Issue 4 - 7 May 2013 enews home

Symposium highlights importance of Indigenous Knowledges

By Leanne Coleman

Dr Tom Calma AO talks to the audience on the Elders Panel, which formed part of the closing session of the symposium

Hundreds attended the 2013 Charles Darwin Symposium, which brought together local and international academics, guest speakers along with respected elders and local community members to discuss the importance of traditional Indigenous knowledges.

The two-day “Indigenous Knowledges in a Changing World” symposium included panel discussions, displays, presentations and demonstrations and provided opportunities to discuss and raise questions about what is understood by traditional knowledge.

Chair of the 2013 Symposium organising committee, and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous Leadership at CDU Professor Steven Larkin, said the symposium had brought together a diverse range of leading Indigenous academics from across the NT, Australia and New Zealand.

“Presentations focused on what is understood by traditional knowledge, its role in contemporary society and what was unique about its contributions to Indigenous livelihoods and governance,” Professor Larkin said.

“Importantly, it also provided a forum to share diverse views on the value placed on traditional Indigenous knowledges and how these can be incorporated into strategies for the future economic development of Northern Australia.”

Professor Larkin said the community involvement as part of the symposium had also showcased operators of Indigenous businesses from around the Territory who use traditional knowledge systems to develop new business enterprises and employment opportunities.