Blog Post

Trade Routes Research Translation Workshop 2022 – videos of presentations

by | 28 Jul, 2022 | Blog, Events, Featured, KALACC Trade Routes, Projects, Resources

On May 4th and 5th 2022 the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies and the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre hosted a Research Translation Workshop Program as part of the Following the Trade Routes project. The workshop was convened to support one of the guiding questions of the Trade Routes project – How can knowledge of historic and regional trade routes inform cultural practices for a new generation of Indigenous leaders and knowledge custodians in Australia?

The live workshop was by invitation only, but we are now pleased to share videos of selected presentations to a broader public audience

The workshop aims were:

  • To bring together Aboriginal cultural bosses, cultural practitioners and researchers who have knowledge of Aboriginal cultural trade and exchange.
  • To return research knowledge and share information supporting cultural rejuvenation.
  • To build relationships to access archival knowledge into the future.

Presentations were invited from a range of researchers and cultural with knowledge of past and current Aboriginal trade and exchange, with a focus on the Kimberley, Central and South Australia.

The workshop involved more than 28 presenters and over 70 workshop participants who took part online and at live venues in Fitzroy Crossing, Broome, Mowanjum, Balgo in Western Australia, Yuendumu in Central Australia, Adelaide in South Australia and Canberra in the ACT.

For more information on the event please contact Maya Haviland

Day 1 – Introductory Session

Introduction to Trade Routes Project and Welcome to Workshop – Steve Kinnane (KALACC), Wayne Barker (KALACC) & Cultural Bosses

Video presentation about the Following the Trade Routes project

Introduction to the public story telling goals of Trade Routes project – Professor John Carty  (South Australian Museum)  Dr Maya Haviland (ANU) & Wayne Barker (KALACC)


Moogy Sumner – Opening talk on Cultural rejuvenation

Day 1 – Session 2

Lynley Nargoodah (KALACC) – Living Libraries and others sources of knowledge

The Judge and the Anthropologist – The Honorable Anthony North QC & Dr Scott Cane

Abstract – Joint presentation by Honorable Anthony North and Scott Cane on Pilki Determination and evidence presented regarding extent and significance of Indigenous trade. Pre-recorded at Victorian Law Reform Commission.

Day 1 – Session 3

Karl Hampton (Walpiri Cultural Advisor) – Walpiri activities and vision for Trade Routes alliances

The Warlpiri Songlines project and Warlpiri women’s ceremonial exchange activities – Dr Georgia Curran (Macquarie University) and collaborators

Abstract -We will begin this presentation by giving an overview of recordings made for the Warlpiri Songlines project (2005-2008) and led by the late Nungarrayi Egan and Thomas Jangala Rice. This involved recordings of some public genres of men’s song and ceremony as well as a large collection of women’s yawulyu songs associated with different jukurrpa and country. We will then showcase some of the work we have been doing over the last decade to better document some of these women’s songs and create resources which can be shared with younger generations of Warlpiri people and more broadly. We will also show some videos from intercultural events which sustain these inherited connections and assist to create and maintain alliances with women from other Aboriginal groups across Central Australia.

Karku Ochre Mine – Professor Nicolas Peterson  (ANU)

Day 1 – Session 4

The anthropological record of trade and ritual exchange in the Kimberley since the work of Phyllis Kaberry c 1935-36 – Dr Daniel Vachon

Fire Ceremonies and their trade to Balgo – Petronella Vaarzon-Morel  (ANU) & Professor Nicolas Peterson (ANU)

A discussion of major factors in the rise of Balgo as a regional hub for the exchange of rituals – Hon. Professor Richard Moyle (University of Auckland, Griffith University)

Abstract – I will discuss some major factors in the rise of Balgo as a regional hub for the exchange of rituals, and give a “street view” of ritual leaders and the dynamics of specific exchanges as witnessed during two year residence there 1975-76 and 1980-82.

Day 2 – Session 1

Cultural research update – Juluru and Trade in West Kimberley – Sherika Duckhole (KALACC) & Belinda Cook (KALACC) (include discussion)

Hand Talk TV: Trade Routes of Balgo Marumpu Wangka – Assistant Professor William Lempert (Bowdoin College)

Abstract -Through innovative community film projects, Songlines are traversed and shared in person and with other Indigenous Australian communities via broadcasting on networks including ICTV and NITV. These media draw on the deep cultural knowledge of Elders and the tech savvy of young generations to transmit important cultural knowledge through ancestral and digital cultural trade networks. This talk grounds this discussion within several collaborative media projects in the Aboriginal community of Balgo. 

Day 2 – Session 2

Karrajarri cultural trade update – Mervyn Mulardy  

Update on research into Pearl Shell objects held in international collections – Shaun Angeles (AIATSIS)

Songlines: so many meanings – Dr Jason Gibson  (Deakin University) & Associate Professor Myfany Turpin (University of Sydney)

Abstract – The paper will explore the benefits and limits of songlines as a descriptor of trade in Australian Indigenous intangible cultural heritage.

Noongar song – Professor Clint Bracknell (University of Queensland)

Abstract – The history of Noongar song in Australia’s southwest reveals that although some repertoire is just for certain areas and individuals, Noongar Country was home to a vibrant and wide-ranging performance culture embracing travelling songs originating from within and outside of the language region. When considering contemporary issues of community access and cultural revitalisation, it may be important to consider the originally public and shared nature of many Aboriginal songs.

Day 2 – Session 3

Cultural Trade Update – Wayne Barker (KALACC) & George Lee

Asians in the Kimberley: evidence for trade and exchange– Professor Alastair Paterson (University of Western Australian)

Abstract – Seasonal Asian visitors to northern Australia over recent centuries instigated industrial extraction of marine products (especially trepang), removed other products, and led to exchanges with Aboriginal communities. These events are reflected in archaeological sites, indigenous knowledge, and rare historical observations. The place of the Kimberley has been less studied than the Northern Territory, however recent research by Kwini people with researchers and marine park managers in Napier Broome Bay is adding to this history.

WA Museum Collections and Indigenous Trade – Dr Moya Smith, Dr. Ross Chadwick & Brett Nannup (Western Australian Museum)

Mobilising Marege’ and Kai Jawa – Will McCallum (University of Deakin)

Abstract – Centuries before Europeans established colonies on the Australian continent, Makassar and Bugis fishermen of present-day South Sulawesi, Indonesia, spent up to six months of the year harvesting sea cucumber (or trepang) in northeast Arnhem Land (which they called Marege’) and the Kimberley (which they called Kai Jawa). With the assistance of local communities, this valuable commodity would eventually find its way to the dinner tables of China’s Qing Dynasty. The memories of past encounters continue to be celebrated by communities in both Australia and Indonesia as an ongoing truth and ideal. This presentation will discuss the ways in which Macassan historical narratives are mobilising new approaches to Australian identity and relations with Indonesia and the Asian region.

Between the Desert and the Sea: objects and symbologies in exchange across the northern Great Sandy Desert – Professor Peter Veth (University of Western Australia) & Dr. Sam Harper (University of Western Australia)

Abstract – In this talk we will bring three classes of information together which were collected while working collaboratively with Walmajarri, Manjilyjarra and Balanggarra peoples. They include shellfish collected and dated from the Great Sandy Desert, portable plaques with engraved motifs located at camping places, and NE Kimberley rock art containing desert iconography. Taken together they reflect long-distance exchange and interactions with symbologies and open domain ceremonially-imbued artefacts crossing  permeable boundaries for millennia”

You can view and download a full list of presenters and abstracts at the workshop below.