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Academics to star in Darwin Festival shows

By Leanne Coleman

Dr Gemma Blackwood's talk will examine and celebrate the history of movies made and set in the Northern Territory Dr Gemma Blackwood's talk will examine and celebrate the history of movies made and set in the Northern Territory

A trio of academics from Charles Darwin University will explore uniquely Territorian topics as part this year’s Darwin Festival show “This Territory Life”.

The show will delve deeply into Territory life with a line-up of local identities, unsung heroes and well-known faces as they provide a taste of the Territory by recounting their unique experiences. The CDU representatives will speak on the topics: where barra go in the wet season, Indigenous accounting and outback Territory cinema.

The first to take to the stage on Tuesday, 12 August, will be accounting lecturer Dr Hassan Rkein, who will talk about his recent research into Indigenous accountancy in the Northern Territory.

“With an estimate of only 10 Indigenous members of Australian accounting professional bodies, I investigated the possible factors that impede Indigenous students from studying accounting at university level and later joining the profession,” Dr Rkein said.

“Indigenous communities, societies and individuals have been severely disadvantaged by the western accounting system, particularly as a result of not gaining access to the accounting profession due to various impediments.”

The following week (Tuesday, 19 August), Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods Associate Professor David Crook and CDU’s Communication Studies Coordinator Dr Gemma Blackwood will step on to the stage.

Dr Crook and his team have been investigating the movements of barramundi since 2013, using a combination of electrofishing, tracking and ear stone chemistry to better understand the importance of connectivity between the floodplain, river and ocean.

“We are investigating these species because they are important to recreational and commercial fishermen and for traditional harvest, and because they make up a large part of the biomass in Kakadu’s river systems,” Dr Crook said.

The research team saw a range of fascinating behaviours including that barramundi moved up to 50 kilometres from where they were released.

Dr Gemma Blackwood has a passion for cinema and specialises in cultural studies, particularly tourism and film. Her research explores the connection between the tourist and the local in Australian society, from the phenomenon of film tourism to the problem of access to internet technologies in remote regions of Australia.

"From Crocodile Dundee to Jedda, my talk examines and celebrates the history of movies made and set in the Northern Territory,” Dr Blackwood said. “Despite its small population and long distance from the film-making centres of Australia, the Northern Territory has featured in a number of iconic Australian films.”

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