Obligations Group (OG) at the University of Melbourne
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Indigenous knowledges, prosperity, and productivity
Orator: Professor Wiremu Doherty
The Dungala Kaiela Oration is co-hosted annually by the Kaiela Institute and the University of Melbourne. This major event challenges and inspires the creation of a shared cultural identity and the building of an inclusive vision of nationhood and prosperity of the Yorta Yorta and other First Nations peoples.
The Oration talks to the power of opportunity and collaboration. It shines a light on the ‘Nanyak’, the invincible spirit of the Yorta Yorta and other First Nations peoples in promoting a path for prosperity and productivity within an inclusive respectful society.
In this 14th year of the Dungala Kaiela Oration, we are delighted and honoured to have esteemed international educator Professor Wiremu Doherty, Chief Executive at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in Aotearoa/New Zealand speak to us on the importance of Indigenous knowledges, prosperity and productivity.
Indigenous knowledge is a leading edge to building and enhancing an intergenerational economy. Within the New Zealand tertiary education context, the Wānanga (universities) have been operating for four decades, building on from the early language nests – kohanga reo from the 70s, and the total immersion schooling that followed.
Having a pathway for students to complete their formal schooling and tertiary provision immersed entirely in Māori for 40 years is having a positive impact on workforce development in New Zealand. No longer is the notion of educational excellence dialectically opposed to Indigenous excellence.
Professor Doherty believes that, generally speaking, gaining a tertiary qualification is seen as a public good, improving employability, adding to the GDP of the greater economy, and promoting active citizenship. With 40 years of immersion schooling through to the tertiary level, there is widespread recognition in New Zealand of the importance of a Māori (Indigenous) public good, one that speaks to the notion of cultural citizenship.
In his oration, Professor Doherty will also explore the impact on the environment unfolding through unusual weather pattens, and the emergence of people wanting to understand where product is produced and by whom. He will highlight the relationship with the environment, and the importance of who and how they have occupied their respective geographic spaces as cornerstones to Indigenous peoples and communities. He will show how, within wānanga, students are (re)activated about their identity and connection to their lands through whakapapa (genealogical links over the generations) and kaitiakitanga (a character of duty and responsibility to care for the lands and the nation).
Notions of provenance within New Zealand and Australia quickly connect us as Indigenous communities. It is now of national importance that the histories and knowledge systems of the two countries are understood and accepted as key contributing factors to building citizenship.
The Kaiela Institute was established in 2011 to promote a collaborative vision and aspiration for a positive future for the Aboriginal community in the Goulburn Valley. The Institute provides a place and a process to encourage and support local Aboriginal leaders and institutions to take a strategic approach to building this positive future for the whole community. Working in partnership with Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations across four key areas – aspiration, enablement, responsibility and opportunity – the Kaiela Institute delivers on education, employment, health, social inclusion, cultural expression and cultural affirmation to create an environment that will promote collaborative visioning and aspiration for a positive future for our community.
Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow Lecture
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed flaws in the legal and institutional frameworks for preventing and responding to the spread of diseases. COVID-19 has tested many fields of international law and policy from health, human rights and trade, to transport and financial stability. The COVID-19 disruption has generated discussions about the need for stronger legal tools for pandemic prevention and containment, including through the World Health Organization (WHO). It has led us to rethink how life-saving medical interventions including vaccines are developed, manufactured and allocated. The pandemic’s impact has demonstrated the need to develop global mechanisms to guarantee financing for critical public health and medical interventions.
This lecture provides a unique opportunity to hear from one of the world’s leading global health law experts, Gian Luca Burci, on the crucial issues that must be addressed at the international level.
Professor Sharon Lewin (Director, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity) and Professor Alison Duxbury (Deputy Dean, Melbourne Law School) will act as discussants.
This lecture is co-hosted with the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health.
About the Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellowship
The Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellowship Program enables overseas scholars of international distinction to make an extended visit to the University and contribute to the University’s academic, intellectual and cultural life. The Fellowships are awarded annually, following an application and selection process that begins with nominations from University of Melbourne Faculties.
The Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellowship Program arose from a recommendation by the Russell and Mab Grimwade Miegunyah Fund Committee - the body responsible for the management of the Russell Grimwade bequest.
Sir Russell Grimwade was an industrial chemist by training and a man of wide-ranging interests, including forestry, native timbers and printing, and was the author of two books. He was a member of the University Council for 20 years from 1935, including a period as Deputy Chancellor.
Miegunyah (a word from an Aboriginal language, possibly Dharuk (Sydney), that includes the meaning ‘house’) was the Grimwades’ home from 1911 to 1955. Both Miegunyah and Sir Russell’s art collection were bequeathed to the University of Melbourne in his will of 1949 and presented to the University after the death of Lady Grimwade in 1972. The art collection is housed in The Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University Archives and the Baillieu Library.