The National Centre of Biography has launched a new project to develop an Indigenous Australian Dictionary of Biography. The four year project is funded by the Australian Research Council and will be led by Dr Shino Konishi from the University of Western Australia, with Dr Malcolm Allbrook and Professor Tom Griffiths, both from the ANU, as chief investigators. Dr Konishi is a member of the Australian Dictionary of Biography Editorial Board, and is also on the ADB's Indigenous Working Party which was established in 2015 and is made up of leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholars from each state and the territory. The working party will advise and guide the project, ensuring that it maintains strong links with Indigenous communities. Dr Allbrook is a research fellow with the National Centre of Biography, and managing editor of the ADB, while Professor Griffiths, one of Australia's leading historians, is chair of the ADB Editorial Board.
The main aim of the project is to add 190 new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander biographies to the ADB which, although it has published nearly 13,000 biographies since it's first volume in 1966, has tended to under-recognise the contribution of Indigenous people to the Australian story. A special stand-along Indigenous ADB will be published at the end of the project.
The structure of the project, which places the Indigenous Working Party as the key advisory body, will ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the opportunity to contribute, both by nominating possible subjects, by authoring biographical entries or assisting with research.