Territory history in the spotlight 


Who are the unsung heroines of Indigenous culture in Australia and New Zealand? And which Catholic priests have had a major influence on Territory communities?

Find out who these people are in a free weekend of history and storytelling at the annual History Colloquium at the NT Museum and Art Gallery at Fannie Bay.

The Colloquium – a term used to define the more intimate and friendly nature of this conference of historical minds – will bring together researchers and historians to put forward their points of view.

The event is organised by Charles Darwin University, the Australian National University and the Museum and Art Gallery, with each institution providing speakers.

CDU history professor David Carment, who has been involved in selecting speakers for many years, says the Colloquium is a chance for the public to hear the latest research into a wide range of subjects – on this occasion focusing on the history of the Top End, with the occasional excursion elsewhere.

Robyn Smith, the Deputy Editor of Debates in the NT Parliament, will provide a sneak preview of her doctoral thesis with an account of the shenanigans in the Legislative Assembly at its official opening in 1978.

Her account will be enlivened by the dramatisation of the speeches in the House, thanks to her colleagues at the ABC, who have volunteered their voices to a CD recording.

Other speakers include Karen Fox, from ANU, exploring famous Indigenous women since 1788, CDU researcher Ted Ling on the Commonwealth’s role in developing the pastoral industry and Daena Murray from MAGNT looking at the history of white artists’ engagement with the Territory.

Dr Wendy Beresford-Maning will uncover the lives of three priests who spent their lives helping shape Indigenous communities and Kathy De La Rue will explain the history of Darwin between two crucial dates – 1911 and 1978.

There will also be papers on pioneer aviator and diplomat Charles ‘Moth’ Eaton – the man who chose the site of Darwin airport – the history of library collections and Aboriginal perceptions of historical visitors through rock art.

The Colloquium runs from 9am on Saturday until midday on Sunday (November 11 and 12) at the MAGNT theatrette. Entry is free. Refreshments and lunch at Cornucopia restaurant at own expense. Further information phone David Carment on 0418 857 182.