School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne
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This webinar is the second in the Australian Centre’s 2023 Critical Public Conversations series: Country, Climate, Colonialism.
In settler colonial states like Australia, the doctrine of discovery that dispossessed Indigenous Peoples of their lands also took their waters. Although land rights have been the subject of sustained law and policy focus, the original water theft of colonisation and the erroneous assumption of aqua nullius remains almost entirely unacknowledged and largely unaddressed, undermining the legitimacy of water law and governance. This legitimacy problem is intertwined with a more widespread failure of water law: to deliver ecologically sustainable water management. This presentation will highlight the work of Indigenous Peoples in the settler state of Victoria to develop new pathways to water justice, and show how their leadership has influenced the policy commitments of the settler state government in their 2022 policy document ‘Water is Life’.
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Join artists Andy Butler, Lisa Hilli and James Nguyen, for a walkthrough of our current exhibition, Collective Unease.
Collective Unease is a bold exhibition of three new commissions inspired by the University of Melbourne’s students, archives and collections. The three works by each artists move beyond colonial narratives to a complex, multi-voiced understanding of Australia inflected by experiences of migration and diaspora. In the face of difficult histories and an uncertain future, these works emphasise themes of self-representation, empowerment and optimism.
Co-curated by Samantha Comte and Jacqueline Doughty, the exhibition forms part of the University of Melbourne’s Ian Potter Museum of Art’s artistic program, and is presented inside the Old Quad, at the centre of the University’s Parkville campus.