Australian history and cultural events will be explored in the annual History Colloquium in Darwin in mid-November.
Organised by Charles Darwin University, the Australia National University and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, the Colloquium—an academic word for a conference—will offer insights into a broad range of historical subjects by experts in their field.
The free weekend event on November 11 and 12 will be held at the theatrette in the Museum and Art Gallery on the shores of Fannie Bay.
First up in the line-up of historical papers will be Dr Mickey Dewar’s survey of the gradual development of the Festival of Darwin—a cultural celebration that began in the 1960s as a combination of sporting events, street parades and a celebration of Darwin’s unique lifestyle.
Dr Dewar is curator of Territory history for the Museum and Art Gallery, and has delved deeply into festival archives to chart the maturation and transformation of the city’s festival into the multi-cultural, sophisticated event now familiar to Darwin residents.
It wasn’t always that way, however: as Dr Dewar’s paper will reveal, early celebrations of the city focused heavily on mixing sporting events with its cultural component with a strong emphasis on promoting the city’s tourism potential.
And Indigenous participation was hardly even considered in the early days, except for the odd art exhibition.
Other historical subjects to be explored over the weekend include famous Indigenous women since 1788, working conditions in the Territory in the early 20th century, the development of Territory aviation, white artists’ engagement with Indigenous people from the 1930s and several papers on Commonwealth involvement in the development of the Territory.
Speakers will come from CDU, ANU and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.
The Colloquium starts at 9am on November 11 and finishes at midday on Sunday, November 12. For further information contact Professor David Carment at CDU on 041 188 571 182.