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"Being language: Roles, responsibility and respect in Ngaanyatjarra society", 7 October 2015

Australian National University, Shape

Date: 7 October 2015

WhenWednesday 7 October 2015 5:30-6:30pm, followed by a musical performance by Biliirr and a reception: 6.30pm-8:00pm

Where: Common Room, University House, Corner Liversidge Street and Balmain Crescent, ANU, Canberra



Elizabeth Marrkilyi Ellis (ANU), Inge Kral (ANU), Jane Simpson (ANU) and Jennifer Green (The University of Melbourne) will deliver the CASS Annual Public Lecture on Future Directions in Indigenous Research 2015.

How you speak and what you talk about reveals much about your society and its worldview, how you manage knowledge, what you consider beautiful, and how you relate to others. Drawing on a large collection of recordings of verbal arts from the Western Desert region of Central Australia, Ellis will paint a lively picture of the multimodal communicative repertoires used by her Ngaanyatjarra/Ngaatjatjarra people. She, Green, Kral and Simpson will focus on the manner in which narrative practices reveal and instil core cultural values and impart knowledge to the next generation.

Biliirr: Nardi Simpson, Lucy Simpson and Jilda Andrews are three sisters who invoke their Yuwaalaraay country through a dynamic mix of audio, visual, text and language. When they come together as Biliirr ('bill-ear', black cockatoo), they offer audiences a gift of country through song that will leave you feeling like you've been on a journey.

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