Reconciliation Week

WaaWaa image by Bill Hawkins 2nd year Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Art) 2014

Waa (Crow) is the protector and one of the two moiety ancestors in the Eastern Kulin nation culture.  We are very honoured to have Waa’s family watching over us at the Southbank campus these birds symbolise our connection to the land and the Eastern Kulin nation.

We as a faculty acknowledge the Elders, families and descendants of the Boonwurung and Wurundjeri people who have been and are the custodians of these lands. We acknowledge that the land in which we meet, work, perform, study and learn was the place of age old ceremonies of celebration, initiation and renewal and that the local Aboriginal peoples have had and continues to have a unique role in the life of these lands.

Waa image by Bill Hawkins 2nd year Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Art) 2014

Welcome from the Dean

National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June) celebrates the culture and history of the First Australians and is marked by two important dates in history; the 1967 referendum and 1992 Mabo decision. It offers us all a time to celebrate, reflect and commit to a conversation of reconciliation for a better and stronger Australia. Though this is an important week we must also acknowledge that this is part of a longer journey that extends throughout the year. 

We are very fortunate at the Faculty of VCA and MCM to have Deborah Cheetham AO as our Associate Dean (Indigenous) as well as Richard Frankland as Head of Curriculum and Programs at the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development. The Wilin Centre offers our staff, students and the wider community opportunities to experience Indigenous culture and knowledge via performances, lectures and exhibitions. It is during National Reconciliation Week that as a Faculty we have the opportunity to celebrate and demonstrate commitment to the aims of reconciliation.

We believe that the arts has an opportunity to be at the forefront of the reconciliation conversation. I encourage you to not only be an active participant in this conversation through the range of events and activities organised by the Faculty, but also to look beyond our program.


May I encourage every staff and student to:

  • find out more about reconciliation;
  • work towards practical reconciliation;
  • become involved in the work of the Wilin Centre;
  • celebrate the peoples of the Kulin nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.


You have a chance to connect with the longest continuous culture in the world spanning back 70,000 years.

Start now with the following links:

I look forward to hearing your own journeys and stories in the coming years.

Professor Barry Conyngham

Dean, Faculty of VCA and MCM

Reconciliation Week events

Monday 23 May 2016
Lunch Hour Concert: Namatjira Morgan, Jacinta Dennett, Robert Schubert

Guest performer: Namatjira Morgan didgeridoo
Jacinta Dennett harp, Robert Schubert clarinet

Tianming WANG - The Spring Breeze Blowing the Westlake for Ten Miles for Clarinet and Harp
Johanna SELLECK - Hoon: Black Cockatoo! for Clarinet, Harp, Cymbals & Didgeridoo
Paul SARCICH - selections from The Children's Court for Clarinet/Bass Clarinet and Harp (1990)
JS BACH (Arranged by Julian YU) - No. 5, Ciaccona, Partita in D minor, BWV 1004

Admission: Free, no bookings required
1.10pm  - 2.00pm 
Melba Hall, Gate 12, Royal Parade, Parkville

Wednesday 1 June 2016
Symposium: Art, Ethics and Indigeneity

The symposium invites Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers working across the field of Indigenous arts and culture to address some of the key issues when working with Indigenous people, places and communities. It will address the importance of understanding and following protocols and will showcase some of the innovative research being undertaken by Indigenous scholars and artists, and by non-Indigenous researchers working with Indigenous people, places and communities.

Guest speakers include Richard Franklin, Genevieve Grieves, Ngardarb Riches, Prof. Brian Martin, Janis Koolmatrie, Lilly Brown, Dr Sally Treloyn and Rona (Googninda) Charles (Ngarinyin, Nyigina), Wilton Foster OAM (Anangu) and Dr Susan Lowish with the Ara Irititja project team, Dr Sandy O’Sullivan, Prof. Estelle Barrett and Philip Morrissey.

Download the Art Ethics And Indigeneity Program (pdf, 235kb) and Art, Ethics And Indigeneity Speaker's Bios (pdf, 107kb) 

Admission: Free, registrations essential for catering purposes via EventBrite
9.00am - 5.00pm
Federation Hall, Grant Street, Southbank

This symposium is funded by an Ethics and Integrity Development Scheme grant through the Office of Research Ethics and Integrity, The University of Melbourne and is kindly supported by the Faculty of the VCA and MCM, Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development and the Mowanjum Art and Culture Centre.

Wombat season

Did you know?

Reconciliation week falls in the ‘Waring (Wombat) Season’ in the Kulin nation, a time when wombats come out and bask and graze in the sun. The season has cool, rainy days following misty mornings. It is the time of the highest rainfall and lowest temperatures. To find out more about the seven seasons of the Kulin Nation (Victoria) visit: Museum Victoria.