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Emilie Wells, Media and Public Relations Officer, University of Wollongong
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UOW celebrates National Reconciliation Week

Guest lecture to be delivered by Indigenous law expert Terri Janke. 

The University of Wollongong (UOW) will host a series of events this week as part of National Reconciliation Week celebrations.
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) was established in 1996 and is celebrated each year from 27 May to 3 June. The dates commemorate two significant milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.

Indigenous Law expert Terri Janke will present the University’s first Reconciliation Lecture, Indigenous Knowledge is not Terra Nullius, on Tuesday 29 May, hosted by UOW’s Woolyungah Indigenous Centre and office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Inclusion and Outreach).

Terri’s lecture will present a pathway that can assist the interface between Indigenous knowledge and intellectual property to assist innovation in the Australian research landscape.

The lecture will focus on Indigenous people seeking rights to their cultural expression and knowledge so that they can continue their culture and share in the benefits of their cultural legacy. Terri will explore the idea that intellectual property laws do not adequately recognise these rights, suggesting a new pathway is needed.

The event will be delivered alongside traditional dance performances by Doonooch Dance Company and Kiris An Taran Torres Strait Island Dance Troupe, entertainment by local act Two Deadly, traditional weaving and a sausage sizzle lunch on Thursday 31 May.

UOW Pro Vice-Chancellor (Inclusion and Outreach), Professor Paul Chandler, said the 2018 theme for National Reconciliation Week, Don’t Keep History A Mystery, is about inviting all Australians to learn, share and grow.

“This week at UOW we will be exploring our past and learning more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures,” he said.

“It’s important for us as a community to develop a deeper understanding of our national story and to explore more than 60,000 years of connections with land, seas and the environment.”

UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Health and Communities), Professor Alison Jones, said the University is committed to the success and acknowledgement of our Indigenous peoples and communities.

“We have a vision to be a leader in culturally inclusive teaching and to be at the forefront of research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies,” she said.

“The wonderful activities taking place on campus as part of National Reconciliation Week form just one part of what we are trying to do to make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture and knowledge a more valued, visible and engaged aspect of life and culture at UOW.”


Reconciliation lecture by Terri Janke - Indigenous Knowledge is not Terra Nullius
When: Tuesday 29 May, 6pm.
Where: Room 104, McKinnon Building, (Building 67, Wollongong Campus).

Traditional dance performances, traditional weaving and sausage sizzle
When: Thursday 31 May, 12pm – 2pm.
Where: Duck Pond Lawn (Wollongong Campus).


Terri Janke is a Wuthathi/Meriam woman from Cairns. She is the Solicitor Director of Terri Janke and Company, an Indigenous-owned legal firm based in Sydney. Terri was admitted to practice in 1995, holds an Unrestricted Practising Certificate and is a member of the Law Society of NSW (currently a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee). She was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of NSW and the High Court of Australia, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and LEADR Mediators where she trained in mediation and conflict coaching (now Resolution Institute).

Terri empowers Indigenous people so they prosper. She is an international authority on Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) and has written the leading protocols and ICIP models in the film, arts, museum and archival sector. She is a valued mentor, an advocate for Indigenous business, an accredited mediator and governance expert.