Sunday, November 22, 2009

National Indigenous Education Conference 2009, Hobart

Good morning all. This week I will be live blogging from the National Indigenous Education Conference 2009 in Hobart. The conference theme for this year is 'Strength in Community: Closing the Gap'.

Lyn and myself have an exhibit at the conference to showcase the Plenty Stories series that have been written by Senior Indigenous Education Officer, Trish Albert. The books are resources that aim to give primary teachers confidence in teaching Indigenous culture and issues. So we are here to let the 623 conference delegates know about this fabulous resource.

Last night was the conference opening, which we attended in the Town Hall and were served very tasty bbq kangaroo and wallaby. Then we had a tour across the road at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

TMAG have a special exhibition on called Tayenebe which explores how Tasmanian Aboriginal women are reviving traditional fibre skills through basket-making and weaving. I was fortunate to talk to one of the artists about the baskets she makes from bull kelp (a very wide, flat seaweed), as it is similar to one displayed at the National Museum. The artist explained they only use kelp that is found on the beach, and large pieces are very difficult to find. The kelp has a texture like leather and contracts substantially when it is dried out. The exhibition will be touring to the National Museum in March next year.

Anyway more to come as the conference unfolds... Will be a very exciting week.

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