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CIAF Symposium - Climate Change

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Can be viewed via CIAF Facebook page


Hosted by Brenda L Croft from the Gurindji/Malngin/Mudburra peoples, art curator and Associate professor, Indigenous Art History & Curatorship at ANU. Speakers include Murrandoo Yanner, Alexis Wright, Phillemon Mosby and Gavin Singleton.

This year’s CIAF theme is Climate Change, join our esteem panel to explore intergenerational cultural knowledge and practice to prevent climate catastrophes now and for future generations.


Brenda L Croft

Brenda L Croft is from the Gurindji/Malngin/Mudburra peoples from the Victoria River region of the Northern Territory of Australia, and Anglo-Australian/German/Irish/Chinese heritage. She has been involved in the Australian First Nations and broader contemporary arts and cultural sectors as an artist, arts administrator, curator, educator and consultant since the mid 1980s. Brenda lives and works in Canberra on Ngambri/Ngunawal/Ngunnawal country where she is Associate Professor, Indigenous Art History and Curatorship at the Centre for Art History and Art Theory, School of Art and Design, College of Arts & Social Sciences, Australian National University.



Murrandoo Yanner

Murrandoo Yanner is an Aboriginal activist and a champion of Indigenous rights. He is a Gangalidda man from Moungibi (Burketown) in the lower Gulf of Carpentaria. He is a Director of the Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (CLCAC) and the Gulf Regional Aboriginal Corporation (GRAC PBC). Murrandoo is also the Chairperson of the Gangalidda and Garawa Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (GGNTAC PBC). He held the position of CEO of the CLCAC from 1992 until 2001, before becoming ATSIC Commissioner until 2002. Through his campaigning and work he has made numerous contributions to the rights and opportunities of Indigenous peoples in the Gulf of Carpentaria. This includes areas of Native Title and environmental sustainability. He has also overseen a number of successful social, economic and cultural development initiatives such as the Indigenous Ranger Program and the Junior Ranger Program, Yagurli Tours, the Jigija Indigenous Fire Training Program and the Gangalidda Indigenous Language Revitalisation Program.

Watch ABC TV Gangalidda rangers piece


Alexis Wright

Alexis Wright is a member of the Waanyi nation of the southern highlands of the Gulf of Carpentaria.  Her work over decades includes numerous campaigns for land rights, and the Combined Aboriginal Nations of Central Australia’s campaign for Aboriginal self-government in the Northern Territory. She is an author of Plains of Promise, and the prize-winning novels Carpentaria and The Swan Book.  She has published essays on Aboriginal rights, storytelling, global warming issues, and written three works of non-fiction: Take Power, an oral history of the Central Land Council; Grog War, a study of alcohol abuse in the Northern Territory; and Tracker, an award-winning collective memoir of Aboriginal leader, Tracker Tilmouth. Her books have been published widely overseas, including in China, the US, the UK, Italy, India, France and Poland. She holds the position as the Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature at the University of Melbourne. Wright is the only author to win both the Miles Franklin Award (in 2007 for Carpentaria) and the Stella Prize (in 2018 for Tracker).

Hey! Ancestor! (poem)


Gavin Singleton

Gavin Singleton is the Project Manager for the Dawul Wuru Aboriginal Corporation. He currently manages the Yirrganydji Land and Sea Ranger Program, which operates along the coast between Cairns and Port Douglas in North Queensland. Gavin has family connections to Yirrganydji/Djabugay people (Cairns to Port Douglas region), Umpila people (Nesbit River, Cape York), and Kalkadoon (Central Queensland).

Gavin has attended, presented and performed at various events across the globe including the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland (2018), United Nations Oceans Conference in New York (2017), IUCN World Parks Congress in Australia (2014), and the COP-11 Convention on Biological Diversity in India (2012). In 2018, Gavin received a Community Champions Cassowary Award from the Wet Tropics Management Authority and selected as a speaker for TEDx JCU Cairns. Asa graduate from Curtin University with Honours in Applied Science, he is a passionate cultural, environmental, and community development practitioner.

Watch: Yirrganydji Sea Country Video (Facebook)


Cr. Phillemon Mosby

Mayor, Torres Strait Island Regional Council

The Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) is Australia’s most northernly municipality, which shares an international border with Papua New Guinea and 15 unique island communities spread across 42,000km2 of sea, and nestled between where the sun rises on Mer in the East, to where the sun sets on Boigu in the West. Previously serving as the Councillor for Poruma (Coconut Is.) from 2008-2015; the 2020 local government elections saw Mayor Mosby return to office, elected at large into the regional Mayoralty.

Mayor Mosby is the second only person to step into the Mayoralty since the Council’s amalgamation in 2008. He brings a youthful and innovative approach to the role, backed by a strong dossier in community development and local government service, which has included several roles within the amalgamated Council and the previous Island Council, such as administration, housing and tenancy management, engagement and advocacy, and many voluntary positions within the local community.

Working tirelessly over the last two decades, Mayor Mosby has continuously advocated for action on global warming and protection from the devastating effects climate change is having on island communities within the Torres Strait. His advocacy has also focused on the preservation of cultural practice, dance and traditional languages, regularly representing the region and speaking at many national and international forums, and facilitating the conversation around repatriation of cultural artefacts back to their rightful place in Zenadth Kes.

Central to Mayor Mosby’s vision is ‘kunakanpalan ngoelmun lagaw mina pawal’ which translates to ‘Strengthening our Island Identity’ in his people’s Kulkalgaw Ya dialect (Kala Lagaw Ya Language Group) focusing his commitment to reclaim the region and it’s vibrancy, retain Torres Strait Islander’s enduring identity and belonging, and regain Ailan Kastom and cultural practise which has existed since time immemorial.

Mayor Mosby is also currently Chair of the Porumalgal (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation, Director of the Gur A Baradharaw Kod Sea and Land Council Torres Strait Islander Corporation and Chair of the Torres Strait Local Disaster Management Group.

Watch: Every King Tide

INFRACTIONS documentary

Previewing online at CIAF, and premiering in Australia at the IMA is INFRACTIONS, a feature length video installation in dialogue with frontline Indigenous cultural workers’ struggles against threats to more than 50% of the Northern Territory from shale gas fracking. In the last decade, amid an unceasing mining boom, neo-paternalistic policies have aimed to reverse investments in remote Aboriginal homelands and land rights. With the lifting of a moratorium in the Northern Territory in 2018, British, US and homegrown settler mining companies exploit the weakness of Indigenous rights paradigms – explained in the film by Professor Irene Watson – to plan the expansion of a toxic, planet-warming industry across vast, ancient underground water systems. This is a climate justice film.

INFRACTIONS features musician/community leader Dimakarri ‘Ray’ Dixon (Mudburra); two-time Telstra Award finalist Jack Green, also winner of the the 2015 Peter Rawlinson Conservation Award (Garawa, Gudanji); musician/community leader Gadrian Hoosan (Garrwa, Yanyuwa); ranger Robert O’Keefe (Wambaya), educators Juliri Ingra and Neola Savage (Gooreng Gooreng); Ntaria community worker and law student Que Kenny (Western Arrarnta); musician Cassie Williams (Western Arrarnta); the Sandridge Band from Borroloola; and Professor Irene Watson (Tanganekald, Meintangk Bunganditj) contributor to the draft UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 1990-1994. 

Production credits: Director/Research/Camera/Sound: Rachel O'Reilly. Editor/Visual Research: Sebastian Bodirsky. Camera: Tibor Hegedis, Colleen Raven (Nharla Photography). Sound mastering: Jochen Jezussek. Map visuals: Valle Medina, Benjamin Reynolds (Pa.LaC.E). Subtitles: Katharina Habibi. Commissioned by the KW Production Series, organised in collaboration with the Julia Stoschek Collection and OUTSET Germany_Switzerland, and produced with additional support from The Australia Council for the Arts.

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