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Long History, Deep Time


The editors are grateful for the many people and organisations who made this book possible. Firstly, we thank The Australian National University and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and our many colleagues at the Australian Centre for Indigenous History, including Maria Nugent and Jeanine Leane. We thank the Australian Research Council (ARC) for funding the ‘Deepening Histories of Place: Exploring Indigenous Landscapes of National and International Significance’ project through a Linkage grant, LP100100427. We are appreciative of the expertise, the vision, enthusiasm and ongoing backing of our partners: The National Film and Sound Archive, AIATSIS, Parks Australia, The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Ronin Films, and Sydney University. The Northern Territory Government also provided significant funding. We also benefited from another ARC grant, DP110103193 on Australia’s Ancient Past, which enabled research into the deep history of Lake Mungo and the Willandra Lakes. David Ritchie was also a valuable supporter, and we also appreciated the support of the then Attorney General the Hon. Mark Dreyfus who launched our Deepening Histories website. Andrew Pike, filmmaker and historian, and Managing Director of Ronin Films, assisted at many levels, especially as Partner to the Deepening Histories project and as Co-Director and Producer of the film Message from Mungo.

People who have assisted along the way with our wider project include Toni Makkai, Sean Downes, Doug MacNicholl, Stella Armstrong, Margaret Harding, and the many ANU staff who work in finance and in school administration, including Stella Armstrong, Karen Smith, and photographer Stuart Hay. We thank photographer Kartikeya Sharma for his wonderful cover image.

Along with co-editor Ann McGrath, who was lead Chief Investigator, other Chief Investigators on the project included the talented Peter Read, who was then working at the University of Sydney. Shino Konishi and Luke Taylor provided important advice on ethical protocols and visual representations. Indigenous IP lawyers Terri Janke and Lucinda Edwards played an important role in developing best practice intellectual property protocols for this multimedia research project.

Malcolm Allbrook played an exceptional role as researcher and project manager on the Mungo project, and in co-convening and bringing the symposium together. Jason Ensor assisted with many things digital, including the design of innovative history tools and the website, and he provided many insights and breakthroughs in forging the ground for history’s digital future.

The project gained a talented complement of doctoral students funded by the ARC: Julia Torpey, Shannyn Palmer and Rob Paton. They each brought special strengths to the project and developed truly collaborative approaches to working with Indigenous communities. They also became very savvy in new digital recording techniques, editing and in historical data management. Rob Paton was especially generous in sharing his archaeological experience and assisting whenever required.

We thank the Board of Aboriginal History, and especially its monograph editor, Rani Kerin. The manager of ANU Press, Lorena Kanellopoulos, had the vision to encourage us in developing this digitally enhanced volume.

Some of those who participated in the Deepening Histories of Place Symposium but who were not able to provide chapters for this volume, contributed significantly to our thinking. These include Paul Taçon of Griffith University, Tom Griffiths, and astrophysicist Lisa Kewley of The Australian National University, along with colleagues Charlie Lineweaver and Ray Norris. Matthew Spriggs and a range of audience members offered incisive comments and discussion. We greatly valued the contributions of the Mutthi Mutthi, Ngyiampaa and Paakantji (Barkindji) peoples from Willandra who participated at the symposium and recorded their views on history and heritage in the film Message from Mungo. Along with the staff of National Parks New South Wales, they expressed sustained interest in our symposium and shared their ideas of long and deep history. Among those we would like to thank are Darryl Pappin, Leanne Tobin, Tanya Charles, Joan Slade, Mary-Anne Marton and Peggy Thomas, Beryl and Roy Kennedy, Eric and Maureen Taylor, Sam Wickman, Marie Mitchell, Lottie Mitchell, Ricky Mitchell, Jo Gorman, Richard Mintern and Warren Clark. Many more people also assisted during our visits to Lake Mungo, and they are credited in our film Message from Mungo (Ronin Films 2014).

In the preparation stages of the manuscript, Maria Haenga Collins and Alycia Nevalainen provided high-quality assistance, making the trickiest tasks seem easy. Geoff Hunt provided the model of a congenial, interested and conscientious copyeditor.

Ann McGrath is particularly appreciative of her family – Milton, Venetia and Naomi Cameron – for tolerating her through many solid chunks of work. Of special benefit to the development of this volume was my membership of the School of Social Sciences at the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, for which I wish to thank the Director Didier Fassin and faculty members Joan Scott and Danielle Allen, as well as my fellow members. Staff at the school’s library were amazing. My residency at the Rockefeller Center, Bellagio, was also beneficial, introducing me to a range of amazingly supportive and talented people, including Pat Mitchell, Jacqueline Novagratz, Chris Anderson, Brian English, Pilar Pallacia, and others whose company I continue to look forward to beyond Bellagio. Without my colleague Mary Anne Jebb, who did a phenomenal job of getting the Deepening Histories project off the ground, supporting the students, liaising with partners, and enabling our project to achieve goals beyond expectations, it is difficult to imagine a book at all. Finally, I have been inspired by the work, generosity and collegiality of David Armitage of Harvard University and Dipesh Chakrabarty of the University of Chicago.

Mary Anne Jebb would like to thank her co-editor and colleague Ann McGrath for the opportunity to join the Deepening Histories of Place research team at the Australian Centre for Indigenous History at ANU. Thanks to Ann’s leadership, the centre provided the innovation and interdisciplinarity necessary for deepening histories of place.

Special thanks to the custodians of the Australian landscape and for their contribution to this volume.

A Gentle Warning

The photographs, films and sound recordings in this webpage contain the images and voices of deceased people. To avoid unintentional distress, people should be aware of this when they download material, or if they view the website in the presence of people who may be affected.


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