Indigenous Science Network Bulletin
October 2003
(Volume 6, Number 5)

Editor: Michael Michie

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






Network links

I have been working to put together a links page together and it's finally starting to happened. It can be accessed from the Network home page or at

If you have some interesting links you feel should be included, please don't hesitate to let me know. MM

Garma Festival

The fifth Garma Festival was held in northeast Arnhemland during August and there were daily reports posted on the festival website. You can see them, as well as reports from previous festivals at

Publisher pictures more Indigenous dictionaries (from ABC Message Stick)
The publisher of the first picture dictionary for a central Australian Aboriginal language says it has received funding for another six books.


Burarra Gathering is an online exhibition by Questacon, the science centre in Canberra. The exhibition explores some of the traditional knowledge of the Burarra people of Arnhem Land. You are invited to join Danaja and his grandfather Wala Wala in either the wet or the dry season and to set a fish trap, spear a crab or navigate using the stars amongst other challenges you meet with your new friends.

Questacon worked very closely with the Burarra people, firstly to develop a gallery based exhibition in the Centre in Canberra and then to create the online experience. The process of consultation has ensured that the result is a genuine reflection of some aspects Burarra culture.

Students from an number of Indigenous communities across Australia have found much to identify with despite the fact that it is based solely on the experience of the Burarra people. Some students in the central desert area were heard to be altering the storyline to match it with events in their own culture.

We are currently developing plans for further online experiences based on a range of Australian Indigenous cultures with more links to science made underneath the story.

If anyone has comments on Burarra Gathering Online, or thoughts about future possibilities please contact me at The website is at The whole of Burarra Gathering can be downloaded and used offline.

Questacon's Indigenous Programs is continuing to expand its range of programs. This year the Shell Questacon Science Circus visited every school in the Torres Strait region and we also have a team travelling on the Croc Festival trail.

Indigenous Online Network Updates (ION Updates)

ION Updates are prepared by the Aboriginal Research Institute at the University of South Australia and are forwarded to e-mail members of the Indigenous Science Network regularly (about every two weeks). The following are some highlights since the August Bulletin. ION Updates also list positions vacant, particularly in universities.

Tauondi College 

Tauondi's self-description, from its web-site:  "Tauondi College is an independent organisation controlled and managed by Aboriginal people. Within our holistic philosophy we offer a range of National Training package qualifications and accredited courses as well as Adult Community Education activities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Our programs lead to further studies and opportunity for work.

"Tauondi is a proud member of the Federation of Independent Aboriginal Education Providers (FIAEP)."The site is still being built, but numerous aspects of Tauondi are accessible via the site, including information about courses, various college associated services such as the resource centre, cafe and catering service, cultural education programmes, an employment service, an arts service, and more.Contact Details: Tauondi College, 1 Lipson Street, Port Adelaide, SA, 5015; PO Box 409, Port Adelaide, SA, 5015;  Ph (08) 8240 0300;  Fax (08) 8240 0786;  Mobile 040 531 2103;  Email  URL:

Caring for country and sustainable Indigenous development A Working Paper from the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, ANU. 

The authors, Altman and Whitehead, explore how Indigenous community-based natural resource management can generate both conservation benefit and economic development opportunities. There is much to be learnt from the experience of Indigenous natural resource managers in north Australia. There are links between landcare, wildlife use and biodiversity conservation that need to be recognised, celebrated and supported. URL:

Cadigal & Wangal 

This web-site is in response to a demand by local Aboriginal people on the Marrickville Council to develop a web-site on the Indigenous history of their local peoples and area. The Council acknowledges the prior ownership of this area by the Cadigal and Wangal peoples who were dispossessed by European invasion more than two hundred years ago. The web-site covers history of Aboriginal peoples, the Cadigal and Wangal; archeaological work in the area; the native landscape and more. URL: 

Melbourne University School of Development Studies

The seventh and eighth of our Working Papers have recently been posted to the Melbourne University Private website and is available to download if you wish. 

The title of Working Paper 7 is ' Comparative and international education at the cutting edge: Teaching and researching gender and citizenship with Sri Lankan senior teacher educators '. The author is Dr Victoria Foster, of the School of Development Studies, Melbourne University Private and Adjunct Associate Professor, Division of Communication and Education, University of Canberra. The paper can be accessed at:

The title of Working Paper 8 is 'Gender and Development Dialogue - GAD and intersectionality in the region: forging the future'. The author is Jenny Riley, School of Anthropology, Geography and Environmental Studies, The University of Melbourne. The paper can be accessed at:

Canadian Literature Reviews Commissioned by the Minister's National Working Group on Education in support of their work

Glen Aikenhead wrote wanting to alert you to a set of papers from various Canadian Aboriginal researchers that may be of interest to you. They are available on PDF files at the following site:

Aboriginal research project

At the end of last year Glen Aikenhead and I compiled a list of papers which we thought reflected an indigenous approach to research. I have since put these on their own web page, at

We are interested in hearing from anybody who has other titles to add to the list. MM

Some more astronomy links

ABC Goldfields WA - The seven sisters point the way (from ABC Message Stick, 26 August 2003)
Mars is passing the closest it has been to Earth for thousands of years but what do we know about indigenous knowledge of the night skies?

(I have also set up an indigenous astronomy web page, at MM)

Nyinkka Nyunyu

I visited this recently-opened cultural centre in Tennant Creek (NT) which has exhibits by Waramungu people of their art, history and bush tucker. They also have a website at

Recent books of interest

Indigenous science/life

Bird, Deborah Rose. (2002). Country of the heart: An Indigenous Australian homeland. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press. (Looks at the homeland of the MakMak clan on the floodplains southwest of Darwin, just beyond Naiuyu - delightful photos.)

Farrelly, Eileen. (2003). Dadirri: The spring within. Darwin: Terry Knight and Associates. (Subtitled The spiritual art of the Aboriginal people from Australia's Daly River region, a community now called Naiuyu which is about 200 km southwest of Darwin.)

Hoogenraad, R., & Thornley, B. (2003). Aboriginal languages of Central Australia and the places where they are spoken. Alice Springs: Jukurrpa Books.

Lucas, Diane, & Searle, Ken. (2003). Walking with the seasons in Kakadu. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. (A children's book exploring the seasons in Kakadu National Park.)

Thomson, Zeta. (2002). A Yorta Yorta journey. Melbourne: Swinburne University of Technology, Lilydale. ("This multi-media CD-ROM showcases Dreaming Stories belonging to the Yorta Yorta people and artwork by Indigenous artist Zeta Thomson." I bought my copy at the Museum of Victoria.)

Wreck Bay Community and Renwick, C. (2000). Geebungs and snake whistles: Koori people and plants of Wreck Bay. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press. (Wreck Bay is an Aboriginal community about 200 km south of Sydney.)

Indigenous education/research

Osborne, Barry. (Ed.) (2001). Teaching, diversity & democracy. Melbourne, Vic.: Common Ground Press. (This book particularly details Barry Osborne's approach to culturally relevant pedagogy.)

Russell, Lynette. (2001). Savage imaginings: Historical and contemporary constructions of Australian aboriginalities. Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing P/L. (Looks at representations of aboriginality in museums and as a corporate identity.)

If you come across any books which may be of interest to other networkers or you would like to write a review, please feel free to submit them to the Bulletin. MM


Aboriginal Studies: Real Aspirations, Real Partnerships, Real Difference 

Aboriginal Studies Association 11th Annual Conference 2003 will provide opportunities for educators, community members, and education stakeholders from all levels to share their expertise and insights on new initiatives and strategic directions for strengthening the teaching of Aboriginal Studies to all Australians and enhancing Aboriginal students attainment of desirable educational outcomes. Papers/workshops are called for on a wide variety of topics that can help make a difference (e.g. successful teaching strategies, programs and resources; the importance of partnerships; research results; descriptions of how Aboriginal Studies at all levels of education can make a difference; and suggested strategic directions). 

Date: 20/11/2003 to 21/11/2003

Location: University of Western Sydney, Bankstown, Sydney


Contact: Presenters Requiring Further Information: Adrian Tucker - email: General Information: Lynne Cook - Ph: (02) 9772 6658; Fax: (02) 9772 6432; email: 


Communities of learning: communities of practice

The 43rd Annual National Conference of Adult Learning Australia

Guest and keynote speakers include Jack Beetson, leading Indigenous adult educator and Executive Director of  Tranby Aboriginal College

Date: 27/11/2003 to 30/11/2003

Location: University of Technology (UTS), Sydney


Contact: Enrolment for this program must be arranged through Sydney Community College, either online ( or by telephone (02 8752 7555).

Contemporary Approaches to Research in Mathematics, Science, Health and Environmental Education 8 - 9 December 2003, Deakin University, Melbourne Campus, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood 3125

The eleventh annual Contemporary Approaches to Research in Mathematics, Science, Health and Environmental Education symposium will be held on 8 - 9 December 2003 at the Melbourne Campus of Deakin University at Burwood. The closing date for expressions of interest for presentations is Friday 26 September 2003. Please phone Anusha Weerasinghe on (03) 9244 6369 or email if you would like more details or a copy of the symposium brochure.

The symposium will focus on both practical and theoretical aspects of a range of research methodologies. It follows the highly successful symposia held over the past ten years, in which methodological techniques and issues - such as activity theory, capturing complexity, probing understanding and issues in interviewing - have been discussed in a lively, informal setting. Both academic researchers and post graduate research students will gain from the symposium. The emphasis will be on the methodologies employed for conducting research.

Presentations at the symposium will be organised into four sessions designed to promote focussed discussion of methodological issues related to mathematics, science, health and environmental education. Each session will consist of a number of brief presentations, followed by an opportunity for extended discussion. In addition, there will be two keynote addresses exploring different methodological issues - the first will be given by Peter Grootenboer of University of Waikato and the second by Johanna Wyn of the University of Melbourne.

People wishing to make a brief research presentation of 10 to 15 minutes duration should complete the Expression of Interest: Presentations form and return it, together with a 100 word abstract, by Friday 26 September.


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

October 2003

1-3 October: Indigenous Researchers' Forum 2003 "Indigenous research - what's it about?"

30 October - 1 November: Interculturalism: Exploring Critical Issues, Milan, Italy, 


November 2003

13-15 November: Native Being, Being Native: Identity and Difference,  Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, Oklahoma, USA. Email:

29 November - 3 December: NZARE/AARE Conference 2003 - "Educational Research, Risks & Dilemmas", Hyatt Regency Hotel and University of Auckland, New Zealand,

December 2003

8-9 December: Contemporary approaches to research in mathematics, science, health and environmental education. Centre for Studies in Mathematics, Science and Environmental Education, Deakin University, Melbourne Campus. Phone Anusha Weerasinghe on (03) 9244 6369 or email

April 2004

1-4 April: National Association for Research in Science Teaching, 2004 Conference meets in Vancouver, Westin Bayshore Hotel,

11-14 April: Asia Education Foundation's Third Linking Latitudes: Ha Noi, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos international conference for Australian educators,

May 2004

27-29 May: Indigenous Knowledges: Transforming the academy, Pennsylvania State University. Information for submitting proposals is available on the conference Web site:

July 2004

14-17 July 2004: Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA), 35th Annual Conference, University of New England, Armidale NSW

September 2004

26-30 September 2004: CONASTA 53 - Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) National Conference, Canberra ACT. Theme: Excellence in Teaching and Science

July 2005

Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA), 36th Annual Conference, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

Sometime 2005 - World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education, Aotearoa New Zealand

A list of conferences is also maintained by the University of South Australia's Indigenous Online Network, at
ION Updates are released fortnightly and are forwarded to members of this Network. If you wish to receive these Updates directly or you know of other people who would like to receive them, please ask them to send a message to asking that they be included on the distribution lists. 
Anyone with information or resources they would like added to the site can email from the website or to the general ION email address.


Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe. ceehiro

Goes to show you don't need to know how to spell

Last updated: 1 October 2003

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