Indigenous Science Experience Online 2020
What can Aboriginal astronomy tell us about the night sky? How is our native flora used as bush medicine? What can we learn about sustainable living from 60 000+ years of Indigenous culture? Find out the answers to these questions and more during the Indigenous Science Experience.
This is a FREE event but seats are limited – RSVPs are essential. This is a live interactive event ONLY; it will not be distributed as a recording.
The Indigenous Science Experience consists of a series of workshops and presentations that will span across National Science Week (August 15-23). The sessions showcase a wide range of Indigenous and Western STEM presented by Indigenous secondary students, Elders and community members and STEM outreach providers from various organisations.
Since 2012, the Indigenous Science Experience at the Redfern Community Centre has been highlighting the value of traditional and contemporary Indigenous knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the relevance of science to our everyday lives. In 2020, our new online format will continue this tradition.
This National Science Week event is organised by the National Indigenous Science Education Program (NISEP), Macquarie University, and Redfern Community Centre. It is made possible through the support of Inspiring Australia and grant funding from the Australian Government.
The event will consist of the following online sessions, please see below for full session descriptions:
Artefact and Bush tucker Experience – Phil Duncan, Walanga Muru, Macquarie University. Monday, August 17, 2020, 7.00-8.30 pm. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_CyAMVHY1SYSGuLE9LYV6Sg
Bush Medicines to Pharmaceuticals – Yaegl Community, Macquarie University, Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery. Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 7.00-8.30 pm. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_wUrSsXDCTdGMqQo5pBAFZw
Indigenous History and Artefacts – Paul Craft-Burragun, Burragun Aboriginal Cultural Services. Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 7.00-8.30 pm. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_dkrkMOKwSGmgluE6a0592Q
Indigenous Astronomy in Australia – Kirsten Banks, Robert Fuller and Trevor Leaman. Thursday, August 20, 2020, 7.00-8.30 pm. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_B9hAMjx-SACsNZkkCm8TQA
Global Indigenous Engineering – David Harrington, Stone and Bones. Friday, August 21, 2020, 7.00-8.30 pm. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_oFwmAi3sSHOTU_ZIOPLMRA
Artefact and Bush tucker Experience
Monday, August 17, 2020 – 7.00 pm – 8.30 pm
Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_CyAMVHY1SYSGuLE9LYV6Sg
This session will engage the community in the historical events of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Presented by Phil Duncan, the discussion will present life prior to colonisation and life now for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. An array of artefacts and bush tucker or bush medicine will be explored, with background information provided about each item as well as the locations and purpose of each.
Phil Duncan is from Moree, New South Wales, and is a member of the Gomeroi Nation. His homelands are Moree and Terry Hie Hie. Phil has significant experience (39 years) working with Aboriginal people and Government to improve the lives and education of Aboriginal people and the recognition of their rich cultural history. Phil is currently the Aboriginal Cultural Training Coordinator at Walanga Muru, Macquarie University’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student engagement and strategy office. This session is brought to you by Walanga Muru, Macquarie University’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Engagement and Strategy Office – https://www.mq.edu.au/about/about-the-university/our-commitment-to-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-peoples/engage-with-walanga-muru
Bush Medicines to Pharmaceuticals
Tuesday, August 18, 2020 – 7.00 pm – 8.30 pm
Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_wUrSsXDCTdGMqQo5pBAFZw
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia have built an intimate understanding of the land and its resources over more than 60,000 years. There are over 700 Indigenous groups within Australia, each with their own cultural and medicinal practices, meaning there is a wealth of plants across Australia that could provide us with new healthcare and/or pharmaceutical products. Despite this strong history, bush medicines remain largely understudied. In this session Elders and community members from the Yaegl community of northern NSW will describe their use of a number of bush medicines and foods. You will explore how communities can make healthcare products from bush medicines before researchers from the Indigenous Bioresources Group, Macquarie University, and the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University, walk you through the in-laboratory process of examining natural sources for new pharmaceutical drugs and how companies go on to produce drugs. The session will also cover information on best practice and ethics in regard to communities, universities and companies working together.
This session is brought to you by representatives of the Yaegl Community (northern NSW), the Indigenous Bioresources Research Group, Macquarie University (Sydney), and the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University (Brisbane).
Indigenous History and Artefacts
Wednesday, August 19, 2020 – 7.00 pm – 8.30 pm
Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_dkrkMOKwSGmgluE6a0592Q
Presented by Paul Craft-Burragun (Uncle Boomerang) from Burragun Aboriginal Cultural Services (www.burragun.com.au), this session will explore the use of tools/utensils/weapons and practices by the Aboriginal peoples of Australia both pre- and post-colonialism. A number of artefacts will be shown to the participants and Paul will discuss how these were made and from what types of materials in different areas. He will also discuss Aboriginal traditional knowledge which can help with the current day management of resources and the environment.
Paul Craft-Burragun (Uncle Boomerang) is a Jagera-Turrbul man Bundjalung-Yugambeh descendant from the areas of South East Queensland and North East NSW. Paul is passionate about sharing his traditional cultural knowledge and skills with all students in the education system and helping to create an understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal culture in Australia. He has been conducting school visits since 2001. He plays an active part in his local communities and was the founder of the first ever all Aboriginal boomerang team named ‘Deadly Returns’. Paul represented Australia at the (WBC) World Boomerang Cup in Perth in 2014 as part of the Australian Team of 6 individuals. Through his company ‘Burragan Aboriginal Cultural Services’ (www.burragun.com.au), Paul provides a wide range of cultural education services including incursions, excursions, camps, site tours and scrub walks that are suitable for all ages.
Indigenous Astronomy in Australia
Thursday, August 20, 2020 – 7.00 pm – 8.30 pm
Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_B9hAMjx-SACsNZkkCm8TQA
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia have a long history of using astronomy stretching back for over 60,000 years. Astronomical observations made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, such as the movements of the Sun, Moon and stars are used in navigation, to predict weather and in conjunction with seasonal calendars. These observations are intimately linked with traditional stories that have been passed down the generations over tens of thousands of years orally and through song and dance. This session will explore the links between songlines and the night sky, the connections between constellations and Wiradjuri animal lifecycle/resource calendars and the different perspectives of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Kirsten is a proud Wiradjuri woman, astrophysicist and science communicator. Kirsten loves to share her passion of space and astronomy and has contributed to many media, web and television articles and countless radio programs such as Triple J’s Drive and Hack programs. However, Kirsten’s main passion lies in being able to communicate with the public. She has spoken publicly on many occasions during National Science Weeks, NAIDOC Weeks and at countless schools.
Bob is based at the University of New South Wales where he conducts research on the cultural astronomy and songlines of the saltwater Aboriginal peoples of the Australian East Coast. He plays an active role in informing the non-Indigenous community on Australian Indigenous astronomy through lectures, articles, radio and TV and was the instigator of the successful documentary on Euahlayi astronomy, “Star Stories of the Dreaming”.
Trevor is based at the University of New South Wales where he is researching the astronomical traditions of the Wiradjuri people of central NSW. His passion for cultural astronomy and space science was ignited from a young age – he vividly remembers a visit to Stonehenge in 1972 as a child before his family emigrated to Australia as well as the live broadcasts of the Apollo launches on the BBC a couple of years earlier. In his spare time, he runs his own Astronomy Education & Tour Guiding business, Dark Skies Downunder, based in Orange, Central West NSW, showcasing the Cultural night sky for schools, community groups and private functions.
Global Indigenous Engineering
Friday, August 21, 2020 – 7.00 pm – 8.30 pm
Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_oFwmAi3sSHOTU_ZIOPLMRA
Engineering is not a modern concept – for thousands of years Indigenous peoples from around the world have been using engineering principles to find solutions to social, technical and economic challenges. This session explores examples of how Indigenous peoples from around the globe have used engineering and the different approaches they have taken. Examples that will be discussed include communal irrigation distribution systems in Thailand, living tree bridges in India, Canadian First Nations fish harvesting infrastructure, and Australian Aboriginal eel farming.
David Harrington is an academic, educator, maker, bushcraft practitioner and scientist with 20 years’ experience working with Aboriginal communities. Dave has worked closely within Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley and Northern NSW, collaborating on projects recording cultural information, investigating bush medicines and foods and developing cooperative education and cultural programs with local high schools. Dave provides a range of educational activities, consultation and teacher professional development, focusing on Indigenous sciences from Australia and around the world, through his company Stone and Bones (www.stoneandbones.com).