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Beneath the billabongs: The scientific legacy of Robert Rush Miller

Gifford Miller and Robert Cashner

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 18 November 2009

Robert Rush Miller was one of the youngest members of the 1948 American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land. Miller’s son, Gifford Miller, and son-in-law, Robert Cashner, provide insight into his life and work.

exploration, indigenous

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Appraising the legacy of the Arnhem Land Expedition: An insider’s perspective

Emeritus Professor Raymond Louis Specht

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 18 November 2009

Raymond Louis Specht, botanist on the 1948 Expedition, reflects on the influence of the Expedition and discusses his botanical investigations.

collection, indigenous, science

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Collecting Australia at the Smithsonian: 150 years and still going

Dr Adrienne L Kaeppler, National Museum of Natural History, United States

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 18 November 2009

Adrienne Kaeppler, Curator of Oceanic Ethnology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, provides an overview of the museum’s Australian collections, focusing on the Arnhem Land collection which comprises more than 400 artefacts.

collection, indigenous

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Hidden for 60 years: The motion picture films of the American–Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land

Josh Harris (paper read by Mark Jenkins)

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 18 November 2009

Josh Harris describes the rediscovery in the archives of The National Geographic Society of 12,000 feet of film shot by Howell Walker during the 1948 Expedition and the in-depth steps that were taken to preserve and bring the footage back to life.

collection, indigenous, media

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Launch of Collecting Cultures, a book about the 1948 expedition

Craddock Morton, National Museum of Australia

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 18 November 2009

Craddock Morton, Director of the National Museum of Australia, introduces, contextualises and launches the book by Sally K May: Collecting Cultures: Myth, Politics and Collaboration in the 1948 Arnhem Land Expedition

Transcript

collection, indigenous, politics

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Birds on the wire: Colin Simpson and the emergence of the radio documentary feature

Tony MacGregor, Arts Editor, ABC Radio National

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 18 November 2009

Tony MacGregor examines the 1948 ABC radio feature about the Expedition both as a remarkable contemporary account and as a media object of an emerging form – the radio documentary feature.

indigenous, media, politics

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Making a sea change: Rock art, archaeology and the enduring legacy of McCarthy’s research on Groote Eylandt

Dr Anne Clarke, University of Sydney and Ursula Frederick, Australian National University

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 18 November 2009

Dr Anne Clarke and Ms Ursula Frederick revisit Frederick McCarthy’s research in relation to their own more recent analyses of rock art sites on Groote Eylandt, using sites that were not recorded in 1948, and focusing on cross-cultural interaction.

archaeology, art, indigenous

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‘A Robinson Crusoe in Arnhem Land …’: Howell Walker, National Geographic, and the 1948 Arnhem Land Expedition

Mark Jenkins, writer, editor and historian

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Mark Jenkins explores the role played by the Expedition’s primary American sponsor – National Geographic – and its intrepid representative, Howell Walker.

exploration, indigenous, photography, place, science

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‘Bastard barks’: A gift from the 1948 Arnhem Land expedition

Adjunct Professor Margo Neale, National Museum of Australia

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Margo Neale explores Charles Mountford’s collection of works on paper, locating them as a useful starting point for reassessing Mountford’s reputation as a collector of Aboriginal art and stories.

art, indigenous

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The responsibilities of leadership: The records of Charles P Mountford

Suzy Russell (paper co-authored by Denise Chapman), State Library of South Australia

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Suzy Russell describes the Mountford–Sheard collection at the State Library of South Australia, shares insights recorded by Bessie Mountford in a journal she kept during the Expedition, and considers some Expedition controversies.

collection, indigenous

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