Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne
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Visit our Parkville and Southbank campuses this Open Day. With an exciting program of more than 300 in-person experiences, you’ll have the opportunity to meet our community, explore labs and learning spaces, tour student accommodation and discover student life at 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.