the area of information technology, cultural heritage, materials conservation and repatriation.

Lyndon Ormond-Parker academic profile

About Tiriki Onus

Tiriki Onus is a Yorta Yorta man, lecturer In Indigenous Arts and Culture, and Head of the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, University of Melbourne. He is a successful visual artist, curator, performance artist and opera singer.

Tiriki Onus academic profile