Being Collected - When you become me: how collections can trigger collisions

Man from Aboriginal Land Council performing smoking ceremony within museum storage
Brendan Kerin, Metro Aboriginal Land Council, performed Smoking Ceremonies for the whole building, those (north African) human remains that were moving into the new building, and for the grounds and all staff working on the museum project. Photo: Chau Chak Wing Museum 2020.

ANU Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies Research Fellow Dr Jilda Andrews will be giving the annual Macleay Collections Lecture for the Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney.

Dr Jilda Andrews works within a framework of ontology, the study of being. As she writes, colliding ontologically in anthropological fieldwork is as routine as eating toast for breakfast; we train for it, we expect it, we write about and learn from it. These collisions enable our work, are captured in what we produce, and for those of us that work in museums, historical collisions are distilled in collection and exhibition. But of the ontological collisions themselves - the sites where worldviews interface and exchange - there is still a lot to learn. In this lecture Dr Andrews looks at how ontological collisions can reveal a different kind of ‘culture work’ for museum practitioners today – and how collections of cultural material and knowledges can become sites for ongoing collision.

Dr Jilda Andrews is a Yuwaalaraay woman, cultural practitioner and researcher based in Canberra. Jilda draws from her heritage to investigate the connectedness of land, story and culture to objects in museum collections. Her focus on material culture and their associated stories continue to push the definition of custodianship, from one which is focused on the preservation of objects, to one which strives to maintain connections between objects and the systems which produce them.

For more information regarding this event, please visit the Chau Chak Wing Museum website. The event will be hosted online. Please register for a copy of the event link.

Date & time

Thu 26 Nov 2020, 6.30pm


Online Event


Dr Jude Philp, University of Sydney


Updated:  16 November 2020/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications