Our History, Our Story, Our Future

BungareeThe amazing story of Bungaree, who helped Matthew Flinders to chart Australia, is part of National Reconciliation Week 2016 at Flinders University.

‘Our History, Our Story, Our Future’ is the theme for NRW which runs from 27 May to 3 June.

Bungaree was a Guringai man from Broken Bay and well-known figure in colonial Sydney.

In 1799 he was recruited by Matthew Flinders (1774-1814) to mediate with Aboriginal people along the coast in an expedition to Moreton and Hervey Bays. 

Earning the trust and respect of the English navigator, Bungaree then joined Flinders in one of the greatest achievements of Australian exploration, the circumnavigation of the continent in 1802-03.

His efforts are acknowledged in the Matthew Flinders bronze statue recently unveiled at Flinders this month to commemorate the University’s 50th anniversary.

Flinders University is celebrating NRW in a number of ways, starting with a Flinders Indigenous Student Association barbecue outside the Office of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement (OISE) on Friday, various student activities on campus during the week, and a lecture by NSW curator, writer, artist and activist Djon Mundine and special screening of Bungaree’s Farm at the Flinders University Art Museum (FUAM) on Wednesday 1 June.

Bungaree’s Farm is a projection created by Djon Mundine in 2014-15 with emerging and established Aboriginal artists: Daniel Boyd, Blak Douglas (aka Adam Hill), Karla Dickens, Leah Flanagan, Amala Groom, Warwick Keen, Peter McKenzie, Caroline Oakley, Bjorn Stewart, Leanne Tobin, Jason Wing, Chantelle Woods and Sandy Woods.

Mr Mundine, who holds a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), is a member of the Bandjalung people of northern NSW. Bungaree’s Farm was originally commissioned and first presented by Mosman Art Gallery.

This event is presented for National Reconciliation Week 2016 by FUAM, OISE, Flinders Institute for Research in the Humanities and Flinders Events.

Other Flinders OISE news this week includes Natalie Harkin being shortlisted for the NSW Writer’s Premiers Award and artwork by another staff member Ali Gumillya Baker being included in a special exhibition at the National Gallery.

Ms Baker, Associate Dean of Yunggorendi Student Engagement at Flinders, is part of the 50 Creatives list as part of the University’s 50th anniversary year.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, 31 May from 7pm), the 2016 Lowitja O’Donoghue Oration will feature a talk on the importance of language to Aboriginal cultural identities. Former SA premier and Ambassador for Reconciliation SA, the Rev Dr Lynn Arnold AO, will explore the topic Lingua Nullius: A retrospect and prospect about Australia’s first languages. Go to Dunstan Foundation and register here.

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