Book Launch: Overturning Aqua Nullius: Securing Aboriginal Water Rights

Overturning aqua nullius was launched Sydney on 22 February by former High Court Judge, the Hon Michael Kirby, who also wrote the foreword to the book. His speech at the Sydney launch can be found at:

Chairperson of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Professor Mick Dodson, speaking at the launch of the book, said it is an extremely timely book that is both challenging and thought provoking:

“This book has the potential to become a starting point for a long overdue debate on water rights and access to water fundamental to Aboriginal Australian livelihoods. Dr. Marshall makes a compelling case that they are both essential to the spiritual and cultural lives of Aboriginal Australians,” Professor Dodson said. “For too long Aboriginal water rights have been ignored by state and federal governments. As a consequence, the traditional owners of the land remain the poorest people living on it.” 

In the book, Virginia  argues that Aboriginal water rights in Australia require legal recognition as property rights: “Water access and infrastructure are integral to the successful economic enterprise in Aboriginal communities. Aboriginal peoples’ social, cultural and economic certainty rests on their right to control and manage customary water,” Dr. Marshall said.

Overturning aqua nullius outlines the legal and human rights case for Aboriginal water rights in Australia and provides a substantial body of research that is central to the field of cultural environmental research.

I hope you can make it to this event.

Decolonising Criminal Justice: Indigenous Perspectives on Social Harm

The Forum on Indigenous Research Excellence (FIRE) invites staff, students and community members to attend its upcoming Symposium – Decolonising Criminal Justice: Indigenous Perspectives on Social Harm, to be held on the University of Wollongong campus on Thursday 24 November and Friday 25 November 2016.

Speakers include Biko Agozino, Moana Jackson, Virginia Marshall, Kanat Wano, Amand Porter, Chris Cunneen and Juan Tauri.

For further information, contact the convenor, Juan Tauri at

When: 24-25 November 2016
Where: University of Wollongong
Register: here

113656 FAR Indigenous Perspectives  A3 Poster


Public lecture: Dr Tony Birch & Professor Jeff Berglund

On 25 May, FIRE will co-host a series of lectures featuring creative writer and academic Dr Tony Birch and Professor Jeff Berglund. The lectures will be followed by a mediated conversation between the two presenters. For more information, see the flyer below.

When: 25 May, 12:30 to 15:45.
Where: LHA Research Hub, Building 19, Room 2072
RSVP here and here.

Birch & Burglund 2016

Twitter Day of Action for Indigenous Health

As part of this year’s Indigenous Health May Day activities, UOW will be hosting a Twitter day of action on Thursday 12 May. For more information, see the flyer below.

What: Twitter Day of Action for Indigenous Health
When: 12 May
Where: University of Wollongong.

Remember, if you’re interested in attending the social media for advocacy and activism workshops on 11 May, register HERE.


Public Lecture by Professor Jeff Berglund

Jeff Berglund is a Professor of English and Director of Liberal Studies at Northern Arizona University in the United States. He is a President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow and affiliate staff member of Ethnic Studies and Applied Indigenous Studies. He teaches Native American literature, comparative Indigenous film, and U.S. multi-ethnic literature. He is the author of articles on a Native American punk band, Diné/Navajo filmmakers, the poet Simon Ortiz (Acoma Pueblo), poet Esther Belin (Diné/Navajo), the pedagogy of American Indian literature, and a co-authored article in The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education on Indigenous terminologies. His books include Cannibal Fictions: American Explorations of Colonialism, Race, Gender, and Sexuality (2006) and the editor and contributor of essays to Sherman Alexie: a Collection of Critical Essays (2010) as well as his newest edited book, Indigenous Pop: Native American Music from Jazz to Hip Hop (2016). In addition to serving as the treasurer of the Association of Studies in American Indian Literature, Berglund is a member of the Forum for Indigenous Research Excellence (FIRE) and The Working Group on Emergent Indigenous Identities.


Dr. Jeff Berglund will discuss American Indian literature & film, North American Indigenous popular music, and his recent research: “‘Go cry over somebody else’s tragedy’: the 1491s, Humor, Resistance, and Resilience.” Berglund will share his analysis of the American Indian comedy troupe, The 1491s, whose name honors the year prior to the onset of the European colonisation of the Americas. This performance group’s YouTube videos and live performances enact humorous critiques of colonization, the intracultural dynamics of tribal communities, in order to staged interventions against on-going misrepresentations and injustices that are the result of neo- and para-colonialism.

When: Wednesday 25 May 2016, 12.30-1.30pm.
Where: LHA Research Hub, Building 19, Room 2072.
RSVP: here.

Join us from 1.30-2.30 for a conversation between Dr Tony Birch author of ‘Ghost River’ and Professor Jeff Berglund.

Public Lecture by Dr Tony Birch

Bruce 9780702253775McGuinness Research Fellow Dr Tony Birch of Victoria University will reflect on his practice as a creative writer and academic. Stories from his recent collection The Promise will, in particular, be highlighted.

When: Wednesday 25th May, 4:30pm
Where: University of Wollongong, room 24.203
RSVP here by Friday 20 May 2016.

This lecture is sponsored by the School of the Arts, English and Media, South Coast Writers Centre and the Forum for Indigenous Research Excellence.

Indigenous Health May Day 2016

The third annual Indigenous Health May Day Twitter festival will be held on Thursday, May 12. The theme for the event is youth and families, and suicide prevention. This will be timely, following the Coming Together for a Greater Tomorrow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Conference, which will be held in Alice Springs, May 4-6.

The event will be hosted by Associate Professor Bronwyn Carlson at the University of Wollongong, with her colleague Dr Tanja Dreher.

The #IHMayDay16 organisers are calling for expressions of interest from individuals and organisations who would like to guest tweet for a session during the day. To apply to contribute, please contact the organisers via this link before April 1.

Book Release // The Politics of Identity: Who Counts as Aboriginal Today?

In this award-winning work, Dr BronwynBook cover Carlson explores the complexities surrounding Aboriginal identity today. Drawing on a range of historical and research literature, interviews and surveys, The Politics of Identity explores Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal understandings of Aboriginality and the way these are produced and reproduced across a range of sites and contexts.

To purchase online, follow this link. For a 10% discount, please use the code ‘IndigenousX’.