Collecting A Continent: a workshop with experts on Australian colonial collections

On 6 and 7 October we will hold an international workshop with expert curators, researchers and archivists from Berlin and from around Australia. The workshop will serve to lay the foundations for future collaboration with potential project partners.

To open the workshop, a keynote will be delivered by Associate Professor Sandy O’Sullivan from the University of the Sunshine Coast. Professor O’Sullivan will outline some of their findings from an international survey of 470 museum organisations on the engagement and representation of First Nations Peoples, and their experience and expertise researching First Nations perspectives on and in museums. We will hear about what Professor O’Sullivan believes to be the key considerations and first principles for museum staff and researchers located outside Australia (in this case, Germany) when beginning to address the questions that are posed by colonial natural history collections, be they ethical, spiritual, cosmological, religious, health-related, political, practical or otherwise.

Responses to the keynote will be given by Dr Michael Pickering from the National Museum of Australia and Katja Kaiser from the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin.

The keynote and responses will be followed by an internal workshop. We have invited researchers and museum custodians from Germany and Australia whose projects are thematically relevant, provide inspiration and/or serve as best practice models to discuss next steps. With:

  • Katrin Böhme, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
  • Rebecca Carland, Museum Victoria, Melbourne
  • Tom Darragh, Museum Victoria, Melbourne
  • Vanessa Finney, Australian Museum, Sydney
  • Larissa Förster and Sarah Fründt, German Lost Art Foundation
  • Anna Haebich, Curtin University, Perth
  • Ina Heumann, Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
  • Katja Kaiser, Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
  • Peter Monteath, Flinders University, Adelaide
  • Kimberley Moulton, Museums Victoria, Melbourne, member of the Yorta Yorta nation
  • Lynette Russell, Monash University, Melbourne
  • Tim Stranks, Museums Victoria, Melbourne
  • Anna Weinreich, Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin
  • John Kean, independent researcher, Melbourne
  • Mark Grist, independent archaeologist, member of the Wergaia Wamba Wamba and Nyeri Nyeri nations

If you would like to attend the keynote, please register by sending an email to Times: 3-4pm AWST (WA), 5:30-6:30pm ACDT (SA/NT), 6-7pm AEDT (Vic/ACT/NSW/Qld), 9-10am CET (Berlin).

Drawing of a superb fairywren by Blandowski

William Blandowski: drawing of a superb fairywren (1850). Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin. MfN, HSBS, B001-03 345.

MfN, HSBS, B001-03 345 – Drawing of a superb fairywren (Maluris cyaneus) by William Blandowski; Adelaide 1850. The text provides two Indigenous bird names (‘irrillall’ and ‘riane’) and the European name for the region (‘Loddon’). A transcription of the text can be accessed here:

Two such birds in the MfN collection are directly linked to Blandowski as collector (central museum inventory numbers 27737 and 18807).



Biography of Associate Professor Sandy O’Sullivan:

MfN, HSBS, B001-03 345: drawing of a superb fairywren by Wilhelm Blandowski from the MfN collection:

OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
katedavison (September 28, 2020). Collecting A Continent: a workshop with experts on Australian colonial collections. Berlin's Australian Archive. Retrieved July 20, 2024 from

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