On the 21st September, Nobel Laureate Professor Brian Schmidt launched Long History, Deep Time, co-edited by Ann McGrath, Director of the Australian Centre for Indigenous history and Mary-Anne Jebb, now at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. The event took place at the Australian National University and was attended by several of the contributors to the volume. The project arose from an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant, Deepening Histories of Place.
Representatives from some of the key partners, including Mick Dodson and Luke Taylor from AIATSIS (and ANU), and Bronwyn Coupe, formerly of the National Film and Sound Archive joined the celebration, as did members of the Aboriginal History Board who publish the Monograph Series in association with ANU Press. The three PhD students associated with the project were also present, two having contributed to the volume.
In his launch speech, Brian Schmidt discussed how the kind of writing and thinking taking place in this book contrasted sharply with his own field of science and astrophysics. He pointed out the challenges raised by the book. Brian talked about the Pleiades, which is known by Aboriginal people as the Seven Sisters, noting that people all over the world could see them, across time, and had often similar stories about them. He called for a history that was not divided – of a common human history.