When Tia Burrett enrolled in the ANU School of Music’s intensive course, Indigenous Music and Media, she had no idea that it would lead her to Darwin to co-present a keynote lecture with ARC Discovery Indigenous Fellow, Wanta Patrick.
‘The Indigenous Music and Media course was the chance of a lifetime. It not only looked at Indigenous music, but all aspects of Indigenous culture, and the brilliant part was that we were included in this. Wanta's stance is that everyone can learn from Indigenous knowledge and culture. I now see the world in a totally different way’, she said.
Tia is a first-year BMus/BSc(Psych) student, whose primary instrument is cello, and a Music Performance Major who holds a Ruth Pfanner Scholarship. She enrolled in Indigenous Music and Media after hearing rave reviews about it from her cousin, who completed the course last year.
Wanta’s keynote address at the Community Driven Indigenous Education Conference in Darwin on 21 May 2013 addressed the need for Warlpiri schools in the Tanami Desert to deliver student learning opportunities grounded in Warlpiri law and knowledge, and touched on his recent approach to teaching in this way through Indigenous Music and Media at ANU.
‘At this conference, I was able to share what I was taught by Wanta with a heavyweight audience of Northern Territory educators, politicians, public servants, and Indigenous community stakeholders. This was a rare opportunity to voice these amazing experiences, and the great value of what Wanta taught us through the intensive course’, she said.
Since the intensive’s conclusion, Tia and her classmates have also had the unprecedented opportunity of collaborating with Wanta to create a transmedia art exhibition called the Wintaru — Hear the Elements Talk, which will première at Belconnen Community Centre in Canberra from 24 May to 7 June, and tour to Monash University in August.
MUSI2213 Indigenous Music and Media is a five-day intensive course on Australian Indigenous knowledges that is open to all ANU students with no prerequisites.