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WIPC:E 2014 Presentation: Australian Blak History Month
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WIPC:E 2014 Presentation: Australian Blak History Month

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The BLAK HISTORY MONTH (BHM) team will discuss and share their developmental methodology for their research, community engagement, communication strategy, resource production, volunteerism and …

The BLAK HISTORY MONTH (BHM) team will discuss and share their developmental methodology for their research, community engagement, communication strategy, resource production, volunteerism and critical thinking behind the development and implementation of Australia’s BLAK HISTORY MONTH. In January 2008, BHM founder initiated a guerrilla style communications strategy to declare July as BLAK HISTORY MONTH. Identified as a people’s movement, unvetted by Government or restricted by Agenda, BHM recognised that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people & culture had grown from being nationally commemorated on one day, to one week (NAIDOC Week), to one month (BHM). 2014 marks BHM’s 7th year.


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  • 1. AUSTRALIA’S BLAK HISTORY MONTH 1st -31st JULY – Utilising new media to inspire a new consciousness across nations Sam Cook, Juliette Hubbard, Leesa Watego
  • 2. Abstract The BLAK HISTORY MONTH (BHM) team will discuss and share their developmental methodology for their research, community engagement, communication strategy, resource production, volunteerism and critical thinking behind the development and implementation of Australia’s BLAK HISTORY MONTH. In January 2008, BHM founder initiated a guerrilla style communications strategy to declare July as BLAK HISTORY MONTH. Identified as a people’s movement, un-vetted by Government or restricted by Agenda, BHM recognised that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people & culture had grown from being nationally commemorated on one day, to one week (NAIDOC Week), to one month (BHM). 2014 marks BHM’s 7th year.
  • 3. Sam Cook @kissmyblakarts Juliette Hubbard @Juliette24 My co-presenters
  • 4. Foundations 26th January 2008 PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT TO ALL AUSTRALIANS On this 26th Day of January 2008, in commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the proclamation of SURVIVAL day, it is hereby announced that the month of JULY 1 – 31st is not proclaimed BLAK History Month in Australia. From this day forth and for all years to come, JULY will remain a month of significance and symbolism for the unity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nations, in celebration of Australia’s rich, vibrant Indigenous histories and cultures. JULY will provide an opportunity for ALL AUSTRALIANS to recognise the true Australian identity, giving Schools, Government, Multicultural Australia and most significantly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities the opportunity to respectfully promote greater awareness of the diversity, innovation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander splendour. Australia’s BLAK History month, will join the worldwide celebration of Blak History Month, giving a greater international profile to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations, alongside Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The Australian community is hereby advised to BLAK out JULY in their diaries annually as a month of pride and celebration of all tribal groups and people throughout Australia and the Torres Strait. 1st July – 31st July – Australia’s Blak History Month WE HAVE SURVIVED.
  • 5. Why Blak & not black? ● Taking ownership of language ● Historically ‘black’ was a negative term ● Blak takes back power and control back ● Destiny Deacon, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual artist, used the term in 1991, also used by Djon Mundine – curator, Clinton Nain - artist, Tony Albert – artist, Sam Cook – business owner
  • 6. Activities Poster Design by Sam Cook 2008 Poster design
  • 7. Activities Poster Design by Sam Cook 2008 Free classroom activities
  • 8. Activities Poster Design by Sam Cook 2008 Social Media Campaign
  • 9. Activities Great Moments in Blakistory fact sheets = 1 sheet per day for 31 days of each July since 2008
  • 10. Who has taken #ABHM into their practice? 1. Critical Classroom (educational resources) 2. Brisbane City Council (a month of programs) 3. Carriageworks (a program held in 2011) 4. KISSmyBLAKarts (merchandise) 5. The Willin Centre (since 2009) 6. Point Blank (US based journalist Chris Stevenson was one of the first international media sources to syndicate Blak History Month)
  • 11. Our digital presence www.blakhistorymonth.com www.facebook.com/AustraliasBla kHistoryMonth www.twitter.com/BLAKHISTORYa ust https://sites.google.com/site/austr alianblakhistorymonth/
  • 12. The future … 1. Great Moments in Blakistory – the book series 2. Blak History Month – the app 3. Blak History Month – the educators resource kit
  • 13. Questions? 1. What role has our individual, yet community-based entrepreneurship had in the establishment and continued work of Blak History Month? 2. Is this model of activity sustainable? 3. What additional resources would see #abhm flourish? How long does it take for a “movement” to become embedded across all aspects of the community? 4. What value is there in a Blak History Month from an educational aspect? How can we document changes and effectiveness?
  • 14. Presented by @LeesaWatego This presentation is available on www.slideshare.net/leesawatego