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8-9 April 2008

Charles Darwin University, Darwin


Chris Batt
Chris Batt OBE is currently a consultant, has over 20 years experience in cultural heritage and learning policy development, within local authorities, nationally at MLA and internationally as an adviser to the European Commission.
Chris recently retired at the end of 2007 as the Chief Executive of The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), United Kingdom. MLA is the UK Government's development agency for the sector and is responsible for leading strategic advice on the delivery of services to users, opening up access to the collections held in museums, libraries and archives.
Previously Chris advised on the use of information and communication technologies in museums, archives and libraries, and led the Government's People's Network programme. His task was to connect all 4,300 public libraries to the Information Superhighway by the end of 2002, giving universal public access to the rich information and learning resources that are now being created in Cyberspace. It was a project completed on time and in budget.
Until August 1999 Chris was Director of Leisure Services for the London Borough of Croydon where he had worked for over 20 years. Closely involved in the development of Croydon Clocktower, the award winning cultural centre, his responsibilities as Director of Leisure Services included libraries, museums and heritage, the arts, sport and recreation, parks and open spaces, and tourism.
Chris has a keen interest in the development of information technology for public use having been involved with the development of computer systems to support cultural heritage and learning since the mid-seventies. He continues to lecture in many countries around the world and has written many books and papers.
Terehia Biddle
Terehia Biddle descends from Tuhoe the ancestor, and is affilitated to the same tribal group. Raised by her parents in the valley of Ruatoki, Terehia was immersed in the language and culture of her people. Her mentors were her parents, elders, and extended family members. In her formative years she attended a small country school, with a predominantly Maori population and by the age of ten, was sent seventeen kilometres away to attend a 'town' school. It was there, where she learned about a culture different from her own.

Over the years and through personal experience, Terehia has come to understand these differences and values, the knowledge she has gained from these experiences. Terehia believes that the first steps to engaging in a meaningful way with Maori is to first understand the importance Maori place on identity, culture and language. Notwithstanding academic qualifications, she believes Maori are more inclined to measure an institution's 'credibility' to talk on and about Maori matters using these cultural indicators. Maori 'Credibility' assessment results based on these cultural indicators, determines whether the next step to engage further with Maori will occur.

Terehia is the Kaihautu, Group Manager for Services to Maori and Communities and has been with Archives New Zealand for three years. Prior to that she has worked in the Tertiary and NGO sectors.
Donna Briggs
Yaama, my name is Donna Briggs. I am a Kamilaroi woman from Moree in Northern NSW, and have been working for the Dhiiyaan Indigenous Unit and the Northern Regional Library for the past five years promoting Indigenous Services. I have implemented a number of culturally appropriate activities and services to meet the needs of the Aboriginal community in which we exist to serve and look forward to being involved in IT Development over the next 12 months to improve access to information of Aboriginal content. Currently studying in my 5th year part-time for a Bachelor of Arts (Library and Information Science) through Charles Sturt University.
Noeline Briggs-Smith
Yaama, my name is Noeline Briggs-Smith. I have been the Aboriginal Researcher for the Dhiiyaan Indigenous Centre for over 13 years, helping hundreds of people trace their family trees. I completed an Advanced Diploma through the Faculty of the Arts at the University of New England where I gained a high distinction in Aboriginal education. I am a qualified historian, and have published 3 books for the Moree Mob Series: Winanga-Li (vol I), Burrul Wallaay (vol 2) and GoYouRangs (vol 3). I also tutor Aboriginal university students, conduct cultural awareness training, and teach TAFE and dance. I have been invited to speak at several conferences and won several community awards including Moree’s 2004 Citizen of the Year. I am extremely passionate about Aboriginal family history and believe that aboriginal history enhances local history which benefits the history of our nation. My dream is to see other libraries adopt the practices we have at Dhiiyaan.

“Creating an Indigenous Archive @ Your Local Library.” – A Service Beyond Books.

In this presentation, Noeline Briggs-Smith and Donna Briggs would like to share Dhiiyaan’s story, of why and how an Indigenous Archive Centre was successfully established within the structure of the Northern Regional Library.

In 1995 Dhiiyaan Indigenous Centre (formerly known as The Indigenous Unit) became established as the first family history and photograph unit of its kind; which encouraged Aboriginal participation within a library service. This was no easy task for barriers had to broken because of the past colour bar and the common perception by ATSI peoples that library management of information and the provision of services have not been responsive to their needs.

Dhiiyaan has affirmed a commitment to Indigenous Library services by taking a leadership role in the promotion of a library service for Indigenous people, and services have moved beyond that of books.
Dhiiyaan has since emerged into a Keeping Place within a Regional Library structure which aims to increase the understanding and celebrate the diversity of Aboriginal history, culture and knowledge among the wider community through a range of public programs and activities including; cultural awareness, family history sessions, Gamilaraay language programs, literacy programs, etc.
Today, Aboriginal people of Australia face one of the largest family history jigsaw puzzles in locating deceased and living kin because of the subsequent moves from one reserve to another, and the taking of the people from their tribal areas. Dhiiyaan continues to document Kamilaroi history and family history to assists those Aboriginal people complete the puzzle.

Denise Chapman
Denise began work at the State Library of South Australia in 2003, in the role of Collection Specialist for Indigenous Collections. Her work focuses on the management of collections with Indigenous content, including photography, manuscripts, AV and artworks. The role includes administering access, policy development, setting digitisation priorities, research enquiries, and coordinating events and tours.

During 2007 she has been involved in processing a major archival collection which has increased knowledge of its content and will assist with future access.

Denise is an active campaigner for the promotion of respectful handling of Indigenous intellectual and cultural property in the general library community. Her special interest area is Aboriginal Family History research and in training other library staff to build skills in this important area.

Before joining the State Library of SA, Denise worked in the public library environment for two years, and had worked in commerce prior to studying Librarianship.

She is a fanatical organic gardener, water conservation campaigner and cricket tragic.

Lenore Dembski
Lenore Dembski is from Darwin and is Kungarakan on her Mother’s side and Larrakia and Iwatja on her Father’s side. Lenore has extensive experience in the public, private and community sectors. From 1990 to 97 Lenore was the Director of the NT Aboriginal Development Unit and led a team responsible for Aboriginal employment, education, training and community development across all industries.

Some Aboriginal organizations where Lenore has been on the governing board are: North Australian Legal Aid Service, Danilla Dilba Medical Service and the Kungarakan Education and Culture Association. She has also been on the board of the Northern Territory Employment and Training Authority, the ATSI Arts Board of the Australia Council and a number of Indigenous educational and training advisory committees. Lenore was also the Chairperson of the Centre for Teaching and Learning in Diverse Educational Contexts at the Northern Territory University.

Lenore is a qualified Adult Educator and has designed, developed and conducted a number of training courses in areas such as computer awareness, office technology, public speaking, strategic planning, financial management, facilitation skills, policy development, understanding legislation and developing training needs analysis. She has also designed and conducted training in Indigenous small business development and photographic and catwalk modelling and producing events such as fashion parades, conferences and workshops.

Since January 2008, Lenore has been employed by the Department of Employment, Education and Training as the Manager Records and Information Management Unit.

Simon Flagg
Simon Flagg is a descendant of the Wemba Wemba people from the Swan Hill region in Victoria. In February 2007 Simon was seconded to Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) as the Acting Manager of the Koorie Records Unit (KRU). In this role he manages the implementation of the wilam naling report recommendations to enhance access to Aboriginal records. Simon is also the newsletter editor for the Indigenous Issues Special Interest group within the Australia Society of Archivists.

Simon commenced employment with the National Archives of Australia (NAA) in 2002 as an indexer on the Bringing Them Home (BTH) Name Index Project. In 2004 he took up the joint position of Koorie Reference Officer for NAA and PROV. Through this position Simon has promoted both NAA and PROV Aboriginal collections, with the main focus on the former Aboriginal Protection and Welfare Board Victoria.

Dr Linda Ford
Linda is a Senior Lecturer and researcher in the Faculty of Law, Business and Arts and teachers in the School of Australian Indigenous Knowledge Systems. Linda’s 22 years teaching experience includes early childhood, primary, post-primary, VET and Higher Education: undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Linda enjoys teaching and research in areas of pedagogy, Indigenous knowledges, land management, Indigenous education and racism.

Lecturers, librarians & learners: connections, relationships & knowledge- joining the dots.

In Semester 2, 2007 Linda Ford, CDU Senior Lecturer in the School of Australian Indigenous Knowledge Systems (SAIKS), planned an Indigenous knowledge field trip to Lee Point Reserve for students studying her “Indigenous Education” unit. The Indigenous Knowledge learning experience aimed to provide the students with culturally appropriate learning experiences and to research their own materials and resources in order to develop a unit of work.

Linda sought the support of CDU Liaison Librarians Kaye Henderson, and Jessie Mahjouri, to provide a library session on ‘Information Literacy’. The session provided a tour of the library collection and a demonstration of where the students could obtain relevant information to complete their assignment. The student feedback about this learning experience was very good. Linda, Jessie and Kaye discussed the possibilities to continue to work together to formalise the embedding of information literacy skills into the unit for 2008, renamed as “Teaching indigenous learners”.

The teaching and assessment of the 2008 unit includes a 2 hour lecture and 2 tutorials designated to Jessie and Kaye. The assignment task will evaluate how well students engage with the appropriate digital resources subscribed to by CDU, and supplemented by local resources such as the ‘My story’ database, Northern Territory Library website, and the NT Archives. Student access to peer reviewed academic writings and curriculum models will allow them to become aware of the community knowledge networks and to draw on them as resources. This program aims to enable students to select and assess the tools, the models and the knowledge which will best engage Indigenous learners.

Atarino Helieisar
Mr. Atarino Helieisar’s exposure to libraries started back in 1999 when he was hired to work at the College of Micronesia-FSM Learning Resources Center as a library assistant, working in particular with the U.S. and U.N. documents Depositories. In the year 2000 and 2001, he received the Student Choice Award voted by the students at the College of Micronesia-FSM National Campus for two consecutive years. The awards were given to recognize his full support, assistance, and encouragement to students during each school year. In 2004, he was promoted to coordinate both Depositories until January 2007. Within the 7 years of services with the College library, Mr. Helieisar has been an active member of many committees at the college such as the personnel committee and the student services committee and library organizations including the Pacific Islands Association of Libraries and Archives (PIALA) which he is currently the secretary. He also attended many conferences and workshops such as Pacific Educational Conference (PEC), Federal Depository Seminar in Washington D.C., Pacific Libraries Training Institute (PLTI) in Hawaii and Pacific Islands Association of Libraries and Archives (PIALA) within the Micronesian region where he presented on various library topics and participated in discussions during the conferences and then shared those topics learned among his colleagues.

In January 2007, Mr. Helieisar was hired at the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Supreme Court Law Library to be the Chief Law Librarian in charge of the four FSM Supreme Court Law Libraries within the four FSM States (Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae). As the current PIALA secretary, and a PIALA Board Member representing the state of Pohnpei, he represented PIALA in the 10th InterLending and Document Supply Conference (ILDS 2007), in October 2007 at the National Library in Singapore. During the conference, Mr. Helieisar presented a short paper titled “Resource Sharing Developments in Micronesia”.

In November 2007 PIALA Conference, Mr. Helieisar was selected by the PIALA Board to replace Mrs. Arlene Cohen as the new PIALA representative to IFLA.

Kaye Henderson
Kaye has worked at CDU in a part-time capacity for 7 years, since April 2006 Kaye has been part of the Liaison and Information literacy team with responsibilities for the School of Trades, School of Australian Indigenous Knowledge Systems (SAIKS), the Indigenous Academic Support Unit and the Special Collection. Kaye also works in the casual pool at the Northern Territory Library, in Parliament House. Prior to moving to Darwin in February 1998 Kaye spent 14 years working in various libraries in Canberra including : Australian Institute of Sport, University of Canberra, National Capital Planning Authority, Australian War Memorial and the Commonwealth Department of the Environment. Kaye has a keen interest with linking library clients with information.
Shayla Kora
Born to parents who are both of Maori decent, Shayla has tribal affiliations to Ngati Kahungunu, Te Arawa, Ngai Tahu and Te Ati Haunui A Paparangi. Shayla was born in Auckland and raised in Napier, where she experienced the benefits of both mainstream and Maori-focused educational institutions. Her immersion in her Maoritanga (essence of being Maori) whilst at St Joseph's Maori Girls' College, and her appreciation for New Zealand as a multi-cultural society, drives her passion for developing and advancing language, traditions and ideologies that reflect the unique nature of Maoridom within the community.

Shayla not only incorporates her passion for Maoritanga through her work, utilising her knowledge and respect for Maori culture and language wherever possible, but it also extends to her personal life where she enjoys Kapa Haka and Maori performing arts. She also enjoys time with whanau, sport and travelling.

Shayla is the Community and National Register of Archives and Manuscripts the Responsiveness Administrator at Archives New Zealand. Shayla has extensive experience working with and for the community wherein she feels intrinsically responsible for perpetuating Maori history, customs and values - particularly through her work with diverse communities and professional groups to increase their access to archives.

Jessie Mahjouri
Jessie worked as a Teacher Librarian for 25 years in Tasmania, including 5 years spent managing a Curriculum Services Library, before coming to Darwin in 2005 and joining the Liaison Librarian team at CDU Library. She loves working with the students and staff of the School of Education, using her years of experience working in schools and school libraries to inform her current role.
Allen Marett

Professor Allan Marett’s fields of research are Australian Aboriginal music and Sino-Japanese music history. He is the author of Song, Dreamings and Ghosts: the wangga of North Australia, which won the 2006 Stanner Award. Professor Marett is closely involved in the digital preservation of endangered music, working with local community members to establish and maintain sound archives in two Aboriginal communities, Belyuen and Wadeye. His current research is focused primarily on the development of the National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia, which aims to record, document and archive Aboriginal traditions of song and dance, and to make them available in local community-based digital archives and as part of the national heritage. He is currently joint Vice-President of the International Council for Traditional Music and is a past President of the Musicological Society of Australia.

The National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance In Australia: using digital resources to support endangered traditions.

This paper outlines the history, present activities and future plans of the National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia, a project that aims to record, document and archive the major traditions of Indigenous music and dance in Australia and to make them available in local Indigenous communities in culturally appropriate ways. Particular attention will be focused on a new proposal to train local Indigenous people to record and document their own traditions and the development of new digital infrastructure to support the preservation and ongoing viability of these highly endangered traditions

Judy Martin
I was born in Peakhill, Central West New South Wales, Wiradjuri Country where many of my family members still live. I grew up in Queanbeyan New South Wales.

I have done a lot of health and community work for the Canberra region including working with women and children experiencing crisis eg, homelessness, domestic violence, children with high behavioural problems, mental health issues, and assisting people with disabilities. I also have research and administration experience whilst working with other government departments and have a certificate 4 in Community advocacy.

I’m honoured to work for the Family History Unit as I am very passionate about contributing and being part of the healing process for Indigenous Australians. For me, it is both rewarding and challenging in helping people discover who they are and where they come from.

My aim in life is to pass my knowledge and love of Aboriginal culture to my children and younger generations.

Martin Nakata
Professor Martin Nakata is Director of Indigenous Academic Unit at Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, and Chair of Australian Indigenous Education at the University of Technology, Sydney. He is the first Torres Strait Islander to graduate with PhD from an Australian University. His previous work and academic interests in Indigenous education issues and his research interest in Indigenous knowledge areas span 23 years. He has presented many plenary and keynote addresses at national as well as international conference in 5 different countries. His work is widely published in anthologies, academic journals, edited books and national newspapers. His book Disciplining the Savages: Savaging the Disciplines was published in 2007.
Suzy Russell
After trying a series of careers and courses Suzy found her ‘true calling’ when she completed a Graduate Diploma in Information Studies in 2000. Joining the State Library of South Australia in 2003, as part of the Collection Specialist team she was given the responsibility of working with the Library’s Indigenous collections as well as the prestigious Bradman Collection.

During the past five years she has worked with Denise Chapman to achieve a balance between increased access to the State Library’s Indigenous collections and continued respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander protocols. Recently she has been given the opportunity to work in the area of cataloguing, gaining an appreciation of the importance of good bibliographic data which she hopes will further enhance access to the State Library’s Indigenous holdings in years to come.

Suzy feels very lucky to be able to practise her profession in this important field.

In her spare time she is involved in community radio, is a cricket lover and hopes to one day graduate from her level 1 yoga class.

Rebecca Stubbs
I am of Weilwan and Bidjara descent and my people are from Warren in Central West NSW and also from Charleville, QLD.

I joined AIATSIS in 2000 as a Library Assistant and have been in the AIATSIS Family History Unit since July 2002.

Working in the Family History Unit, I feel privileged to be able to make a real, meaningful difference to my people. My own family has been touched by the past removal policies and I am pleased to be able to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to rediscover who they are and where they are from.

For further information, contact:

Charles Darwin University


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Last updated on: July 10, 2012