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This two-day symposium examines the ongoing significance of The Aboriginal Memorial (1987–1988) and its context within contemporary art, Yolngu culture and creative practices, as well as relation to recent memorials from across Australia and internationally.

This nationally significant work of art and was curated by Djon Mundine OAM in 1988 and represents a forest of souls commemorating all the Indigenous people who, since 1788, have lost their lives defending their land. This event will focus on the memorial’s past and ongoing significance, as well as the intergenerational trauma that it embodies.




Djon Mundine OAM, independent curator and conceptual producer of The Aboriginal Memorial (1987–1988)
Franchesca Cubillo
, Senior Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, National Gallery of Australia 
Professor Ian McLean
, Hugh Ramsay Chair in Australian Art History, University of Melbourne 
Professor Mark Ledbury
, Power Professor of Art History and Visual Culture, Director of the Power Institute, The University of Sydney


Time: 9.30am to 4.30pm
Venue: James O Fairfax Theatre, National Gallery of Australia
Price: $135, $110 NGA Members/concession*

*Subsidies are available for any University of Sydney student who wishes to attend. We will prioritise Indigenous students and those who contact us on a first come, first serve basis. If interested, please email

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