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Indigenous expert

Gabrielle Murphy, Indigenous expert joins Australian Heritage Council, The Age, 3 May 2015

Lyndon Ormond-Parker. Photo: Melbourne University

Lyndon Ormond-Parker, who was born in Darwin, is of Alyawarr descent from the Barkley Tablelands in the Northern Territory.

An Indigenous cultural expert of over 15 years’ standing, Mr Ormond-Parker is an Australian Research Council Fellow in the Indigenous Studies Unit of the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health. He is undertaking PhD studies under the co-supervision of leading academic and Indigenous spokesperson Marcia Langton and renowned conservation expert Robyn Sloggett, Director of the University’s Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation.

His thesis, titled ‘Aboriginal Cultural Heritage the Economics of Knowledge’, examines the ways in which Indigenous communities are utilising and managing their cultural heritage resources and local knowledge in the digital era. As such, Mr Ormond-Parker is positioning himself as a virtual bridge: using his own culture and knowledge, in an exploration of the world’s oldest cultures, overlaid by a matrix of modern technological advances.

“The appointment of Lyndon Ormond-Parker to the Australian Heritage Council is a significant addition to the expertise of the Council,” Associate Professor Sloggett says. “His impressive track record in research and management of Australian Indigenous cultural material, and his knowledge of the needs of remote communities with regard to cultural heritage management and protection, is a significant addition to the expertise of the Council.”

Professor Langton agrees.

“I’m very pleased that the Australian Heritage Council will now have at its disposal the experience and expertise of a scholar of Lyndon Ormond-Parker’s standing,” she says.

“Lyndon’s work in cultural heritage management over the past 15 years has been effective within government and research organisations. His strong critical grasp of the needs of the cultural heritage sector, particularly as it relates to Australian Indigenous communities will, I believe, be crucial to what the AHC is able to effect in the coming years.”

Further, Professor Langton believes Mr Ormond-Parker’s scholarship and practice of communicating Indigenous cultural heritage management locally and globally via digital technology exemplifies the achievement of a new wave of Indigenous experts working at the cutting-edge of their cultural, geographic and disciplinary fields.

“Information technology and communication is now a major industry in Indigenous communities across Australia,” Professor Langton says. “Pleasingly, Lyndon Ormond-Parker’s appointment to the board of the Australian Heritage Council indicates an understanding by the board of the importance of enabling Indigenous culture and heritage to be positioned in the new cyberspace.”

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