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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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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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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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The ‘exciting thing was the landscape’: Raymond Specht, a botanist in the field

Dr Lynne McCarthy, National Museum of Australia

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 18 November 2009

Lynne McCarthy explores the work of Raymond Louis Specht, Expedition botanist, and considers his botanical collection as both a process and a product.

collection, indigenous, science

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Unpacking the testimony of Gerald Blitner: An Indigenous perspective on the Arnhem Land Expedition

Martin Thomas, University of Sydney

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Gerald Blitner served as a guide and translator for the Expedition. Here, Martin Thomas explores his oral testimony alongside archival evidence, including observations recorded by the Expedition party, to unpack their intercultural exchanges.

indigenous, media, science

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Inside Mountford’s tent: paint, politics and paperwork

Dr Philip Jones, South Australian Museum

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Charles Mountford lacked formal credentials as an anthropologist or scientist, yet he led the largest and most complex scientific expedition to remote Australia. Dr Philip Jones explores Mountford’s contribution and the controversy around his leadership.

art, collection, indigenous, politics, 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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Locating the expedition politically: 1948 American–Australian Relations

Professor the Hon Kim Beazley AC

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Kim Beazley situates the 1948 Expedition in the context of postwar international relations.

conflict, indigenous, politics

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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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A history of the 1948 expedition

Dr Sally K May, Australian National University

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Sally K May provides a historical overview of the Expedition, its planning and execution.

collection, indigenous, politics

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