Doing Indigenous Urban Research

The urbanisation of people, space, and the future is occurring on a planetary scale. Indigenous peoples have been insightful scholars of urbanisation, at a local, for hundreds of years. And yet, Indigenous contributions to urban planning and infrastructure are not commonly recognised in dominant historical and policy accounts of cities.

The seminar series, Doing Indigenous Urban Research: Creative Futures and Indigenising Urban Studies, centers Indigenous expertise and history to contemporary urban problems in Australia and demonstrates the relevance of Indigenist research approaches to international urban studies.

The seminar series addresses the creative ways Indigenous peoples have contributed to urbanisation in Australia and how urbanisation can support sustainable Indigenous futures. Indigenous expertise and experience of urbanisation in Australia can productively address a number of urban agendas with global implications such as the growing youth demographic of the Indigenous population and approaches to climate change and bio-diversity in urban spaces that can sustainably respond to environmental problems resulting from rapid urbanisation.

‘Doing Indigenous Urban Research’ affirms the centrality of Indigenous contributions to urbanisation and circulates Indigenous expertise and policy-relevant knowledge to global discussions of the urbanisation of the future.

Doing Indigenous Urban Research is supported by a Seminar Series Award from the Urban Studies Foundation. The Urban Studies Foundation is a charitable organisation that provides grant funding to advance academic research and education in the field of urban studies.

These talks are run on Dubbo campus and recorded online.

Indigenous ecologies: Changing climates and urban environments by Auntie Frances Bodkin

The importance of plant associations in our landscape.

Book D'harawal, Climate and other sourcesAuntie Frances Bodkin is a descendant of the D’harawal people of the Bidiagal clan. She is an educator of D’harawal knowledge and has a number of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Environmental Sciences. She has publications on D’harawal culture, stories and natural resources.

Creative Futures and Indigenisation by Associate Professor Sandra Phillips

Book - Knowledge of LifeThis talk focuses on the Creative Industries and the Indigenous Business Economy.

Associate Professor Sandra Phillips is a member of the Wakka Wakka and Gooreng Gooreng nations in Queensland. Sandra is a member of the Indigenous professoriate at the University of Technology Sydney where she also currently coordinates Indigenous Higher Degree by Research. Sandra’s research interest lies in Indigenous creativity and she is published in diverse outlets.

Indigenous Youth Activism: ‘Why it’s important for us to show up’ by Meriki Onus and Tarneen Onus Williams

This talk focused on the important urban issues for Indigenous Youth.

Book - Warriors of the Aboriginal ResistanceTarneen Onus Williams is a Yigar Gunditjmara, Bindal, Yorta Yorta person. Tarneen is a community organiser for Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance working on Invasion Day, Black Deaths in Custody, Justice for Elijah and Stop the forced closures of Aboriginal Communities in WA. Tarneen works and is passionate about prison abolition and the power of young Aboriginal people. Tarneen is a writer and has been published in IndigenousX, The Saturday Paper, NITV and RightNow.

Meriki Onus is a Gunnai and Gunditjmara woman who grew in Gippsland. Meriki is currently doing policy and advocacy at Djirra. She also has significant experience in campaigning in community on issues such as deaths in custody, youth detention, racism and more recently the Djapwurrung trees. Meriki is also a co-founder of Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance and is one of the organisers of Melbourne Invasion Day ‘Abolish Australia Day’ rally. She is passionate about transformative justice and abolition in her community.


Please get in touch if you’d like to get more information about the seminar series.

Dr. Holly Randell-Moon

Senior Lecturer, School of Indigenous Australian Studies