Still in My Mind

An Exploration of Practice-led Experimental Research in Progress



* Readers are informed that images of deceased persons are included in this article, which may cause unintentional distress. Images have been included where they have been part of the public domain for a significant period and with the acceptance of the community. Images of the author’s family are included with permission.

Cultural Studies Review
volume 21 number 1 March 2015
pp. 230–48
© Brenda L. Croft 2015

ISSN 1837-8692

Cultural Studies Review 2015. © 2015 Brenda L. Croft. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) License (, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.

Citation: Cultural Studies Review (CSR) 2015, 21, 4433,


I pay my sincere respects and acknowledgments to the traditional custodians of Mbantwe/Alice Springs, the Arrernte peoples. I thank you for having me on your country as a Gurindji/Malgnin/Mudpurra person on my father’s side, from the Victoria River region of Limbunya, west of Wave Hill.

As an Indigenous woman of mixed heritage I wish to convey the context of the research I am conducting through a joint PhD/Australian Research Council Discovery Indigenous Award project, undertaken as a Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute of Experimental Arts (NIEA), UNSW Art & Design.

I have been involved in the Indigenous and mainstream arts/cultural sectors for three decades as an artist, curator, lecturer and arts administrator. As an artist my work has focused on photography/photo-media and the representation of Indigenous people, particularly those living in urban regions. Drawn from my own experience as an urban-based contemporary Aboriginal woman, this is where I have lived most of my life. I have continually drawn on personal and historical archives relating to my immediate and extended family’s experiences as members of the Stolen Generations, and the impact of this policy on the descendants of those people.

My presentation references home, place, location and Country as key foundations of my practice-led research. Continually assessing the context of belonging to home, Country and family is intrinsic to how I understand the meaning of being Indigenous and human. If a person has been disconnected from these key elements, does that leave one ‘homeless’, displaced, without family?

If, like so many thousands of Aboriginal/Indigenous people who have grown up away from country—removed and dislocated from place and community, dispossessed of traditional homelands, then one has to internalise whatever concept of ‘home’ and ‘country’ is held within one’s body—as a beat, a constant refrain to keep time to, in order to keep in step, not out of time. How is this maintained if one is a foreigner to one’s mother tongue, does not have access to the lyrics or steps required for song and ceremony, is placed outside—literally and metaphorically—country, community and kinship?

For many, journeying ‘home’ is a series of painful, stumbling missteps, often out of tune with an unseen, inaudible conductor and symphony, imagining what may have been disclosed on missing pages from the archives. Missing, skipping a (heart) beat, an irregular, out of reach murmur, tripping up and over what may never be revealed. Instinctual nature taking over outside acceptable knowledge, yet all the while being out of synchronisation with every thing and one that I encounter on my journey. These amorphous, shape-shifting, illusory elements are the foundation stones for creating, making new forms of Gurindji-specific experience of belonging, place, family and home(land).

For me, through the action of going back to country—a regular recurrence since the late 1980s—I am attempting to un-do myself, un-doing kardiya (whitefella/non-Indigenous) learning then re-learning all I have been taught through a Western pedagogy, and then re-doing, re-making myself. I am doing this through the methodologies facilitated by kardiya tools, the tools of the academy, also part of my heritage. But I cannot begin to comprehend Ngumpin/Ngumpit (Gurindji—Aboriginal/(wo)man) ontology and epistemology unless actively engaged with and in my community.

My aim is that this project is not only for or about myself—a pointless vanity project providing outcomes only for the researcher. My intent is that the research and methodology will provide tools enabling other Indigenous people who have lived away from their communities’ traditional homelands and cultural practices with a means of reclaiming cultural connections on their terms. Of not having to experience shame for the cultural disconnections imposed upon them or their families through the enduring effects of colonisation.

Image 1: Gurindji/Malgin leader Vincent Lingiari, Victoria River, 1966/7 (photograph © Brian T. Manning, courtesy of the Manning family)

The title of my practice-led research project, Still in My Mind: Gurindji Experience, Location and Visuality, draws inspiration from the words of revered Gurindji elder Vincent Lingiari, profoundly reiterating a deep commitment to his Gurindji/Malgnin peoples and their homelands on Wave Hill in the Northern Territory:1

My name is Vincent Lingiari, came from Daguragu, Wattie Creek station. That means that I came down here to ask all these fella here about the land rights. What I got story from my old father or grandfather, that land belongs to me, belongs to Aboriginal men before the horses and the cattle come over on that land where I am sitting now. That is what I have been keeping on my mind and I still got it on my mind. That is all the words I can tell you.2

Gurindji refer to themselves as Victoria River people and during the pastoral encroachment from the late nineteenth century onwards, displaced communities lived on stations along the river. My father, Joe Croft, was told he was born on Victoria River Downs in the mid 1920s. Like hundreds of children of mixed heritage he was taken away, living in a series of children’s homes in Darwin, Pine Creek and Alice Springs.

However, my father’s journey diverged markedly from many of his contemporaries when he was selected to go to boarding school in Queensland in 1940. When he graduated in 1943 it was as school captain, house captain and captain of many school sports teams. Under federal government sponsorship he attended the University of Queensland for approximately three years, possibly the first Indigenous person to attend university.

At the same time his peers from the children’s homes were sent out to work in private homes as domestic servants or as labourers on cattle stations, allegedly indentured yet never paid, unsuccessfully fighting for reparation decades later.

My father’s journey home would take more than three decades. After leaving the Half-caste Children’s Home in Alice Springs in 1940 he ceased receiving letters from his mother and thought he was an orphan. Unaware that his mother was evacuated from Darwin during World War II he assumed her long dead until discovering otherwise in the late 1960s.

Image 2: Brenda L. Croft, Attractive to look at, a promising lad, from the series ‘In My Father’s House’ (sub-series ‘Colour B(l)ind’), Ilfochrome photograph, 1998

Image 3: Brenda L. Croft, She called him son, from the series ‘In My Father’s House’ (sub-series ‘Colour B(l)ind’), Ilfochrome photograph, 1998

Applying for a birth certificate from the Northern Territory government my father was informed his mother was living at the Retta Dixon Children’s Home in Darwin. Unlike many of his peers, my father was finally reunited with his mother and a large extended family in 1974. By then she was in the end stages of cancer and died a few months later.

Was my father ‘luckier’ than the others? How can one analyse the positives and negatives or the trade-offs—‘fortunate’ to access a better than average education for most Australians, let alone Indigenous children, yet living with the assumption that he was an orphan, without family or community? ‘Fortunate’ to be considered ‘a promising lad’ by someone with the power to determine he would not be sent out to work on a station? And how or why was he considered any more ‘promising’ than his peers in the homes?

Such personal, and shared communal questions are intrinsic to my life and work. My father’s story and legacy live through this project. My art and research rearticulate issues of representation, gender, dislocation, social history and cultural categorisation. His heritage, my heritage; his life, my life, have led me to analyse my cultural and intellectual standpoint as a contemporary Gurindji/Malgnin/Mudpurra woman.

I do not, cannot, speak on behalf of other Gurindji/Malgnin/Mudpurra and members of our diaspora but I hope through my practice of working with members of my family and community to provide a method of contemporary cultural exploration and reclamation.

My approach engages a combination of emotive, analytical and collaborative autoethnography, through working with members of my family and community, on traditional homelands and residing elsewhere. My theoretical position draws on Indigenous standpoint theory and Australian Indigenous woman’s standpoint theory.3 This collaborative autoethnographic method proposes to ensure that intellectual property and outcomes are disseminated and owned within a close cultural framework of Gurindji knowledge holders.


From the late nineteenth century, Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory (and across the northern regions of the continent) experienced traditional lands being enclosed, literally and figuratively, by and within the expanding pastoral industry. The exponential expansion of the pastoral industry was inextricably linked to the restrictions imposed on Aboriginal communities and individuals in maintaining access to their land, customs and language. This was further ratified through officially sanctioned relocation to government reserves and missions.

Those Aboriginal peoples able to remain on their lands did so at the expense of movement according to their own cultural precepts, while at the same time providing the crucial labour force required to exploit the vast, sparsely populated landholdings of the colonial society.

Gurindji community (and associates) continue to be over-represented and misrepresented in one of the most significant moments in Aboriginal rights history, the Gurindji Walk-off of 1966. The walk-off instigated the national land rights movement, resulting in the first successful land claim, announced in 1975, although not formally approved until 1986. The walk-off also resulted in the establishment of the Central and Northern Land Councils in 1973, a key recommendation from Justice Edward Woodward’s report of the same year. The Gurindji land claim led to the establishment of the NT Land Rights Act in 1976.

Image 4: Gurindji and associated strikers, Victoria River or Daguragu, 1966/7 (photograph © Brian T. Manning, courtesy of the Manning family)

‘Still in my mind’ will respond in innovative ways to the contradictions inherent in the implementation of the NT Intervention (aka the Northern Territory Emergency Response), including the earlier cessation of the Community Development Employment program (CDEP) and devolution of local community councils into inefficient ‘supershire’ structures.4

It is a provocative project but no less provocative than challenging the concept of celebrating the annual ‘Gurindji Freedom Day’ event, when a true sense of freedom—to exercise determination and control one’s future—has been revoked, negated and eradicated by compounded government actions in the half century since the official hand back of country to the Gurindji people.

In 2007, under the NT Intervention, paternalism was reinvigorated with the deployment of the Australian Army to reinstate protectorate days of the past in facilitating occupation of remote communities. To enable this action elements of the Racial Discrimination Act were repealed, coupled with the institution of ‘income management’ and the Basics card being involuntarily allocated to every resident.

Signs erected at the entrance to every Aboriginal settlement in the Northern Territory announced one’s arrival to a ‘prescribed community’, the blanket implication that paedophiles and domestic violence perpetrators are endemic in all remote communities in the Northern Territory. The dehumanising of Australian society’s most vulnerable members has continued through respective Labor and Liberal federal and territory governments.

I am not proposing answers to the issues associated with the NT Intervention in this project, rather, a response only. I do not live under the NT Intervention’s restrictions and conditions, but members of my family do and I am influenced by their responses to, and rejection of, its enforced obligations.


The methodological components of this project are crucial not secondary. I propose to deploy my extensive knowledge of artistic practices, project management, technical skills and teaching and training at each stage of the research project, while also occupying an apprentice-level position as a member of the diverse Gurindji community. In addition this project allows me to draw upon my deep knowledge of culturally sensitive/appropriate exhibition, curatorial and research practices and to create essential linkages for and between community members.

Image 5: NT Intervention sign, amended, entrance to Kalkarindji, May 2011 (photograph: Brenda L. Croft)

Through contributing to the creation of a new historical archive, I address two key interrelated issues. First, to identify an absent (silent, oppressed, dispossessed) history of adequate representation through critically assessing the distinct capacity of visual representation to address the chasm existing between Indigenous and non-Indigenous sectors of contemporary Australian society. Second, to identify the over-abundance of misrepresentation (stereotypes, authenticity, acceptance), that is, the absence of complex portrayals of Aboriginal experiences and identities, which continue to define so-called ‘Aboriginal/Indigenous’ experience by non-Indigenous modes.

The crucial innovation of this project is to transform complicated, intra- and inter-cultural analysis into an art-based research framework situated partly in Gurindji communities, and in locations relevant to my family’s diasporic experience, thereby elaborating a perspective from and within multiple communities, not ‘about’ an imaginary isolated community. In so doing it incisively intervenes in the colonial construction of ‘Aboriginality’, which continues to have a significant bearing on the nature of self-identification for Aboriginal people.

This has pervaded the broader Australian consciousness, with ‘Aboriginality’ being rendered within restraining classifications of ‘remote’, ‘rural’, and ‘urban’; or ‘urban’ vs ‘traditional’, whereby Indigenous people are played off against one another in a sliding colour scale of ‘authenticity’, based on one’s skin tone or facility of language, dance or ceremony (or lack, thereof). It is also common to hear self-referential descriptions such as ‘blackfella’, ‘half-caste/yellafella’ and ‘kardiya (whitefella)’—the latter not only referring to non-Indigenous people but also used by some community members to describe light-skinned Indigenous people.

These restrictive categorisations can act as parallel intercultural boundaries, and metaphorically operate to control the physical at-a-distance reserve of the real distance created by the systematic removal of Aboriginal people from traditional country, family and kin.

Even for those who have grown up on Country, immersed in language and customary practices, lighter skin tone as a result of mixed heritage can be used restrictively to deny individuals cultural authority within their own communities. A consequence of these complex, intra- and inter-culturally confining cultural definitions has been an insidious erasure of some Gurindji and other Aboriginal people, who are relegated as ghostly signifiers of their former ‘traditional’ selves.5

A retelling of this personal, communal and, by extension, national/international story, from a Gurindji-specific perspective forms the basis of my project. As the eldest child of a Stolen Generations member who was born on country in the Victoria River region, I am directly related to key Gurindji/Malgnin elders who are involved in the research project through the agency of collaborative autoethnography.6

These familial relationships underline the significance of this project in ensuring that living family members maintain Indigenous cultural practices of obligation and responsibility for transmitting knowledge through kinship connections. The project evolves a distinct, original framework for cultural research and education by intimately involving key community members in its production and dissemination.

Image 6: Serena Donald, Leah Leemans, Brenda L. Croft, Violet Nanaku Wadrill, Warrijkuny (Sambo Rockhole) Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation artists’ camp, 18 June 2014 (photograph: Penny Smith; © Brenda L. Croft)

This project also develops an innovative account of Gurindji-specific experience through the production of visual, autoethnographic and archival research from personal and public collections. It stresses an experimental and traditional creative-led approach so as to be immersed in, make visible and engage with that which documentation or archival research alone cannot make visible or present.

My project departs from recent collaborative research on the Gurindji History Book—a project led by linguists Dr Felicity Meakins and Erika Charola, working with the Munguru Munguru Central Land Council Gurindji Rangers.7 The Gurindji History Book is a long-term project facilitated by extensive consultative research assisting elders and other community members on remote site visits in order to record in language (to be translated into English), Gurindji-specific histories, including oral recordings collated since the 1970s. While Gurindji knowledge holders direct this project, it is important to acknowledge that editors Meakins and Charola oversee its implementation; thus it is not solely Indigenous-controlled.

The Gurindji History Book project shares with my own project the fact of being facilitated through Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation, a cultural hub of the interconnected communities of Kalkarindji and Daguragu (which also share close kinship connections with the proximate communities of Pigeonhole, Yarralin, Lajamanu and Timber Creek). A component of the archival-based and practice-led material I have collaboratively co-produced for the Gurindji History Book project—mainly photo-media—will be utilised in Still in My Mind. This material (also) represents original autoethnographic research—singular and collaborative—as these same Gurindji community elders are my family.

I was invited to participate in the Gurindji History Book project by contributing photographic documentation of remote site visits and community participants. Through this I was able to visit remote areas that I could not have travelled to alone or just with family as these visits involved a large number of participants and required the support of the rangers. In consultation with Karungkarni I have also been able to initiate a significant visual component of the Gurindji History Book project through staging an artists’ camp as part of the site visits.

Image 7: Gurindji History Book community convoy sites visits, June 2014 (photograph: Brenda L. Croft)

Gurindji-specific histories will be brought together with non-Indigenous perspectives from key Gurindji community supporters who to date have had limited voice themselves, such as the late activist Brian Manning, who took supplies to the walk-off participants and provided ongoing assistance throughout the nine-year action, remaining closely involved with community until his death in December 2013; and Dr Hannah Middleton, who as an English PhD student lived with the community at Daguragu in 1970 and returned to Kalkarindji and Daguragu in 2014.

I have also been liaising with the family of late ‘radical oral historian’, Dr Minoru Hokari, who spent an immersive period of research in the community in 1999 and published extensively on his research during his life.8 Earlier material from a diversity of public collections is actively being accessed as part of an ongoing, future Gurindji archives project in discussion with community, Meakins and Charola, and Karungkarni Art and Culture.

Still in My Mind critically utilises the force and effect of visuality itself. The tools of representation will be reimagined as a literal and metaphorical means of address and redress. The project’s innovation is underscored by the emphasis on production of artwork, and creative and theoretical writing, generated after discussion with members of the community, accompanied by extensive visual histories (in photographs, paintings, and other forms) of Gurindji people from Gurindji-specific standpoints.

This will reveal previously unheard, unseen histories, experiences and perspectives within the context of Gurindji contemporary life. One of its central concerns is to compare historical representation with contemporary self-identification, from the perspective of people who were involved in the 1966 walk-off and those who lived in its outcome up to the present day.

My final outcomes will be multiplatform and multimedia—still and moving imagery, sound and installation work, including a collaborative exhibition that will tour to key venues nationally, with a focused international tour under consideration. Works created will be shown to family and community members at Kalkarindji and Daguragu, though in a different format to the proposed collaborative exhibition, which will also include works by family/community members. Oral and filmed interviews with family and community members on country and elsewhere have been conducted since 2011 and archival interviews—conducted by my late father and brother, and myself from the 1980s onwards—will also be incorporated.9

These specific creative artworks, incorporating visual, aural and performative methods, are attuned to the need for knowledge transferal between multiple communities, institutions and disciplines, and identify diverse values and understandings between different participants within specific communities. This will then articulate recent Indigenous knowledges research with mainstream visual art and cultural theorists and art practitioners. It will be firmly located within ongoing dialogues among Indigenous communities, as well as across theoretical and practical disciplines, not only in Australia but also drawing on similar research on Indigenous representation in North America/Canada.

Through the production of visual artworks, including aural and cinematic works, my approach will address Aboriginal intra- and inter-community engagement and perspectives. The project will document the physical, geographical and metaphysical landscapes associated with Gurindji homelands at Wave Hill, including detritus marking the absence of the pastoralists and Aboriginal workers at Jinparrak (Old Wave Hill Station), and consider sites associated with Gurindji/colonial and pastoral industry contact in the Victoria River district, including Victoria River Downs, Yarralin and Timber Creek.

This evocative and analytical, individual and collaborative, autoethnographic and theoretical methodology will be contextualised within a visual framework creating a revisualised landscape inhabited by marginalised, under-represented memories and stories. A visual, sensorial, relational aesthetics approach has far more relevance for a community that places emphasis on the oral and visual record and recollection, as opposed to the written word.10

To this end, I have been accessing public archives including the National Archives of Australia (Canberra and Darwin), the National Film and Sound Archives (as an Indigenous Fellow, 2011–12), National Library of Australia, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, South Australian Museum, the Northern Territory Library and NT Heritage Department, Mitchell Library/NSW State Library, and the Berndt Museum, University of Western Australia, building upon existing research undertaken at these institutions. Many public institutions consider repatriation of cultural material to Indigenous communities a priority, including visual, sound and written material, and have been receptive to discussion and consultation, although restrictions of specific institutions continue to exist and require negotiation.

Image 8: Jimmy and Biddy Wavehill discussing archival photographs, Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation, Kalkarindji, August 2011 (photograph © Brenda L. Croft)


I argue that many Indigenous people consider Australia a country still under occupation, its original custodians more marginalised and silenced than ever. For my research this particularly applies to those living under the imposition of the NT Intervention. The intense frustration experienced by the Gurindji community through being forced to wait two decades before their land was legally returned is mirrored in the denial of the High Court to claims of reparation by members of the Stolen Generations. The reasoning appears to be that if you force people to wait long enough then perhaps they may just give up, or even better, pass away. The millions spent on fighting elderly claimants could have enabled them to live their remaining years out of the grip of poverty, with some peace of mind.

On 12 November 2014 Professor Mick Dodson, chairman of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), spoke at the National Press Club, Canberra, to mark AIATSIS’s fiftieth anniversary. His speech, ‘Before It’s Too Late: A Call to Secure Australia’s Indigenous Heritage’, outlined what is required to ensure the cultural future security of Indigenous communities. During question time, Professor Dodson challenged Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s handling of Indigenous affairs and his continual negativity towards Indigenous people as perpetuating a cycle of inferred ‘black failure’.11

A key point posited in the research is an analysis of whether Gurindji community and diaspora have made advancements beyond the walk-off. The promise encapsulated in the handback of traditional lands to community on 23 August 1975 was exemplified in the words of then prime minister, Gough Whitlam, during the symbolic pouring of soil into the upturned palm of Gurindji elder Vincent Lingiari:

Vincent Lingiari, I solemnly hand to you these deeds as proof in Australian law that these lands belong to the Gurindji people and I put into your hands this piece of earth itself as a sign that we restore them to you and your children forever.

Whitlam remained highly regarded among Gurindji community, referred to as The Big Man (big in stature and deed) until his death in October 2014. As with Brian Manning’s funeral a year prior, elders travelled from Kalkarindji and Daguragu to pay their respects to a kardiya malaka (white man) revered and loved.

Whitlam was claimed by myriad sectors of Australian society: women, the working class, immigrants, the intelligentsia, academia and arts professionals as well as Indigenous communities, but it was the iconic image of Whitlam and Lingiari—two elder statesmen—taken at the 1975 hand back by Indigenous photographer Mervyn Bishop that featured prominently in the media and was commandingly displayed behind speakers at the service.

Image 9: NT Intervention sign, customised by John Leemans, entrance to Daguragu, August 2011 (photograph © Brenda L. Croft)

In comparison with Lingiari’s standpoint of ‘that land’ always being on his mind, the concept of ‘forever’ appears quantifiable depending on bureaucratic prevarication down the track, undoing the intent of the government of the day. If one was to consider the timeframe as being not from the handback in 1975, but the actual success of the Gurindji Land Claim in 1986, through to the imposition of the NT Intervention in 2007, then ‘forever’ equals a mere twenty-one years.

Throughout my research I have experienced strong confirmation and encouragement by family and members of the Gurindji communities of Kalkaringi, Daguragu and surrounds, and members of the Gurindji diaspora. That does not necessarily equate to finding answers to all my questions, whether posed to others or myself. I may never have these as the knowledge holders with answers to some mysteries are no longer here for me to ask. I consider that I will always occupy a shifting place of dislocation, or rather, shift between a number of culturally specific and ambiguous interstices and localities. However, each time I am on country I actively experience a stronger sense of place and connection—not only to community there, but also with my diasporic community elsewhere.12

That country: still on, and always in, my mind/body/soul.

Brenda L. Croft is from the Gurindji/Malngin/Mudpurra peoples of the Northern Territory and Anglo-Australian/German/Irish heritage. Involved in the contemporary arts and cultural sectors for three decades as an artist, arts administrator, curator, teacher, academic researcher and consultant, Brenda has worked at local, regional, national and international levels. Her favourite role is being aunt to Luca, Sasha and Maddie.


1 This project also takes shape from a 2011 event I project managed: the forty-fifth anniversary of the Gurindji Walkoff from Wave Hill Station, held at Kalkarindji and Daguragu from 26–28 August <>.

2 Emphasis by author; for further reading see <>.

3 Martin Nakata, ‘An Indigenous Standpoint Theory’, in Disciplining the Savages, Savaging the Disciplines, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 2007, pp. 213–17; Aileen Moreton-Robinson, ‘Towards an Australian Indigenous Women’s Standpoint Theory’, Australian Feminist Studies&,macr; vol. 28, no. 78, 331–47.

4 Further reading see <>.

5 Lynette Russell, Savage Imaginings: Historical and Contemporary Constructions of Australian Aboriginalities, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2001.

6 All key participants, as collaborative autoethnographers, are paid industry standard rates established by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

7 It is essential to acknowledge the significance of Through Our Eyes: Gurindji History Book, a research project coordinated by Meakins, Charola and Gurindji community, in partnership with Karungkarni Aboriginal Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation, to which I have contributed. Erika Charola and Felicity Meakins (eds), Yijarni: True Stories from Gurindji Country, a collection of Gurindji oral histories from this project, told by Gurindji elders and translated into English, is due to be published by Aboriginal Studies Press in 2015. The book is aimed at the general public and includes archival photographs, on-site photographs (taken by Brenda L. Croft and Karungkarni Co-ordinator Penny Smith) and visual responses through artwork created by artists at Karungkarni Arts. Established in 2011 through the CLC’s Community Ranger Program, Munguru Munguru Gurindji Rangers recently won the Outstanding Ranger Group in the 2014 Territory Natural Resource Management Awards.

8 Minoru Hokari’s combined research, based on his thesis, was posthumously published in 2011, seven years after his death. Minoru Hokari, Gurindji Journey: A Japanese Historian in the Outback, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2011.

9 The proposed web-based interactive documentation as a vital mode of participant engagement is being considered as a later component in the proposed Gurindji archive.

10 The Gurindji History Book project has been driven by the desire of the contributors and project leaders to disseminate their histories to as broad an audience as possible, before the holders of the stories are gone. It articulates a conceptual framework that bores deeply into the specificities of relationship to, and dislocation from, land/place, belonging/exclusion, familiar/alien, and personal/collective histories.

11 ‘Mick Dodson blasts Tony Abbott for “negativity” towards Indigenous people’, The Guardian, <>.

12 For further reading see <>.


Charola E. and F. Meakins (eds), Yijarni: True Stories from Gurindji Country, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, forthcoming 2015.

Hokari, M., Gurindji Journey: A Japanese Historian in the Outback, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2011.

McGrath, A., Born in the Cattle: Aborigines in Cattle Country, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1987.

Moreton-Robinson, A., ‘Towards an Australian Indigenous Women’s Standpoint Theory’, Australian Feminist Studies, 28:78, 331-347, DOI: 10.1080/08164649.2013.876664, 6 February 2014. doi:

Moreton-Robinson, A, ‘I Still Call Australia Home: Indigenous Belonging and Place in a White Postcolonising Society’, in Sarah Ahmed (ed.), Uprootings/Regroundings: Questions of Home and Migration, Berg Publishing, Oxford, 2003.

Nakata, M., Disciplining the Savages, Savaging the Disciplines, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, pp. 213–17, 2007.

Russell, L., Savage Imaginings: Historical and Contemporary Constructions of Australian Aboriginalities, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2001.

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