For my directed study in Cultural Heritage Management I am working with Griffith University’s Indigenous Research Network to attempt to find answers to some of the many concerns and issues that arose as part of Griffith’s whole of university approach to the development and implementation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduate curricula.
There has been ongoing dialogue, research and focus on the sharing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge in the Griffith University area of south-east Queensland (SEQ). A combined SEQ traditional Owner group emphasised in their public documents that even though Indigenous knowledge may have consistent themes throughout Australia, it is the specifically local aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge that are most valued by those who have preserved them most useful to those who seek to retain and maintain cultural landscapes in the face development pressure. Questions over whose values are upheld and whether preservation and management can coexist have been raised with regards to both physical remains of cultural activity encountered and Indigenous knowledge collected, stored and transmitted through educational institutions.
To investigate cultural heritage management of both tangible and intangible Indigenous culture I have undertaken an environmental scan of the publicly available policy of a number of universities and Traditional Owner entities to determine how Indigenous authority is maintained over cultural heritage management. The intention is to provide suggested frameworks and processes for the collaborative development of policy/strategy that reflects the expectations of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and meets the needs of the institution.