On March 22, Ms Brittany Clarke, First Secretary at the Australian Embassy in Vienna, and her colleague Ms Elisabeth Jaquemar visited the Department of English at the University of Klagenfurt, delivering Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route exhibition from the National Museum of Australia.
The delivery of the exhibition was also a gesture of celebration in view of the 50th anniversary of the Department of English at Klagenfurt and 70 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and Austria.
While the exhibition consisting of nine roll up panels was set up in the Eastern glass bridge of the University, Ms Clarke held an engaging opening lecture for students, staff and the wider university public, titled An Introduction to First Nations Australia: The Canning Stock Route, the Martu People, and the Yiwarra Kuju Exhibition. In her talk, Ms Clarke took the audience on a journey into the context and significance of the exhibition, beginning with a broad introduction to First Nations Australia. The Canning Stock route was originally surveyed in 1906 with the forced help of First Nations people in order to drive cattle from North to South in Western Australia, crossing over a vast stretch of desert. Ms Clarke vividly recounted stories of the hardships, traditions, and modern life of the First Nations people home to that area, including the Martu people, interweaving her account with reference to and explanations of First Nations artwork that captures some of the traditional stories and knowledge connected to the land. After the talk, the audience had a chance to visit the exhibition, which will remain on display in the Eastern glass bridge of the University building during summer term.