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Celebrating the work of Luise Hercus: A memorial colloquium, 13 July, ANU

Date: 28 June 2018

Celebrating the work of Luise Hercus: a memorial colloquium

Hosted by the Australian National University and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

13 July 2pm - 5pm

Great Hall, University House, Balmain Crescent

Please register to help with catering numbers

A colloquium celebrating the work of Luise Hercus AM, FAHA (1926-2018)  will bring together her colleagues from many disciplines, linguistics, ethnography, history, music and Asian Studies. Short presentations will be given on her contributions to all these fields.

Afternoon tea will be provided.

Luise Hercus AM, FAHA (1926-2018) was one of the great linguists of Australia. Trained in Romance philology and in Sanskrit and Middle Indic studies, Luise Hercus then worked with Indigenous Australians to document  56 languages, along with history, songs, oral literature and places. For many of these languages, her documentation is the main record left, and the thousand hours of audio recordings is one of the largest collections in the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.  Until her death, she continued to work with the descendants of her language teachers to help them revive and maintain their languages. Luise spent nearly 50 years at ANU, where she was a much-loved and respected member of staff, teacher, mentor and researcher. 

Further information:  Harold Koch or  Jane Simpson

DRAFT PROGRAM (as of 28 June) 

Provost, Professor Mike Calford

ANU representative: welcome


Myfany Turpin

AIATSIS representative:


Harold Koch

Luise Hercus’ contribution to the description of Aboriginal languages


Iain Hercus

Luise Hercus as a fieldworker


Brendan Kennedy

Luise Hercus and the teaching and re-learning of Indigenous languages


Philip Jones

Luise Hercus and the Aboriginal heritage of South Australia


Grace Koch & Colin Macdonald

Luise Hercus’ documentation of Aboriginal songs and traditions


Afternoon tea



Richard Barz

Luise Hercus and South Asian and Buddhist Studies


Paul Kaufman

"The power of chance, love and persistence: Tribute to Dr Luise Anna Hercus":


Peter Read

Luise Hercus and the journal Aboriginal History:


Peter Sutton

Luise Hercus and oral histories of the outback


Open microphone comments



  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University

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