E-news Issue 4
Monday, 07 June 2021
Charles Darwin University
E-news
DFAT Secretary Frances Adamson and CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman participated in a special Yarning Circle at CDU hosted by the Northern Institute.
DFAT Secretary Frances Adamson and CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman participated in a special Yarning Circle at CDU hosted by the Northern Institute.

Indigenous Australia's contribution to diplomacy

Charles Darwin University (CDU) recently hosted Australia's top diplomat Frances Adamson on campus to discuss the contributions of Indigenous Australia to our diplomacy.

The Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was also Australia's ambassador to China from 2011 to 2015 and has just been announced as South Australia’s new governor.

She delivered a special address and participated in a New Colombo Plan Momentum series panel discussion as a part of her visit to CDU.

The Secretary was joined by panel members including 2016 New Colombo Plan Fellow and Indigenous Alumni Ambassador Amarina Smith, Torres Strait Regional Authority CEO Leilani Bin-Juda PSM, Professor Asmi Wood from ANU Law School, Senior Elder Richard Fejo and Northern Institute and Dean of the College of Indigenous Futures, Arts and Society, Ruth Wallace.  

Ms Adamson spoke of DFAT’s Indigenous Diplomacy Agenda, which is designed to give Indigenous Australia a systematic place within Australia’s overseas engagement, and to more effectively advance the interests of indigenous peoples, both in Australia and around the world.

“We must continue to build Indigenous Australia into our diplomacy: its people, its languages, its cultures, and its history,” Ms Adamson said.

“While the path to reconciliation is long, I’m confident that the Indigenous Diplomacy Agenda will reinforce DFAT’s special contribution.”

CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman joined Ms Adamson as a part of a Yarning Circle, where members of the Indigenous Cultural Diplomacy Team showcased Indigenous diplomacy research program delivered by elders from East Arnhem Land, Kaurareg, Wagadagam and Ngambri-Ngunnawal nations.

The program is delivered in collaboration CDU’s Northern Institute and College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Arts, and Australian National University (ANU) – Department of Pacific Affairs.

The circle commenced with a warm Welcome to Country provided by Richard Fejo, with Professor Asmi Woods and Professor Ruth Wallace also in attendance.

The Yolnu researchers and Indigenous Cultural Diplomacy experts shared the historic and current experiences of Yolŋu people across Northern Australia, along with the contributions and interrelationships developed with the universities and Government to date.