Theme 1: Contemplative Beginnings - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Theme 1: Contemplative Beginnings

A new beginning; 
To create, to transform, to transport, to delight.

This first theme sets the scene for the conference, inviting us to dream, contemplate and connect – to connect to the beginning of knowledge and story, to connect to our foundational relationships, to acknowledge the rich philosophies and holistic knowledges of First Nations peoples and what the embracing of life as a whole entity which has its source and meaning in the land might mean for us.

This theme of contemplative beginnings invites us to reflect on our relationship within, to the essence of our spirit, soul, heart and body. It invites us to consider our experience of relationship and kinship with others in our local, academic and global communities and to commit to using this conference space to create new and caring connections.

This theme also invites us to remember our relationship with the earth, water and sky, and the more-than human world. And to cultivate our embodied, aesthetic and sensory responses and expression. How might we transform our various worlds and experiences in ways that acknowledge respectful, holistic, integrated ways of living and being, and acknowledge the wisdom of First Nations peoples?

This theme encourages us to create and hold spaces from which to dream new stories for ourselves, for the academy, for our collective futures. Let us feel our way gently and birth something new.

Prepare for Theme 1

Preparation materials for Theme 1

Welcome to Country and Theme 1 Keynote 
Contemplating the Beginning through Contemplating the Complexity

Contemplative beginnings, with First Nations peoples, knowledge systems, through relationships holds to a promise of possibilities. There are however complexities to be untangled, tight hard knots to be undone, a rawness to be exposed – for the possibilities to be realized. This address commences a dialogue that speaks into these complexities by drawing on the lived experience of First Nations women’s stories of the academy and relationships with white others.

Tracey Bunda
Tracey Bunda
Read more about Tracey
Theme 1 Panel
Contemplating the Beginning through Contemplating the Complexity

Black Warrior Women Scholars Speak
The panel, comprised of black warrior women, Aboriginal scholars in Australia [Kathryn and Tracey] and South African scholar [‘Mabokang] speak to the realities of black women’s being in the academy. It is a dialogue for and with white women, those who would collectively locate us all in the sisterhood or through other platforms of ally-ship. We problematize this space. Solutions may not be found but the struggle [to find solutions] should remain.

Before this panel session, please read this letter.

Tracey Bunda
Tracey Bunda
Read more about Tracey
Kathryn Gilbey
Kathryn Gilbey
Read more about Kathryn
Mabokang Monnapula Mapesela
'Mabokang Monnapula-Mapesela
Read more about 'Mabokang