Photo: Fergus Floyd

Conversations on Country

Saturday 27 April 2019

Join us for an afternoon of discussion and performances that present a range of contemporary expressions and enactments of Indigenous knowledge of land and culture. Conversations on Country coincides with Katie West’s exhibition Clearinga multisensory installation which calls for a renewal of human connections with and within the natural environment.


Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin AO, Senior Wurundjeri Elder, will give a Welcome to Country and read from her text ‘The Seasonal Calendar of the Wurundjeri People’ which describes seven distinct seasons, each marked by the movement of the stars, changes in the weather and the life cycles of plants and animals;

Wurundjeri women Brooke Wandin and Jacqui Wandin will discuss the work that Wandoon Estate Aboriginal Corporation has undertaken at Coranderrk Aboriginal Station and beyond, building on the legacy of their ancestors by strengthening and implementing knowledge of Aboriginal culture and land management;

Uncle Dave Wandin will speak about his award-winning Firestick Project, a Wurundjeri-led program which provides the opportunity to learn about traditional fire-practices, culture and the environment;

Author and academic Kerry Arabena, a descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait, will talk about her work which converges wisdom from Indigenous people’s philosophic traditions with scientific and ethical understandings of contemporary thought to create new understanding of our universal indigeneity, citizenship and our place in living systems;

Kerry Arabena will join Katie West, who belongs to the Yindjibarndi people of the Pilbara tablelands, to discuss her exhibition Clearing, which weaves the many threads of her art together—natural dyeing, meditation and the creation of reading and listening spaces where the voices of Indigenous people dominate.

The afternoon will conclude with a performance by the Djirri Djirri Dance Group who offer dance as an interpretation of Wurundjeri culture and tradition. All of their dances have a story about creation, family and country.

Following the performance complimentary refreshments from TarraWarra Estate, Watts River Brewing and Yarra Valley Dairy will be served.

Conversations on Country is presented as part of ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2019—a socially-engaged festival of exhibitions, theatre works, keynote lectures, events and artist talks considering climate change impacts and the challenges and opportunities arising from climate change. For more information visit

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