On the 23rd January 2011, at 2.30pm, the Museum will host an Australia Day Debate. You can listen to the speakers, Sam Watson and Nigel Parbury, debate whether the 26th January is the most appropriate date to celebrate our national identity. You will also have the opportunity to ask them your own questions.
Issues to be raised regarding the date include:
Sam Watson is currently the deputy director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit of the University of Queensland. He is a strong advocate for Aboriginal cultural and social issues. He was awarded the Indigenous Writer of the Year Award in 1991 for his novel, The Kadaitcha Sung . Through his work at the Brisbane Aboriginal Legal Service in the early nineties, Watson was involved in implementing the findings of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. He wrote and produced the wildly acclaimed film, Black Man Down, a fictionalized exploration of the commission's findings.
Nigel Parbury graduated in Latin and Fine Arts at Sydney University. He has been a teacher, taxi driver and radio operator. He wrote and illustrated Survival: A History of Aboriginal Life in New South Wales (NSW Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, 1986). He has worked in Aboriginal education for 22 years, the Aboriginal Education Unit, then the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) through the 1990s. He worked on Teaching the Teachers and Teaching Aboriginal Studies and edited the school musical-resource kit 1788: The Great South Land. More about Nigel Parbury.