Indigenous Cultural Diplomacy research and sharing program is delivered by the elders from East Arnhem Land, Kaurareg, Wagadagam, Ngambri, and South Goulburn Isnald nations in collaboration with Charles Darwin University and Australian National University. This collaborative engagement and reciprocal care between Indigenous places and people will further grow with the aim of advocating the current national debate on a formal agreement between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Australians and the Australian government. It will also provide ground-up insights how diverse possible agreement models could be according to local sovereign and diplomatic practices in both traditional and contemporary Australian context.
This website exhibits a variety of textual and audiovisual resources showing our people, our places, and the ways in which we practice Indigenous Cultural Diplomacy foregrounded by the sovereign practices of particular Indigenous places-people of Australia.
In 1988, the bicentennial of British colonisation, Barunga Statement was presented to former Prime Minister, Bob Hawke at the annual sport and cultural festival held in Barunga. Following the historic public speech addressed by the PM ”… there shall be a treaty negotiated between the Aboriginal people and the government on behalf of all the people of Australia”, Galarrwuy Yunupiŋu, a former chairperson of the Northern Land Council stated “… the notice [Barunga Statement] that we will present to the Prime Minister now will remind not only Bob Hawke, but the next one after him, and the next one after him, and the next one after him, and next one after him, and we can count that for another 200 years.” However, an agreement between Australian Indigenous peoples and the Australian governments have not been yet made.
In 2017, Uluru Statement from the Heart came out of a constitutional convention of 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates. The statement recommended makarraṯa as a diplomatic concept that could take national reconciliation movement forward. Some resources available from this website look into traditional aspects of makarraṯa that Yolŋu knowledge authorities traditionally practiced as a reconciliation process between clan nations in East Arnhem Land and considers how it could be productively, but carefully applied for the dialogue between Indigenous nations across Australia and Australian governments.