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Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs
02/03/2018
Growing presence of inauthentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 'style' art and craft products and merchandise for sale across Australia

OSBORNE, Ms Lyndall, Executive Director, Collections, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

RITCHIE, Mr Craig, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

[10:26]

CHAIR: Welcome. As these proceedings are public, they are being broadcast and recorded by Hansard. If you wish to have evidence heard in private, please let the committee know and we'll consider your request. Although the committee does not require you to give evidence under oath, I wish to advise you that this hearing is a formal proceeding of parliament. Giving false or misleading evidence is a serious matter and may be regarded as contempt of parliament. If you object to answering a question, please state the reason for your objection and the committee will consider the matter. I now invite you to make an opening statement.

Mr Ritchie : Miyanggan dhanang? Dhanggu nyuwayi Craig Ritchie. Ngaya Dhanggati guri; ngaya Dhanggati guuyarr. Ngaya manhan Ngunawalda guthunda barriya. Ngaya Baluwa, Garrkung ngarran, nganhikurr nyinan barriya dhithiyndha ngun-ngun, barayn, ngundakang.

How are you all? My name is Craig Ritchie. I'm a Dhanggati man and I was speaking in Dhanggati language. I walk and live on Ngunawal country. I acknowledge the traditional owners and their elders past, present and emerging.

I'm pleased to be here today to contribute to this important inquiry. At AIATSIS, our vision is of a world in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges and cultures are recognised, respected, celebrated and valued. We're a Commonwealth statutory authority. We have five functions, the first of which is to build and make accessible a national collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural and heritage related material. The second is to use that collection to promote better understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, our cultures and our stories. The third is to provide some leadership in three key areas: Indigenous research, ethical practice when it comes to research and the management of Indigenous cultural heritage collections in particular. Our fourth function is around partnership and collaboration. Our fifth function, which may be of most relevance to this committee, is to provide advice to the Commonwealth on the situation and status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and heritage.

We of course are concerned about the proliferation of inauthentic art and craft products, particularly in terms of their detrimental impact on public perceptions of Indigenous cultures as well as on the livelihoods of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The Indigenous visual art sector is vibrant, diverse and complex, reflecting the dynamic nature of contemporary Indigenous experience and expressions of culture and identity, and, critically, it is part of a phenomenon of the very exciting cultural resurgence that's going on right round the country.

We recognise at AIATSIS that Indigenous artists and artisans employ a wide variety of modes of production and distribution in the commercialisation of their work, both within Australia and in collaboration with overseas manufacturers and distributors. For our purposes, the AIATSIS working definition of authenticity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artworks is that the works are produced by, or under the direct instruction and/or control of, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In the context of this inquiry, we define inauthentic artwork as that which purports to be produced by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people but is not. I'll leave my opening statement there.

CHAIR: Ms Osborne, over to you.

Ms Osborne : I wasn't intending to make an opening statement. We are very pleased to have this opportunity to contribute to the inquiry and to allow the committee to further explore the submission that we made to the inquiry. AIATSIS does work with a significant collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander expressions, produced by both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people themselves and by non-Indigenous people. In the absence of a legal Indigenous cultural and intellectual property framework in entirety, we have developed a series of ethical protocols and we work to those in both managing and recognising the material in our collection. I'll leave that there.

CHAIR: It will be interesting for you to, at a later date, talk to the previous submitters who are struggling with developing protocols regarding IP. Yet, you've already got some framework, which sounds like it's reasonably well established.

Ms Osborne : That's true, yes.

CHAIR: That would be a good communication to move them further along their line, so that they can assist you in promoting that, and for the consumer as well as the artists and the art organisations. That was my first observation when you said that. I thought, 'There's a connection there'.

Ms CLAYDON: My question follows on from that observation. I asked IP Australia this question a little earlier around whether the existing IP laws provide adequate protection of authentic Indigenous arts and crafts, and whether they might look at any amendments given the tension, which you also point out in your submission, around the emphasis on individual rights and IP laws as opposed to communal rights for Indigenous artists and communities. You've established these protocols as one way of dealing with what seems to be, from my perspective, a lack of IP law protection. Would you look to making amendments and changes to existing IP law? What do you think that might look like, how that might add protection, or would you look at quite a different pathway altogether? Is IP law where it's at in terms of providing protection or are there other avenues that you'd rather see explored?

Mr Ritchie : In general I note the comment the Chair made, when the previous folks were giving evidence, about the challenge of balancing a legal framework that's predicated on the rights of individuals and the protection of those and a framework within which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people operate. That's about the collective and it's about how you protect the rights of a community, a tribe and an island. It's a really tricky area. I think it deserves some explicit focus. So I don't really have an answer as to whether tinkering, if that's the right word, making amendments to the current legal framework, will necessarily do justice—because you're making amendments within a framework that is predicated on a different set of principles, as opposed to crafting something new. I don't for one minute think that crafting something new would be an easy proposition, but my feeling is that it's probably worth the effort to do that. Ms Osborne, I don't know whether you have any further comment on that, just in general principle?

Ms Osborne : I would agree. There have been, over the past years, some explorations of possible frameworks that might exist, by Indigenous lawyers who have done a great deal of consultation—one called Keeping Culture, for example, that's been recently updated, so it's not an exact start from ground zero. There has been some work done on this. But I agree with Mr Ritchie that starting from scratch rather than trying to amend something that is fundamentally underpinned by different principles and different law is the way to go.

Mr Ritchie : I might further suggest that there is something really pragmatically useful about that, and that is, in order to do that, it would require good engagement with Indigenous people on an area of law that matters deeply to us. Whilst I'm sure there'd be engagement and consultation even to make amendments to the current regime, an engagement that's about 'How do we manage issues that are important to you in the creation of a specific regime?' says something to Indigenous Australia about the willingness of government of whatever variety to engage with them on matters that are important to us. Sorry; that's me thinking like a bureaucrat.

CHAIR: I hear you but, interestingly, I'm not sure that this will pertain just to artworks.

Mr Ritchie : It is beyond artworks, yes.

CHAIR: I just see that there is an extension here that goes beyond. If Keeping Culture is well established, and you've got some well-established protocols that do pertain to the art world, maybe it is something that you could bring back to us as a recommendation for first steps, because it's all part of the protection of authentic art. It may be extended to other areas, but it is a good framework to set this one in motion to look at it from a different side of the prism.

Mr Ritchie : We'd be happy to, if we could take that on notice, think about it a bit and provide some further information to the committee. We are happy to do that.

CHAIR: That would be terrific.

Mr SNOWDON: Are you aware of the interdepartmental committee which—

Mr Ritchie : I was not aware until this morning of the IDC. Whilst I have no hankering to participate in IDCs, as a general rule, we would happily be engaged, and in fact we'll make contact with IP Australia after this to talk to them about how we might help that.

Mr SNOWDON: I reckon I'd contact Richard Eccles.

Mr Ritchie : I have a meeting with him next week, so I will raise it with him.

Mr SNOWDON: Lay it on him, mate.

Mr Ritchie : Good-o—that's generally the nature of my meetings with Richard!

Mr SNOWDON: Good. Well, it won't hurt to do it again! The reason for that is, if the IDC is thinking of doing work in the space that we're talking about, it hardly seems useful for us to try and get someone else to reinvent the wheel if they're doing that thinking now. We heard from IP about the idea of authenticity. You've already got a working definition for yourselves. They clearly were not aware of it. It seems to me that, if we join the dots, we might actually get a straight line.

Mr Ritchie : Terrific. I'm happy to do that.

CHAIR: Or at least one that joins up. In this particular area, it's not likely to be a straight line in this one.

Mr SNOWDON: This is only our second day of hearings, but I think we are sharpening a focus already about where the problems are, and—apart from the obvious need to be working with local communities and arts centres and all the rest of it—at the higher level, it's really about how you actually define something which you can then regulate.

Mr Ritchie : Yes.

Mr SNOWDON: It seems that it is very difficult to get a definition which everyone will accept. We could ask the secretariat to do it but they'll have to talk to you anyway.

CHAIR: It's better it comes from you. There is such a depth and a wealth of our Indigenous culture and our Indigenous art yet most of our country is unaware of it. So I throw it right back in your court. Have you had any thoughts, ideas conceptual put-togethers of how to promote authentic Indigenous art and make our general public aware of the differences and the value of culture?

Mr Ritchie : I can say that at the institute we are in the process of thinking through that. We are a 54-year-old institution. For most of our life as an organisation, we have been focused on research and related collecting practices. As a result of amendments to our act in 2016, we have started to take on, if you like, a greater role in public engagement and promotion. Although we've always had a remit around promoting, understanding and better understanding of Indigenous Australia, that has become more deliberate since the amendments to our act went through the parliament in 2016 so we are thinking through that.

I was recently in New Zealand. One of the things that struck me most and one of the take-homes of my visit to both government agencies and Maori agencies, particularly the Te Papa museum, was the presence of Maori culture in the public space. Every government department, for example, has a Maori name that expresses what it is about as well as its name in English. So there is this obvious presence of Maori culture and heritage in the public space, in the public domain that I think we have yet to really pick up. Landing at Auckland airport and walking through a carved Maori gate while there were songs in Maori language playing—as I was trying to find my passport and stick it in the machine—as an Aboriginal person going into that country, I can't tell you adequately how that made me feel in being confident about being in a place, understanding that I was on Maori land—those kinds of things.

Reflecting on my own upbringing in rural New South Wales, how do we get of to a place where I don't have follow up a reference to Uluru by saying, 'Oh, Ayers Rock,' for example, which every now and again I still have to do? Or when people refer to Ayers Rock, I say, 'Oh, you mean Uluru? It might be an extreme example but it is part of, when I go home, what I live with. So there is that.

I agree with your observation: most people, when they think about Aboriginal art in particular, think about dots. They think about the kinds of art produced in Central Australia or crosshatching or those kinds of things. We are Dunghutti. Our country is Kempsey on the mid-North Coast of New South Wales; that is not our artwork. There is this rich diversity in Indigenous Australia. We are thinking through how do you use the public space? What is the power in the possibility of popular culture? We as an academic institution have tended to think pretty seriously about the academy and all that that produces in terms of a way of communication but that speaks to a certain portion of the community and not to others. And, of course, for us as a Canberra based institution, what's the opportunity, in terms of digital transformation, to be able to make accessible the collection that we hold in an appropriate way that doesn't violate community protocols where the community have determined conditions of access to their material but that does create an engaging way for Australians at large, and the international community, to know more about it?

Ms Osborne : Could I just add that AIATSIS also is beginning work in the education space, and education is absolutely critical to this whole process—not only education of consumers, Australians, international visitors and others about what is and what isn't authentic art but also education of artists about how they define authenticity and how they protect what's theirs in terms of their knowledge and intellectual property. You might like to add some more about how we're doing it.

CHAIR: Can I just say that in that case, if you already have an educational strategy about authenticity with artists, I would welcome that as a recommendation to the committee as well to put that within a framework to say that this is the way your organisation is already promoting this in terms of raising awareness within culture that that is real. It's starting the awareness raising in the wider community. Craig, you were also telling us some ways that you're thinking of in order to promote it. You spoke of the entry into New Zealand. There's a need. I would imagine—I could be wrong—that it may not have come around through a cultural endeavour. It may have come originally through a tourism endeavour.

Mr Ritchie : Probably. I don't know the origins of it, but it wouldn't surprise me.

CHAIR: The origins don't matter. The outcome was amazing. But that means that there may be a stage where, in partnership with tourism, there might be a build of authentic artwork in more public spaces to raise the awareness of authentic art, and the consequence of that will be awareness raising in the general community because they have to walk past it if they go overseas.

Mr Ritchie : I think that's right. I'm not sure of the mechanism within the Commonwealth that looks after that. I assume it's Austrade, or perhaps there's some mechanism with Tourism Australia or something of that nature.

CHAIR: You can't reach out to Tourism Australia?

Mr Ritchie : Of course we can. We haven't. We've engaged deeply with DFAT, working with them to tell the story of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia in the context of our overseas diplomatic strategy. But we can. Our remit in terms of advice is to the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is manifested in various ways and through various institutions, so we're certainly able to reach out to them.

CHAIR: I'm guessing here, but I'm thinking that, if you reach out to Tourism Australia, you may have some amazing benefits.

Mr Ritchie : Terrific.

CHAIR: Eighty per cent of the people coming into Australia will then ask where Uluru and Kata Tjuta are, and not their previous names.

Mr Ritchie : Just thinking about that, the other thing is that we have started a process of engaging with the airports specifically, particularly the international ports, so that as visitors, particularly international visitors, land in Australia our culture and our heritage are really in front of them. That will look different in Brisbane to the way it might look in Darwin, which will be different to the way it might look in Perth, because the people are different, as are the cultures, the traditions and the artwork. The styles, for want of a better word, are different around the country. So it's a way also of reinforcing the diversity of Indigenous Australia, which is often overlooked. I suspect—or I don't suspect; I know—that, in terms of inauthentic art, it is completely obscured, because it's all just putting some dots on a boomerang manufactured elsewhere so that it looks Aboriginal-ish but isn't real at all. That's a really important thing. It's a really important story to tell. We will reach out, and we're happy to think about what recommendation, in the education space, we might bring back.

CHAIR: Bring back to us.

Mr Ritchie : To the committee, yes.

CHAIR: That's part of what we need to do to move forward.

Mr Ritchie : Education, defined broadly, ranges from helping to build capacity and support communities in their capacity building and their understanding of how they might engage, from their point of view, with the wider world and what that means, through to a production which might be hitting the press later this year. It's working with Cengage to produce primary school curriculum materials, drawing on our collection and drawing on the expertise we have in combining with their expertise as a major educational publisher, so that in our schools robust, reliable, well-informed teaching about Indigenous Australia, our cultures, our heritage and all that that embodies—artworks, dance, the way our communities are structured, the way our families work—is available to all Australian students, particularly in primary school.

CHAIR: That's so good.

Mr Ritchie : Yes, I think it's exciting. I'm an old school teacher. I should correct the record: I'm a former school teacher; I'm not so sure about 'old'!

Mr SNOWDON: I'm certain about the 'old' and the 'former'!

CHAIR: You're so cheeky! There are some Indigenous people who have collected the local stories and don't have the capacity to publish, and yet they want to have those stories within schools. It's interesting.

Mr Ritchie : We've operated an AIATSIS publishing arm, Aboriginal Studies Press, and we specialise particularly in early-career Indigenous authors telling their stories. It ranges from academic work through to trade publications, biographies, stories, local histories and all of those kinds of things.

Mr SNOWDON: Do you have a relationship with the bilingual centres who have produced their own materials across the topic?

Mr Ritchie : The language centres? I don't know the answer to that. Lyndall will.

Ms Osborne : We don't necessarily have individual relationships with the language centres. We have a relationship with the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages, which is collecting that material, particularly in the Northern Territory. We're a backup archive for them and we do have a relationship with them.

Mr SNOWDON: I was thinking more of the literacy production centres associated with these that produce books for educating.

Ms Osborne : That's what Living Archive collects. That sort of material is what Living Archive collects. We have a backup archive and we have been making tentative exploration with them about how we might distribute their catalogue along with our own catalogue so that people are very aware of these things. We have relationships usually and more often with peak bodies. You were talking about art centres previously. We have a relationship with ANKAAA, for example, which is the representative body for arts centres right across the top end of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Arnhem Land. We do have some relationships and projects to preserve, protect and make discoverable community archives—communities such as Wadeye. Currently we're talking with Fitzroy Crossing. We don't always have individual relationships with what are, in actual fact, hundreds of arts centres, literacy centres, language centres and those sorts of things, but we do try to work with the peak bodies that represent them. I'm particularly thinking of ANKAAA and I'm particularly thinking IRCA, which represents all of the media organisations. They're the peak body for all the radio stations and all of those sorts of people. Also, First Languages Australia.

Mr SNOWDON: What about the Catholic Church? The reason I ask that question—

Mr Ritchie : I don't know that we have a formal relationship with the Catholic Church, but we did co-publish a catalogue the Vatican Museums last December.

Mr SNOWDON: I'm thinking more about Catholic education. At Wadeye, for example, there's a nun who's been teaching in the school in the language area for aeons, and they're digitising all of their material. It's a fantastic resource.

Ms CLAYDON: A lot of language books.

Mr SNOWDON: A lot of books. That's true right across to Maningrida.

Ms Osborne : We have many of those things in our collection. We have a languages collection that is part of the Australian Memory of the World register, which has now over 8,000 books and pamphlets, and they date from when we started collecting. For many of them, we've got the only copy left, even after schools or centres have closed and those sorts of things. We do our very best to collect that material up in as organised a way as possible, given some of those communities. Of course we are in communities and talking to communities all the time. In Wadeye, for example, we've just finished the digitisation of their community video collection that they were unable to do within community. They've got that back now and are working with us to identify language, people, place and ceremony that's in that video so that that information can be made appropriately accessible.

Mr SNOWDON: So you're working with Buku-Larrnggay on the digitisation of their work?

Ms Osborne : I don't know the answer to that one off the top of my head; I'm very sorry. I could get back to you.

Mr SNOWDON: Just a matter of interest, more than anything.

Ms Osborne : We do in different places and in various parts of Australia—not necessarily only across the top end, but with other communities.

Mr SNOWDON: There was a lot of work done in the centre—the Pitjantjatjara-Ngaanyatjarra area. They were digitising stories over the last 20 or 30 years. Have you got access to that?

Ms Osborne : We have access to quite a number of collections from there. The AIATSIS collection holds an enormous amount of material. We have about 41,000 hours of sound recording in our collection. We have about 6½ million feet of film and video. We have many millions of pages of written material, language lists—all those sorts of things—and 700,000 photographs as well as our art and object collection, which has around 7,300 objects and artworks. We are continually collecting, and the collection's continually growing. We do that through connections with Indigenous communities and with researchers who work in Indigenous communities.

Ms CLAYDON: Do you have different protocols for acquiring and maintaining artworks for your art collection as opposed to your print, photographic, sound and film archive collections? Are there distinct sets of protocols around each of the collections, or is there an umbrella set?

Ms Osborne : There are some that are umbrella and some that we follow that might already be published—for example, in the acquisition of our artworks, we support ethical collecting and the ethical collecting principles that are already laid out in a number of documents. We do appropriate due diligence and provenance when we are acquiring materials, and that's all in accordance with the principles in the Australian best practice guide to collecting cultural material, which is a government publication. Whilst we do have general principles, almost every collection has its own particular set of conditions, depending on who it's coming to us from, what conditions they're giving it to us under—are they gifting it to us entirely, so that we control it in its entirety, or are they gifting it to us but laying some access conditions on it or gifting it to us under certain conditions? We underpin all of that with the principles of allowing community to have a say in those access conditions. Those are the ethical protocols that we apply.

Ms CLAYDON: Are you a member of the Indigenous art code? Do you subscribe as a member to that framework?

Ms Osborne : I'd have to take that on notice.

Mr Ritchie : We'll take it on notice and get back to you.

Ms CLAYDON: We took some evidence yesterday that, for example, the Parliament House shop is a member and supporter of the Indigenous art code and make purchases within the set of protocols and framework that it provides. I'm trying to get a feel for how widespread that might be and who is signed up to it and who is not. Equally, the other challenge appears to be that, even if you are a known member, as the parliamentary shop is, how you advertise that to people or how any consumer makes sense of what that means is another story. It would be good to know if you do sign up to that.

Mr Ritchie : We'll happily—

Ms CLAYDON: And, if you're not, why? I'm interested if maybe you think you have a superior set of protocols already or something. I don't know.

Mr Ritchie : I'm sure it wouldn't be that, although we think ours are pretty good. It sounds to me—and this is truly speculation—that it's the sort of code that people involved in the sale of goods might sign up to—

Ms CLAYDON: Very much so.

Mr Ritchie : as a way of warranting to the consumer that what they're getting is both an ethical product and as authentic as it can be. We don't do commercial—we do; we sell our books, but—

Ms CLAYDON: But you have an acquisition program.

Mr Ritchie : Yes.

CHAIR: It would be interesting to see if there are parallels or similarities between your protocols of purchase and acquisition and theirs.

Ms Osborne : We almost entirely purchase either direct from artists themselves, from art centres or from galleries that absolutely have agreements that we can understand that represent artists. We absolutely do due diligence; we absolutely have some principles that we subscribe to when we're purchasing works. We're not a huge purchaser of artworks. We tend to purchase works that are in context with the rest of our collection and either add context to other materials in the collection or give them context—

Ms CLAYDON: Where there are gaps in the collection. That makes sense.

Mr Ritchie : Mostly our material is donated, and then we can be more certain about provenance and those kinds of things.

Ms Osborne : We do occasionally commission—

Ms CLAYDON: Given your interactions with the art centres, do you think that they might be an appropriate avenue both for promoting but also protecting authentic Indigenous arts in Australia? We did a bit of mapping out earlier on and we talked about ANKAAA and Desart and a whole group of quite longstanding and fairly renowned centres across Australia now. I'm interested in your thoughts about whether that's adequate as it is, or whether there are things that we could do to better support those organisations in the effective promotion of authentic products.

Mr Ritchie : In principle, yes; but it's not for me to volunteer them for something. Whether or not they're adequately resourced for that kind of role is a question for them. The other thing, speaking as a member of a south-eastern community, is the art centres you're talking about are I think primarily in the north and in the west. They may be all over, but there is a risk. As you know, we have our working definition of authenticity. Authenticity is a pretty vexed conversation, even within Indigenous Australia—this is one of the reasons we think this inquiry is so important. It's what it says to people outside of our communities about who we are and what we are. For many people, I don't look at all like an authentic Aboriginal person, because I'm not standing on one leg on the crest of a hill holding a spear. There's this stereotypical image. One of the problems with the inauthentic artworks that we see around the country—my first encounter was in a tourist shop in Alice Springs where an English backpacker tired to sell me a bamboo digeridoo back when I was young and feisty. You said they—

Mr SNOWDON: What happened? What did you do? Come on!

Mr Ritchie : I didn't buy it. 'Feisty' is a relative term, depending on the individual. It says something to the broader community and to the world about what is genuinely Aboriginal and what isn't. If it doesn't have dots, if it doesn't have face paint, and all of those kinds of things, then it clearly can't be authentically Aboriginal. It's one of the reasons we've created a definition that allows for contemporary embodiment of our knowledges and our cultures in forms that might not look traditional but are genuinely and thoroughly authentic.

Ms CLAYDON: That will pick up Tracey Moffatt's films—

Mr Ritchie : Yes, Tracey Moffatt's films, the work of Bangarra and dance theatres like that. I think they're really powerful and genuinely authentic Aboriginal artwork.

Mr SNOWDON: If you go to the Telstra art award you'll see art of all sorts, from what might be viewed as contemporary, modern art to—

Mr Ritchie : It just doesn't look traditional.

Mr SNOWDON: No. But it's still Aboriginal art.

Mr Ritchie : Again, we've covered off some of those strategies and we might communicate about that. Ms Claydon, the answer to your question is: yes, I think, they could be, but I assume at some point the committee will engage with who they need to.

Ms CLAYDON: Yes, absolutely.

CHAIR: You're north New South Wales and I am south and our art is totally different. They're beginning to be proud of saltwater art. They're saltwater people. They like saltwater art. I had some emerging Indigenous authors, and I didn't know who to go to to help them, and they didn't know who to go to—nothing to do with this one, although writing is art. How can we help to promote you as a recommendation to come back, because you're an agency with authentic art and you speak to authentic artists. How do we promote you in the community, so that they can use you as a resource?

Mr Ritchie : We had a visit from the PM a few weeks ago, which we were very excited about, and to our knowledge he was the first Australian Prime Minister to visit the institute in 54 years. I made the observation to Prime Minister Turnbull that the institute is one of the country's best kept secrets, and we're working hard to change that. I spend an inordinate amount of my time out and about trying to be as public a face to the institute as possible. I think it's just a case of getting the word out. We're working on that already. I'm happy for you to refer people to us and we'll put them in touch with the people in the press, and they can, at the very least, give them some advice about how they might take their work forward or connect them to other Indigenous authors. There is a sort of collective of Indigenous authors and there's a few publishing houses around the place. One of the things we can do is be a point of referral. Then we can help connect and facilitate relationships where that might be more useful to them, if we're not the most useful.

Ms Osborne : I think there's probably some useful information on our website as well.

CHAIR: Thank you for your attendance at today's hearing. If you've been asked to provide any additional information, or if there's anything else that you'd like to provide, please forward this to the secretariat by 16 March. You'll be sent a copy of the transcript of your evidence, to which you may suggest corrections.

Proceedings suspended from 11:10 to 11:26