Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Data Archive

Indigenous Archives and Human Rights workshop


Archival issues relating to Indigenous people and Human Rights were the subject of a recent workshop held in Melbourne as part of the 2010 Australian Society of Archivists (ASA) Conference.

The Interdisciplinary workshop held at the Rydges Hotel on 12 October 2010 focussed on building an understanding of the archival and recordkeeping implications of Australian and international human rights for Indigenous Australians.

Prominent Indigenous Solicitor Terri Janke presented the keynote paper on Indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights (ICIP).

International speakers who contributed to the day included Professor Braford Morse and Allison Krebbs. Professor Morse shared his experiences of working with Canadian First Nation and Maori communities and legal/historical frameworks relating to sovereignty and human rights. While Allison, a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, discussed Native American knowledge rights, recent initiatives in the archives, library and museum fields, and the role of the Native American Protocols.

Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, led the second workshop session speaking to the workshop on the human rights agenda in Australia, related international instruments, and Indigenous cultural rights. The National Archives of Australia (NAA) were represented by Phyllis Williams, Director of the Northern Territory (NT) Office. Phyllis spoke of the recent consultations between the NT NAA office and a NT Aboriginal community about distributed management of archival material that relates to their community.

The final paper presented at the workshop came from Lyndon Ormond-Parker, PhD Candidate in the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation Centre for Health and Society at the University of Melbourne, and Fellow at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). Lyndon spoke on the role that digital and data archives currently play in enabling Indigenous communities to recover their knowledge and records from institutional collections.

The workshop session concluded with a panel discussion on human rights archival agenda for the future, and raised issues relating to how the archival profession and institutions should respond to the issues raised in the workshop.

Presentations are available for access through Monash University, along with background information on the Monash University, Trust and Technology Position Statement on Human Rights, Indigenous Communities in Australia and the Archives, developed by Livia Iacovino, Eric Ketelaar and Sue McKemmish on behalf of Australian Research Council Linkage project, Trust and Technology: building an archival system for Indigenous oral memory, a partnership between Caulfield School of Information Technology, Monash University, Centre for Australian Indigenous Studies, Monash University, the Public Record Office of Victoria, the Koorie Heritage Trust Inc., the Victorian Koorie Records Taskforce, and the Australian Society of Archivists Indigenous Issues Special Interest Group. 


ATSIDA HR Workshop

 Sharon Huebner, Shannon Faulkhead & Kirsten Thorpe