Dean's Award for Arts - Excellence for Research Impact

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Excellence for Research Impact – Associate Professor John Bradley for Wunungu Awara: Animating Indigenous Knowledges

Working with 3D animation as a tool the Wunungu Awara team has been developing partnerships with Indigenous community groups across Australia to assist in the preservation of their history, knowledge, poetry, songs, performance and language. These 3D animations provide material for Elders and younger generations to sit together and share knowledge. Wunungu Awara first began working with Yanyuwa elders and has since worked with over 10 communities, most of these communities approaching Wunungu Awara to assist them. The animations help to build a sense of belonging and pride in young Indigenous people who are connected with the community, but also for those who may have lost their connection with their history, language and Country.

Crucially, the program has allowed non-indigenous people in Australia and internationally to gain a deeper understanding and picture of Australia's Indigenous cultures. A huge variety of audiences have encountered these animated Indigenous stories through International film festivals and conferences held in the USA, Europe, and India; at the Indigenous Pacifica Social Justice Film Festival in New Zealand; and in Australia, on SBS TV and through the National Sound and Film Archive, Canberra.

Wunungu Awara has also been able to achieve a positive impact for students at all levels of our Education system. Since 2010, the animations have been widely used in undergraduate programs in Linguistics, Health, Anthropology, Archaeology, Religious Studies and Law. Honours, Masters and PhD students have used the animations to further their study of Indigenous peoples and endangered languages. Since 2015, the animations have been showcased on the ABC’s Education website, which is used in primary, high school and higher education. More recently, the animations have been used since 2019 in the Melbourne Museum education programs.
Degree of recognitionNational