Indigenous communities, partnerships and conservation research

Local Aboriginal community archives: The use of information technology and the National Broadband Network in disaster preparedness and recovery (2012-15)

Lyndon Ormond-Parker, Professor Marcia Langton, Professor Robyn Sloggett.

This project redefines the way significant and at-risk audiovisual archival material in Aboriginal communities is preserved, protected and made accessible for future generations. In partnership with three Aboriginal organisations in remote Australia this project develops a risk-management framework that deals with the complex set of issues that surround the translation of intangible culture, which is recorded in audiovisual format, into contemporary formats to enable it to be part of content deliverable via new initiatives such as cloud technology and via the National Broadband Network.

Understanding and preserving Aboriginal Catholic church art in northern Australia (2012-15)

Professor Robyn Sloggett, Professor Marcia Langton, Dr Jacky Healy.

Industry partners: Thamarrurr Incorporated, Warlayirti Artists Aboriginal Corporation

This project examines the historical and social significance of Aboriginal art produced in Catholic churches during the Christian mission era in northern Australia, using two sets of important works produced during the contact phase, banners at Balgo (WA) in 1981 and panels at Wadeye (NT) in 1957/8. The project determines ways to assess, and develop methodologies for best research of, and care for this art. These rare objects and their history, as an important aspect of Australian cultural, social and political history, are in need of urgent study, documentation and preservation.

Assessing and building social investment opportunities that preserve Indigenous culture (2013-2014)

University of Melbourne Interdisciplinary Seed Grant

Brad Potter, Shaun Cannon, Prakash Singh, Professor Robyn Sloggett, Jodi York.

This research examines how the crucial resource that is corporate social investment in its various forms can be best utilized to support Aboriginal art centres and thus the autonomy, health, education and employment outcomes in under-resourced Australian communities. The project will enhance our understanding of the ways in which different models of corporate social investment can produce high-impact outcomes in this setting such as through: building capacity through human resource investment (eg internships, workshops/training, mentoring, staff working opportunities on community); philanthropic funds to support particular aspects of the art centre business; and in-kind support through free services or advice.

WADEYE IPTV: Delivering significant and at risk audiovisual archives to remote Aboriginal communities via IPTV and the NBN (2013-2014)

IBES Project Seed Funding

Lyndon Ormond-Parker, Sharon Huebner, Marcia Langton, Professor Robyn Sloggett, Rachel Nordlinger, Ken Clarke, Julien Ridoux Kanamkek-Yile Ngala Museum, Wadeye NT Thamarrurr Development Corporation, Wadeye, NT.

The project uses IPTV and the National Broadband Network in the preservation and access of audiovisual materials at Wadeye. In partnership with Kanamkek-Yile Ngala Museum at Wadeye and the Thamarrurr Development Corporation, Wadeye, NT this research project trials how culturally significant and endangered audiovisual archival material might be most effectively and appropriately preserved and made accessible for future generations. The Wadeye museum currently holds significant collections of audiovisual recordings of ceremonies, songs and dances, languages and local ecological knowledge covering at least six different language/ tribal groups, many of which are now highly endangered much of this material irreplaceable. This pilot project will leverage off an existing in-lab proof of concept, ‘BeeSmart IPTV’ to stream content to a smart-phone/PC/TV but which will also demonstrate automated replication and updating of “remote” video servers such as at Wadeye from a centralised, secure archive server based at IBES. The project intends to trial the use of IPTV at Wadeye museum including the IPTV set-top box and stream IPTV locally via WiFi. IPTV is seen as an excellent technology fit as it can provide very granular, controlled access to content by separate cultural groups, and provides metadata to allow easy searching of the video archive by users, which also makes it a valuable resource for specialists such as linguists.

Cultural Conservation Channel (2013-2014)

Helen McPherson Smith Trust Impact Grant

Professor Robyn Sloggett, Robert Lane

The Cultural Conservation Channel shares stories to interconnect our experiences and memories to heritage collections. It provides accessible, informative, and practical information about the conservation of cultural material to regional and remote communities across Victoria. The dissemination of information drives the projects cultural activity, educational function and conservation practice. We will build exhibition platforms that can manage the conservation needs of various art forms to enhance the cultural inheritance of future generations. The Channel will be carried out in collaboration with Victorian partners to create and conserve diverse cultural practice.