Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Data Archive

Fieldwork in the 1950s - A conversation with Anthropologist Dr Ruth Latakefu (Fink)

 ATSIDA meets with Dr Ruth Latukefu (Fink) and Mr Mervyn Bishop

ATSIDA had the opportunity to meet with Dr Ruth Latukefu (Fink) and Mr Mervyn Bishop in June 2010. Mervyn Bishop, Indigenous Photographer, arranged the visit with Dr Latukefu after meeting the ATSIDA Reference group who had been involved in discussions about the importance of research material being returned to the community to which it relates. Dr Latukefu had undertaken research in 1954 while employed as an Anthropologist, under the supervision of Professor Elkin at the University of Sydney, in Mervyn’s home town of Brewarrina New South Wales (NSW).

ATSIDA took the opportunity to ask Dr Latukefu about her experiences of working as an Anthropologist and the subsequent hand over of her images from field research undertaken in the mid  1950’s in Western Australia. Dr Latukefu deposited a box of colour slides with  the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) who were able to assist in preserving the slides and transferring them to a digital format.  More information on Dr Latukefu’s collection can be found by searching the MURA Catalogue on the AIATSIS Web site.