About the Workshop

This Master class brings accounts from regional Australia of work that involves being artful and drawing on the arts, music and performance to support healthy communities. In particular the session will draw out how traditional music, visual art, story and contemporary practices can work in tandem to help reinvigorate Aboriginal communities. Three projects will be showcased via the magic of digital platforms such as vimeo, the App Store, and YouTube. This will give you a glimpse of extraordinary work being carried out in beautiful country with people moving from ‘when the world was soft’ (creation times), through early contact with non-Aboriginal people to the present. These ‘visits’ to the Australian desert will be supplemented by a discussion of research and conceptual work that describes in more detail the practice elements of each case study and reviews the international literature concerned with the value of arts in stimulating positive community outcomes. This will include an account of the relationship between arts and the Aboriginal ideas of ‘country’ (called ngurra and boodjar), kin systems (waltja and moort) and Aboriginal knowledge and culture (tjulkalpa and kaitijin).  Participants will also be invited to participate in a number of simple practical experiments with arts and perhaps even learn a little Aboriginal language through song.


About the Facilitator

Dave Palmer teaches in Community Development at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. As well as being responsible for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in community development he has a history of carrying out research examining the value of arts, performance and music in remote area (Aboriginal) community development.  Dave considers himself a musical novice but nonetheless loves playing the guitar, ukulele, banjo, mandolin, merlin and didgeridoo.


About Community Development

Community Development (CD) has been taught at The University of Queensland since 1976. Community Development is recognised as one of the School of Social Science core areas of teaching, research and community engagement. Through our work in CD we have two broad goals:

  1. to foster a vibrant and cooperative culture of research and teaching in community development with the School of Social Science; and
  2. to engage in dialogue with  local and international practitioners in order to promote better teaching, research and practice in community issues.

A Masterclass with Dave Palmer - 'Singing on Country and Singing for Country': Music in work with Australian Aboriginal communities

Thu 21 Sep 2017 10:00am3:00pm


Level 4, Michie Building (09), Chancellors Place, The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus.
The workshop is open to students, practitioners and academics, including non-UQ people. Spaces are limited so please register early.

This registration fee includes tea & coffee on arrival, and a light lunch.


Dr Lynda Shevellar