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Final call for abstracts: AIATSIS Summit 5–9 June 2023

Prospective delegates and presenters have until Tuesday 28 February, to submit proposed topics and sessions for the AIATSIS Summit 2023, scheduled for 5 to 9 June. The summit will be co-convened with the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) on Noongar boodja at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.  

This year's summit will bring together delegates from around Australia for one of the largest gatherings of its kind. The five-day program will encompass plenary sessions, panel discussions, individual presentations, various workshops and includes the 2023 Mabo Lecture. 

The summit will showcase a range of exhibitors throughout the week with an engaging social program, culminating in a gala dinner for delegates and their guests on the final night. The summit will be a week of learning, networking, socialising, and sharing experiences; it is not to be missed. 

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 AIATSIS Summit 2022 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. 



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; re-examining systems and influences from a First Nations perspective. 


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. 


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, and materials. 

Cusp of change 

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

Breathe 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. 


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 2023 AIATSIS Summit will build on the success of the 2022 event held on Kabi Kabi Country. Over 350 presenters, of whom more than 70 per cent were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, offered more than 120 presentations. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, academics, native title stakeholders, legal experts, government and the community, cultural, educational, languages, and GLAM sectors will come together to collaborate in addressing current and future challenges. 

The theme ‘Navigating the spaces in-between’ is a proven stimulus for ideas and engagement. The program for 2023 provides the opportunity to explore radical creativity and how First Nations people can reimagine the future. 

For the AIATSIS Summit 2023, AIATSIS is delighted to partner with SWALSC and its regional corporations in developing a program on Noongar boodja that will encourage and reward both vision and enterprise. 

AIATSIS media contact: 


Last updated: 16 February 2023