Indigenous Science Network Bulletin
June 2005
(Volume 8, Number 3)
ISSN  1449-2091

Editor: Michael Michie

Tiwi designs by Jennifer Coombs, Munupi Arts & Crafts Association, Pirlangimpi, Melville Island, NT






Demise of the Indigenous Knowledge Unit at Nuffic 

I’m sorry to inform you that the IK Unit at Nuffic no longer exists. The last issue of Indigenous Knowledge WorldWide (our newsletter) was published in August 2004. IIRR is now managing the IK pages. You can now access the IK pages: Our activities are taken over by 3 partners in the South. (Information provided by Ilse van Cooten)

Southeast Asia:
The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR),
Headquarters, Y .C James Yen Center,
Cavite 4118,
Tel/Fax: +63 46 414 2417, +63 2 886 4385,
Email: i nformation@iir
Contact: Dr. Scott Killough, Director, e-mail: Scot
Web: <> .

Eastern Africa:
The Kenyan Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (KENRIK)
PO Box 40658-00100,
Nairobi, Kenya.
Contact: Dr. Samuel Mwangi, e-mail: <

Andean region:
The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR)
Regional Center for Latin America,
Hernando de la Cruz,
N31-136 y Mariana de Jesus,
Apartado Postal 17-08-8494,
Quito, Ecuador.
Telephone/ Fax: +593-2 2554 085,
E-mail: Latin.America@iirr .org
Contact: Mr. Rusty Biñas, Director, e-mail: Rust

and the Universidad Intercultural de las Nacionalidades y Pueblos Indígenas (UINPI),
Calle Montúfar 630 entre Espejo y Chile,
Quito – Ecuador.
Telephone +59-2-285 053.
E-mail: <> .
Web: <


Ngadjuri: Aboriginal people of the Mid North Region of South Australia

Go to and 'What's new' and scroll down to find out about the new book "Ngadjuri: Aboriginal people of the Mid North Region of South Australia" published by SASOSE Council, an education association (in consultation with Ngadjuri people and others). It is only AU$40 for 148 pages in full colour, from SASOSE Council, PO Box 54, Prospect Hill SA 5201. (Contributed by Adele Pring)

Bright Sparklers and Indigenous astronomy

I had this note from Hugh Cairns earlier this month, about the book, Dark Sparklers, which he and Bill Harney wrote.

You may like to know that  our book's presentation of Bill Harney's night sky took major new form last week in the Planetarium of the University of Boulder, Colorado, and it is quite clear (from our experience there) that a planetarium is where - at last! - the world of people such as Bill can be properly represented on its many levels. We are hoping this presentation can be put on in Melbourne and Launceston within the year, and you may like to start moving people in the Top End to develop a planetarium (at least, I don't think you have one, do you?) not least because this new milieu can start giving a true picture of at least one Aboriginal spiritual-intellectual cosmos ... as well as the scientific world. For some years I have been hoping to take a mobile planetarium into Wardaman (and therefore other) Aboriginal communities, and I think the time to do this is getting nearer (and Bill of course is one person who could really do this). Do you already have educationalists (or others) taking mobile planetaria into the communities for scientific teaching? I know this sort of work is beginning to be done in Sydney, and a Aboriginal world and cosmoscape could, if this is being done, be added into what is already happening.

You can now visit the Dark Sparklers website, at

I also received this message:

I read with interest on your website about "Australia's only indigenous astronomy show" recently. However, I would need to point out that this claim is in error because the Adelaide Planetarium has been running shows that deal with the night skies of Aboriginal Australia since 1997. I just thought this would be of interest to you.

I have e-mailed them back apologising for the mistake. MM

Science and Development Network website (

I would like to draw your attention to a recent addition to our dossier on indigenous knowledge on the Science and Development Network website ( If you could share this information with colleagues that would be appreciated. 

Spotlight on the regulation and protection of traditional medicine ( Traditional medicine is growing in popularity, making it urgent to address topics such as a lack of international standards, concerns over the quality of the medicines and the threat that the excessive use of medicinal plants can pose to  biodiversity. This spotlight highlights key issues in traditional medicine, with two new policy briefs discussing global standards and legislation as well as the protection of indigenous medical knowledge in South Africa. The dossier includes news and opinion articles, background reading material and links to relevant sites.

 If you find this information useful please let others know about it by passing on the url. And, if you have not already done so, you might like to register to SciDev.Net ( This way you will automatically be updated with information about topics you have indicated are of interest to you. You will also receive a free weekly email with all the latest news, views and notices about science, technology and development.

Thank you for your interest in SciDev.Net. We welcome feedback and suggestions; if you would like to comment on this or any other resource please contact: (Forwarded by Liz McKinley)

Recent paper of interest

I presented a research paper in the Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices (S-STEP) Special Interest Group of AERA, entitled: Overcoming Culturally Dislocated Curricula in a Transitional Society: An Autoethnographic Journey Towards Pragmatic Wisdom. The paper was written by Bal Chandra Luitel (a mathematics teacher educator at the University of Kathmandu) and me. It is available for downloading (as a pdf doc) on my web site: (From CSSE network, submitted by Peter Taylor)


Culture Studies in Science Education

A meeting of the CSSE group will take place during the ASERA conference in Hamilton, New Zealand. Masakata Ogawa has launched the Culture Studies in Science Education Research Network. You can visit the tentative web page at

BARMAH-MILLEWA FOREST: Indigenous heritage, ecological challenge

This conference is being organized by the Royal Society of Victoria, for 18-19 June 2005. Full details of the conference, are still available on the website of the Royal Society of Victoria:

Go to the link "Barmah-Millewa Forest" for the program, and you can also download the registration form.

1st International Conference on School Effectiveness and School Improvement in China

The 1st International Conference on School Effectiveness and School Improvement in China will be held at the Shenyang Normal University, Shenyang, China from 23 to 25 September 2005.  The Conference is hosted by the Shenyang Normal University and assisted by Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association.  The conference aims to enhance the research and practice of educational effectiveness and school improvement in China.

The theme of the conference is “The Theories and Practice of School Effectiveness and School Improvement in the New Century”.  Interested colleagues are invited to attend this conference and to submit papers which will be selected for the publication in the journal of Educational Administration Research or in the conference proceedings with the ISBN number in the year 2006.

The main topics of the conference are:

1.   Educational effectiveness and school improvement associated with the national level: educational system, educational policy and law, educational planning, educational assessment, National Inspection, national curriculum, public school choice, educational equality and compulsory education, etc. ;
2.   Educational effectiveness and education improvement associated with the local level: local educational system, local educational reforms and programs, improvement and development programs for failing schools, teacher in-service training, and local educational network;
3.   Effectiveness and improvement at the school level: school-based management, school evaluation, school curriculum, leadership, etc. ;
4.   Effectiveness at the classroom level: classroom management, effective teaching, educational technology, etc. ;

5.   Effectiveness at the student level: leaning attitude of the students, learning motivation, learning methods, peer influence and learning after school, etc;
6.   Others.

Colleagues who would like to submit papers should send the abstract (less than 200 words in English) to the Conference Secretariat before June 1, 2005. The whole paper should be sent to Conference Secretariat before August 1, 2005.

For further enquiries, please contact the Conference Secretariat:

Mr. Gang Wang
The Research Institute of Educational Economics and Administration,
Shenyang Normal University
No.253, North Huanghe Street, Shenyang, China, 110034
Phone: +86-248657 4440
Fax: +86-248657 6822

International Conference on Maths and Science Education: Bridging the Theory - Practice Gap in Science & Mathematics Education: The Challenge to Change

Liz McKinley forwarded the following information, however abstracts are due on 1 June 2005.

SEAMEO RECSAM will be organising an international conference on Maths and Science Education from 6 - 8 December 2005. Please log on to for further details. Come join us in Penang (Malaysia) for the conference.

Dr Azian Abdullah

(SEAMEO is the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization, RECSAM is the Regional Centre for Education in Science and Mathematics. You can visit their website at

Turning Point - "Taka huri haere mai te wa"

The NZ Association of Environmental Education is calling for abstracts for their biennial conference - Turning Point - "Taka huri haere mai te wa" which will be held in Auckland 22-25 January 2006.

The conference theme embodies the worldview of the evolution of time where Maori move into the future, while looking back and being guided by the wairua.  As environmental educators we need to share the experience of the past in order to create a new era of sustainability.

At the conference we will explore environmental education experiences that create real change for individuals, organisations, communities and society. There will be a strong focus on cultural diversity.  We will also explore the turning points for the future of education for sustainability.

For more information on the conference and to down load the call for abstracts submission form visit  <> Call for abstracts close on 31st May.  Don't miss out in sharing your experiences and ideas.


This is mostly a summary of upcoming conferences. More details may have been given above or in previous bulletins. A web-based contact is usually included.

June 2005

1- 3 June 2005: What is Aboriginal research, and: What does it mean to Aboriginal communities? 2005 Aboriginal Education Research Forum. Victoria Inn, Winnipeg MB, Canada. (April05)

16-17 June 2005: Indigenous Issues in Australian Universities: Teaching, Research, Support. The Weemala Indigenous Unit, ACU National and The International Australian Studies Association (InASA). Brisbane campus, ACU National. For information, contact Weemala: 07 3623 7195 (April05)

18-19 June 2005: BARMAH-MILLEWA FOREST: Indigenous heritage, ecological challenge.  Royal Society of Victoria, Melbourne. (June05)

22-25 June 2005: Indigenous Knowledges: Reconciling Academic Priorities with Indigenous Realities Conference, Wellington NZ. (April05)

July 2005

4-7 July: CONASTA 54 - Australian Science Teachers Association, Melbourne, Vic. 'Science Education Unplugged'. Visit

6-9 July: Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA), 36th Annual Conference, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand ( (April05)

15-18 July:  International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Group, the University of Leeds, UK.

August 2005

9 August: International Day of the World's Indigenous People

13- 21 August: Australian National Science Week 2005. School theme - Energy: Future Challenges

September 2005

23 to 25 September 2005: 1st International Conference on School Effectiveness and School Improvement in China, Shenyang Normal University, Shenyang, China (June05)

November 2005 

27 November - 1 December: World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education, Aotearoa New Zealand

December 2005

6-8 December 2005: International conference on Maths and Science Education, SEAMEO RECSAM, Penang (Malaysia). (June 05)

January 2006

22-25 January 2006: NZ Association of Environmental Education biennial conference - Turning Point - "Taka huri haere mai te wa" which will be held in Auckland. (June05)

April 2006

3-6 April: National Association for Research in Science Teaching annual meeting, San Francisco, (

8-12 April: American Educational Research Association Conference, San Francisco, (

July 2007

Combined ICASE, CONASTA and perhaps ASERA conference in Perth

Last updated: 1 June 2005