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AIATSIS Summit 2023 call for abstracts

As momentum builds towards the AIATSIS Summit 2023 prospective delegates and other presenters are now invited to suggest topics and sessions. The summit, scheduled for 5 to 9 June 2023, will be co-convened with the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) on Noongar boodja (Country) at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. 

The format of the summit over the week will accommodate plenary sessions, panel discussions, individual presentations, and workshops. Abstracts must align with one of the summit’s themes or sub-themes and must be submitted online through the AIATSIS Summit 2023 abstract portal

A summary of the primary theme and the sub-themes follows.

Overall theme: Navigating the spaces in between

‘Navigating the spaces in between’ continues the conversation from the 2022 Summit and expands on the brilliance and value of Indigenous ways of knowing, seeing and being in the world. The overall theme speaks to the importance of relationships and connectivity, of bonds of trust and reciprocity; it suggests a focus on a journey and a destination and encourages time for reflection of where we have come from.

Sub-theme: Opportunity

Topics under this sub-theme might include truth telling; treaty making and diplomacy in agreements and settlements; models of Indigenous representation and authority; movement towards self-government and autonomy; the re-examination of systems and influences from a First Nations perspective.

Sub-theme: Exploration

Topics could include embracing and valuing the strength of Indigenous knowledge and cultures; Indigenous research priorities in meeting national and global challenges; privileging Indigenous knowledge in Australian research and cultural institutions; relationships of reciprocity in living and working on country; exploring a new legislative regime.

Sub-theme: Creating

Topics could include pushing boundaries; creating futures and opportunities; Indigenous stewardship and reconceptualising heritage; research engagement and knowledge transfer; traditional skills, knowledges and in everyday interactions; matters of cultural authority and representation locally and nationally; repatriation of knowledge, ancestors, materials.

Sub-theme: Cusp of change

Topics would look at entrepreneurial opportunity, including the nurturing of Traditional Owner economic and business participation; models of sustainable development and managing ecological and climate change; culturally-informed country management; cultural tourism on our terms.

Sub-theme: Breath and reflect

Topics might include a culture of learning – including learning from the experiences and success of other First Nations; burning boundaries and taking a chance; disrupting and challenging narratives; old ways, new beginnings.

Sub-theme: Becoming

Topics under this sub theme might include decolonisation in the breadth and depth of its meaning (and including decolonising institutions, archives, and disciplines); identity, resilience, and possibility; contemporary artistic practice and expressions of identity and place; language remembering; imagining, designing, and activating Indigenous structures, systems, and ways of doing.

The AIATSIS CEO, Craig Ritchie, noted the success of the 2022 AIATSIS Summit program.

‘That event, on Kabi Kabi Country, was the largest and most successful summit AIATSIS has held to date,’ Mr Ritchie said. 

‘There were more than 120 presentations from over 351 presenters, of whom over 70 per cent were Aboriginal/and or Torres Strait Islander people. We saw academics, native title stakeholders, legal experts, and representatives of the community and cultural sectors and from government come together to collaborate and inspire while addressing challenges for research and native title. 

‘The theme “Navigating the spaces in between” is a proven stimulus for ideas and engagement, and we have not exhausted its potential. The program for 2023 provides the opportunity to bring things from the periphery into focus, identifying among those spaces in between the potential for innovation, risk, and complexity. It opens the way to explore radical creativity and how First Nations people can re-imagine our future.

‘AIATSIS is delighted to partner with SWALSC and its regional corporations in developing a program on Noongar Country that will encourage and reward both vision and enterprise.’

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Last updated: 18 May 2023