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Leading national and international experts in the field of Indigenous health and wellbeing will be in Darwin from 18 to 20 June 2019 for the Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2019.
Under the theme of 'Thinking, Speaking, Being' the conference will bring together some 760 delegates from around Australia and the world to celebrate, share and strengthen Indigenous knowledges.
The event is organised by the Lowitja Institute, Australia's national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research. The Chairperson, Ms Pat Anderson AO, said the conference would place where respectful, provocative conversations can take place about what concerns First Nations peoples today, and what our vision and ambitions are for future generations.
"We would like these conversations to explore new ways of thinking, speaking and being in the world, serve who we are, promote new ideas, and take a planetary approach. We want to facilitate opportunities for deep thought, for learning from each other, and for planning future action", said Ms Anderson.
Larrakia Nation Elders representing the Traditional Custodians of the land on which the conference will be held - the Darwin Convention Centre - will welcome delegates with a traditional Welcome to Country on the evening of 17 June, before a conference program underpinned by a strong scientific and cultural framework.
In this United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages, the conference theme - Thinking, Speaking, Being: First Nations solutions for global change - highlights the importance of language in enabling empowerment, cultural strength, wellbeing, and identity.
The theme also reminds delegates and presenters to consider the global implications of their work, to highlight the role of First Nations people in leading change, and to showcase Indigenous solutions. It frames First Nations people as the guardians and stewards of the solutions for many of the complex issues and mega trends that affect them.
The program will include keynote addresses from Mr Peter Yu (Chair of the Indigenous Reference Group to the Northern Ministerial Forum), renown author Mr Bruce Pascoe (winner of the Australia Council 2018 Lifetime Achievement in Literature Award), Professor Tahu Kukutai (Professor of Demography, University of Waikato), Dr Julia Kim (Program Director of the Gross National Happiness Centre of Bhutan), Mr Bruce Blankenfeld (Master Navigator with the Polynesian Voyaging Society), and Dr Abhay Bang (past Chairman of the Expert Committee on Tribal Health, Government of India).
A strong art, performance and social program will feature Indigenous artists Electric Field, Richard Fejo, Warren Corrowa, Rochelle Pitt and the Merindas, as well as MCs Ben Graetz, Kevin Kropinyeri and dance groups One Mob Different Country, and Upai Purri.
Six awards will be presented recognising excellence in Indigenous health and wellbeing research. More information: https://www.conference2019.lowitja.org.au
For media queries and/or to arrange interviews with keynote speakers or Ms Anderson, please contact Cristina Lochert on 0413 833 354 or Luke Pearson on 0404 095 547.