Re-Framing Indigenous Biography

The National Centre of Biography, in collaboration with our ARC Project 'An Indigenous Australian Dictionary of Biography', is hosting a conference on Indigenous biography.

The aim of our conference is to explore and re-think Indigenous biography, considering what aspects make it distinct, what issues and concerns need to be taken into account, how do we convey the voices and perspectives of Indigenous people in different ways, and how might we approach biography more creatively in the future. The ultimate aim of the conference is to discover new approaches and considerations when we produce approximately 190 new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander biographies for the Australian Dictionary of Biography over the next three years.

The keynote speakers are:

  • Alexis Wright (University of Melbourne)
  • Ashley Glassburn Falzetti (University of Windsor, Canada), and
  • Alice Te Punga Somerville (University of Waikato, New Zealand/Aotearoa).

Other confirmed speakers are Malcolm Allbrook (ANU), Odette Best (Southern Queensland), Tony Birch (Victoria), Kate Fullagar (Macquarie), Julie Gough (independent artist), Grace Karskens (UNSW), Shino Konishi (UWA), Arini Loader (Victoria University, Wellington), Michael McDonnell (Sydney), Margo Neale (National Museum of Australia), Alistair Paterson (UWA), and Katerina Teiwa (ANU).

The conference will also include an innovative Biography Slam, in which presenters offer innovative, concise biographical snapshots of Indigenous individuals, highlighting the diversity of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lives and biographical practices.

Special Event:

The Conference will include a public lecture by keynote speaker Alice Te Punga Somerville at the National Portrait Gallery, followed by a cocktail reception, on Thursday 15 November, 5pm.

Participation: Maximum of 100 people

Registration process and costs: To be confirmed.

The conference is organised by Shino Konishi, Malcolm Allbrook and Tom Griffiths, and generously supported by the National Centre of Biography, the Australian Research Council and the College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU.

Date & time

Thu 15 Nov 2018, 9am – Fri 16 Nov 2018, 5pm


Auditorium, Australian Centre on China in the World


Alexis Wright
Ashley Glassburn Falzetti
Alice Te Punga Somerville


National Centre of Biography


Shino Konishi


Updated:  4 September 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications