To read this content please select one of the options below:

Entwined Vernaculars: Heritages of Tolerances, Reconciliation and Resistance

Julie Nichols (University of South Australia, Australia)
Quenten Agius (Ngadjuri Elder and Aboriginal Cultural Tours Yorke Peninsula, Australia)


Embedded in built environment discourse, this chapter examines the traditional knowledge and resilience of the Ngadjuri Nation Peoples through an Elder’s narrative of reconciliation as well as resistance in their subsisting colonial settlement. Removed from ‘Country’ in the 1840s, Ngadjuri Aboriginal community endured colonial industries of open-cut copper mining and large-scale pastoralism as irreparable destruction to their cultural landscapes. European processes in the resources sectors reshaped natural topographies, deconstructing Ngadjuri Songlines and Ancestral Dreaming stories. Burra’s colonial stone buildings of settlement, painstakingly cut and composed from materials of the surrounding ecological terrain, prompted new narratives from Ngadjuri as a way of alleviating scars. Broadly speaking, this chapter aims to show how cultural heritage of two communities is provocatively and conceptually unpacked through the vernacular buildings’ cross-cultural foundations. That is, an under-reported narrative was unwittingly bestowed on the colonial-built forms with hidden meanings that deserve further investigation. This chapter offers a counternarrative to colonial histories revealing Ngadjuri’s methods for reconnecting to Country and culture after generations of disempowerment. It explores how within the materiality of colonial structures, the Ngadjuri entwined their remediated storylines – revealing a data curation that had avoided popular discourse in the galleries, libraries, archives, and museums [GLAM] sector representation. This example implies there are bodies of knowledge in built cultural heritage hidden elsewhere on our Aboriginal Nations and the challenges it presents GLAM in their Indigenisation processes.



Nichols, J. and Agius, Q. (2024), "Entwined Vernaculars: Heritages of Tolerances, Reconciliation and Resistance", Nichols, J. and Mehra, B. (Ed.) Data Curation and Information Systems Design from Australasia: Implications for Cataloguing of Vernacular Knowledge in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (Advances in Librarianship, Vol. 54), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 89-111.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024 Julie Nichols and Quenten Agius