Unsettling the settler state

A book exploring the successes and challenges of the path toward self-governance for Indigenous Australians is to be published following a UNSW workshop.

TomCalma SarahMaddison inside2

A book exploring the successes and challenges of the path toward self-governance for Indigenous Australians is to be published following a UNSW workshop.

The workshop, hosted by the the Indigenous Policy and Dialogue Research Unit (IPDRU), is the precursor to the publication of Unsettling the Settler State: Creativity and Resistance in Indigenous Governance. It will consist of contributions from Indigenous and non-Indigenous authors from across Australia.

Former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma, will pen a chapter with Darren Dick from the Australian Human Rights Commission on Australia's new Indigenous representative body, the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples.

"Our chapter will consider conventional types of governance and emerging Indigenous governance approaches which are equally legitimate and have a strong cultural basis," said Calma.

"This book is about challenging the status quo and literally 'unsettling the settler state' and we hope it encourages dialogue."

Calma will implement an Indigenous governance approach in his new role as national coordinator for tackling Indigenous smoking, where he'll work closely with Indigenous communities to implement culturally focused programs.

"The workshop has been a unique opportunity to bring the contributors together and work through some of the complexities of inter-cultural governance in Australia," said IPDRU Research Director, Associate Professor Sarah Maddison.

Maddison says the book will discuss how Indigenous organisations and resistance continue to challenge the philosophical and institutional frameworks of the settler state and the implications for contemporary Australia.

The Unsettling the Settler State workshop was funded by the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and the Australian Political Studies Association.

The book will be published by Federation Press in early 2011.

Media contact: Fran Strachan | fran.strachan@unsw.edu.au | 9385 8732 | 0429 4160 70