Assoc. Professor Richard Frankland, ‘The language of tomorrow’s Australia’ 2019

Ian Potter Museum of Art

Richard spoke on language reclamation through song, and also on the pros and cons and possible role of a trade language for Tomorrow Australia. Richard contends that the reclaiming of language through song is a contributing rung on the ladder toward the reclamation of First Nation Cultural Authorities. His Gunditjmara Alive project asks: “So what is song to an invaded people who live under a dominant culture?” Illustrating the importance of song through a basic Lore Circle, Richard will discuss the importance of First Nation Cultural Authorities and the role of those authorities in recognising and hopefully diminishing the effects of transgenerational traumas. What is the language of Tomorrow Australia? Do we need one language other than English? Should this language be a newly created language based on the many languages of the First Nation people? What are the pros and cons of one language? What impact and influence would this have on our national identity? Richard’s work is about questioning and unravelling the cultural tapestry of Australia as we now know it, to use this work and the work of many others to challenge the National Identity of Australia. Who were we? Who are we? Who can we be? What role does language play in this journey?

RICHARD FRANKLAND is a proud Gunditjmara Man who lives on country in south-west Victoria. His roles include an Investigator for the Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Royal Commission, Fisherman, Musician, Author, Writer for Live Theatre, Screen Writer, Director of Stage and Screen, Theatrical Producer, CEO, Keynote Speaker for Theatrical Institutions, Workshop Facilitator and Key Note Speaker in Indigenous Issues including Lateral Violence, Cultural Safety, Community Capacity Building and Associate Dean, Associate Professor, Doctor of Visual and Performing Arts and, most importantly, Family Man. Despite leaving school at the age of 13, Richard has notched up many academic achievements. In 2007 he completed his Master of Arts at RMIT University with a thesis entitled ‘The Art, Freedom and Responsibility of Voice’. In 2019 Richard was awarded his Doctor of Visual and Performing Arts from the University of Melbourne, a dissertation on his life’s achievements and contributions towards Indigenous Australian’s cultural and community foundations. Richard’s current role at the University of Melbourne is the Associate Professor Cross Disciplinary Practice in the School of Theatre, Film and Television. Richard’s lifelong work has been to facilitate the voice of Indigenous Australians via his many public personas. Richard constantly reminds people that: “We are not a problem people, we are people with a problem and that problem was colonisation.”

As part of the ‘Language: Interdisciplinary Public Forum’ on Saturday 19 October 2019. Co-presented by the Ian Potter Museum of Art and the Centre of Visual Arts (COVA), University of Melbourne and generously supported by Peter Jopling AM QC, Andy Zhang and Calvin Huang.