Indigenous Elders speak out at Charles Darwin Symposium 

Dr Tom Calma AO will join the Elders Panel as part of Symposium 2013

A panel of respected Indigenous Elders will make a significant contribution to this year’s Charles Darwin Symposium to be held on Sunday and Monday 21and 22 April at Charles Darwin University in Darwin.

The “Indigenous Knowledges in a Changing World” Symposium will highlight how traditional Australian Indigenous Knowledge Systems are being used by many communities to create new business and employment opportunities.

The Elders Panel will be part of the closing session on Day Two of the Symposium which will feature presentations from some of Australia and New Zealand’s leading Indigenous Academics. 

Respected Elders taking part in the panel discussion will include Dr Tom Calma AO, former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and Dr Sue Stanton from Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education who was the first Indigenous student to complete a research PhD at CDU in 2007.

Other panel members include Mr Harold Furber, Emeritus Professor MaryAnn Bin-Sallik, Ms Trish Angus and Professor Yvonne Cadet-James from James Cook University.

Chair of the 2013 Symposium organising committee, Professor Steven Larkin, Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership at CDU said the Elders panel discussion provides a valuable opportunity for both delegates and participants to engage with some of the Territory’s and Australia’s most prominent Aboriginal Elders.

“We are particularly privileged to have Dr Tom Calma AO join us for the Symposium as he is actively involved in a number of key education and training initiatives both here at CDU and nationally,” Professor Larkin said. “He is also an Aboriginal elder from the Kungarakan tribal group, near Batchelor south of Darwin and member of the Iwaidja tribal group here in the NT. 

“Dr Sue Stanton, is another panel member who will bring her unique perspective as a colonial historian. She is a Kungarakan-Gurindji woman born in Larrakia country.

“The two day Symposium is free and everyone is welcome to come, share and discover more about traditional Indigenous Knowledge systems and take advantage of the opportunity to engage with some remarkable people.”

Day One of the Symposium on Sunday 21 April is an ideal event for the whole family and includes presentations, food stalls, fashion parade and entertainment by talented Indigenous musicians including Shellie Morris and Paul McKenzie along with an exhibition by print artist Anne Hanning.

The Symposium is an initiative of the Northern Territory Government and CDU partnership agreement. It is also sponsored by the UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSITY. 

To register and view the full 2013 Symposium program, visit: