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Australian Research Council Linkage Project funding awarded to A/Prof Tiffany Shellam

Australian Research Council Linkage Project funding awarded to A/Prof Tiffany Shellam

A/Prof Tiffany Shellam, with partners from Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation, National Museum of Scotland, Western Australian Museum, National Museum of Australia, University of Western Australia, Natural History Museum, London and the City of Albany, has been awarded funding for an Australian Research Council Linkage Project.

The project, Entangled Knowledges: Kaartdijin, Science and History in the Robert Neill collection, is based on the collection of fish specimens, sketches and ethnographic material taken from Menang Country (Albany, WA) by Robert Neill in 1841.

The project aims to connect the collection, housed in National Museums Scotland and the Natural History Museum in London, with Menang families and to digitally reassemble the collection, in an effort to adjust the dominance of Western science frameworks of natural history collections by centring otherwise hidden Indigenous taxonomies.

This cross-sector, collaborative and Indigenous-governed team will re-frame the understanding of the Robert Neill collection, unearth Indigenous taxonomic practices, produce new histories of biocultural collections, and develop the ‘kaartdijin model’ for participatory cross-cultural and cross-sector collaborations. Workshops with Menang participants on Country will produce content for a digital reassembling of the collection to be used by museum partners, ensuring wide cross-sector and community engagement with project outcomes.

A/Prof Shellam’s ARC success comes after an exciting year, which included winning the prize Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2020: History for her book Meeting the Waylo: Aboriginal Encounters in the Archipelago, a history of three Indigenous Australians who were intermediaries on board maritime expeditions in the early nineteenth century.


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