Barkindji Story Barkindji woman Maddison Gibbs tells a story passed down to her, about the creation of Baaka (Darling River), the life-blood of knowledge flowing through generations of Barkindji people. She sees today's "naked lifeless tracks" representing "greed, power, ignorance and disregard for Indigenous knowledge". Maddison collaborates with Lisa Roberts to animate her story and to call for "more connection, more conversation and collaboration... to have a valid voice to put forward" to enable Treaties - understandings between people to live well together. Lisa incorporates related art and scientific data contributed by people from around Australia and Antarctica.

In 2019 Barkindji Story is presented as part of Australia's National Science Week program at TAFE NSW Eora and University of Technology Sydney, and at Boomalli Aboriginal Art Cooperative as part of NAIDOC 2019: Voice, Treaty, Truth. In April 2019 the animation is presented at the conference, Antarctic Connections at the End of the World, in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.

Connections made through these presentations lead to the creation of the paper, Enabling enduring evidence-based policy for the Southern Ocean through cultural arts practices published in the journal, Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.

Front. Ecol. Evol. | doi: 10.3389/fevo.2021.616089
Lisa Roberts, Tracey Benson, Danae Fiore, Paul Fletcher, Ellery Johnson, Cat Kutay, Jess Melbourne-Thomas, Katherina Petrou, Melissa Silk, Stephen Taberner, Victor V. Filgueira and Andrew J. Constable


Seeding Treaty

"...Disruption of the current cycles and implementation of First Nations knowledge.

Seeding Treaty -

Barkindji Story -

Creation, Growing, Learning, Teaching,
Sharing stories, Transference of knowledge.

The Rainbow Serpents follow the Peewee to find a new home. As they follow the bird they wriggle around, forming big bends, and deepen the channel, forming the Darling River and letting the water flow in.

Barkindji Story -

Creation, Growing, Learning, Teaching,
Sharing stories, Transference of knowledge.

Symbolic narratives connecting the environment, the planet, our health - mental and physical.

Fast forward to the Now. Naked, lifeless tracks that represent to me, greed, power and ignorance and disregard for Indigenous knowledge.

The Western systems in place exclude and categorise nature. And place a hierarchy on all living things,and seem to be failing to acknowledge that without one we cannot have the other.

More connection, conversation, and collaboration is needed to be able to have a valid voice to put forward."

Maddison Gibbs 2019

Maddison Gibbs is a Barkindji woman whose story features in the 2019 Seeding Treaties animations that mark the Year of Indigenous Languages and the 50th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty.

River story
Feedback loops
Spirits make noise
Whale song science
Antarctic flows
Rivers of ice
Relationships with things we eat
Antarctica is melting
Conversations with nature
Oceanic Living Data
Terrestrial and marine dance


Mind Map