Issue 3
Monday, 27 March 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Indigenous elder Margaret Napangardi Scobie, Professor Barry Judd and Northern Institute Acting Director Professor Lisa McManus
Indigenous elder Margaret Napangardi Scobie, Professor Barry Judd and Northern Institute Acting Director Professor Lisa McManus

Ceremony ushers in ‘football’ academic

By Patrick Nelson

New Central Australian scholar Professor Barry Judd has become the first person to be individually welcomed with a smoking ceremony at Charles Darwin University in Alice Springs.

Professor Judd, the recently appointed Northern Institute Professor of Indigenous Social Research, said the event was the “appropriate way to begin” his work as a resident in Arrernte country.

“It is important philosophically that we continue to hold traditions like this one,” Professor Judd said. 

“My research and interest is in Indigenous knowledge systems, and to acknowledge and to participate in them is a critical part of the process.”

A descendant of the Pitjanjatjara people of northern South Australia, Professor Judd has worked in Indigenous higher education for the past 20 years, but only this year moved to the Red Centre.

“It was becoming too difficult to travel from Melbourne to Central Australia each year, but I was fortunate to get an opportunity to move to CDU in Alice Springs. The move builds on a six-year research relationship with Papunya elder and legendary football coach and organiser Sid Anderson.”

Professor Judd is regarded as a leading scholar on Aboriginal participation in Australian sports.

“I’m interested in the social impact of Australian Rules on Indigenous Australia and how participation in organised sport affects identity and everyday life in remote communities.”

His research profile also includes race relations, history, Australian identity and public policy. 

About 60 staff and students watched Margaret Napangardi Scobie from the Akeyulerre Healing Centre conduct the smoking ceremony at the Yarning Circle on Alice Springs campus.