Sovereign Language Rematriation Through Song Pedagogy refers to bringing home the body of languages to Indigenous communities. Language must be returned to our bodies, our country, to renew, revitalise and re-awaken our connection to country, cosmos and each other.
Yorta Yorta Dja Dja Wurrung, Dr Lou Bennett is a former member of the internationally acclaimed music trio Tiddas. Bennett is a consummate performer, playing audiences worldwide.
Bennett is a prolific songwriter/composer and during her ten years with Tiddas (1990-2000) penned some of the group’s signature songs. Bennett’s work stretches over a vast area within the Arts industry throughout the past twenty-nine years including her various roles as Performer, Songwriter, Musical and Artistic Director, Composer, Actor, Soundscape and Music Designer and Educator. In 2006 Bennett was one of the co-founders of the Black Arm Band and contributing to all productions by the company. Bennett (Artistic director/Co-CEO) was an instrumental force in the company’s transformative journey from being a one-off ‘special project’, becoming an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander governed, not for profit major performing arts company. In Bennett’s time at the company (2006-2014) she was involved in the touring of five major productions both nationally and internationally. Bennett was a major contributor to the establishment of the company’s Community Engagement Workshop Program. Bennett completed her PhD by project at RMIT Melbourne in October 2015. Bennett’s dissertation discusses the importance and relevance of Aboriginal language retrieval, reclamation and regeneration through the medium of the Arts to community health and wellbeing and explores the importance of Indigenous epistemology, methodology and pedagogy in artistic and academic contexts. Bennett uses her own languages of Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung, extending to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages that can be retrieved, reclaimed and regenerated through songs, stories and performances. Bennett continues to research the obstacles and ethical issues related to retrieving and transmitting Aboriginal languages cross-culturally and across different generations as the McKenzie Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Dr Bennett was inducted onto the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll for 2017.
Professor Sarah Maddison is Professor of Politics in the School of Social and Political Sciences, and Director of the Australian Centre. She is particularly interested in work that helps reconceptualise political relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Australian settler state, including critical examinations of a range of relevant public policies. Her recent work has focused on the treaty process in Victoria, and she is currently working with the Australian Centre’s Deputy Director, Julia Hurst, exploring the role of truth-telling in treaty making. Sarah has also designed the Professional Certificate in Treaty, which includes the Preparing for Treaty series of Melbourne MicroCerts.
Sarah has published widely in international journals and is the author or editor of nine books including, most recently, The Colonial Fantasy: Why white Australia can’t solve black problems (2019). Her other books in the field include The Limits of Settler Colonial Reconciliation (2016), Conflict Transformation and Reconciliation (2015), Beyond White Guilt (2011), Unsettling the Settler State (2011), and Black Politics (2009). Sarah has led numerous research projects and was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow for 2011-14, undertaking a project that examined reconciliation in Australia, South Africa, Northern Ireland, and Guatemala. Her current ARC project is exploring intersections in Indigenous and settler governance regimes.
The presenters have granted permission for this recording to be used for personal viewing and educational purposes.