Understanding Aboriginal Exemption:The Promise of everyday freedoms and choices

Event status:

Hear a panel discussion with contributing authors of Black, White and Exempt and consider why Aboriginal exemption remains relevant today in 21st century Australia.

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Thursday 01 July 2021 06:00 pm (Add to calendar)
Christina Tait
Presented by:
La Trobe University, Shepparton Campus
Type of Event:
Community Event
RESCHEDULED: Panel discussion with contributing authors of 'Black, White & Exempt:Aboriginal &Torres Strait Islander lives under Exemption.'

About this event

This event has been rescheduled from 3rd June, due to the recent lockdown announcement. We are looking forward to coming together and hope you are able to join us!

Please join us for refreshments 5:30pm-6:00pm

In 2018, La Trobe University Shepparton Campus hosted an inaugural symposium to explore the little-known topic of Aboriginal exemption. The event was guided by Aboriginal researchers and elders with personal experience of exemption, Aunty Kella Robinson and Aunty Judi Wickes. Both wanted wider audiences to understand the truth about this policy and its impacts. This successful event led to the publication, two years later, Black, White and Exempt: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lives under Exemption. The book has sparked great interest.

Hear a panel of the contributing authors, including Dr Lucinda Aberdeen, Ash Francisco, Associate Professor Jennifer Jones and Aunty Kella Robinson, hosted by Associate Professor Katherine Ellinghaus, discuss Black, White and Exempt and consider why Aboriginal exemption remains relevant today in 21st century Australia.


Ash Francisco is a Wiradjuri woman born on Wurundjeri Country in Naarm, Melbourne. She has recently completed a PhD in Aboriginal History at Wollotuka Insitute at the University of Newcastle and works at the University of Melbourne in Indigenous economic development and engagement. Currently she is based on Taungurung Country in North Central Victoria.

Aunty Kella Robinson BEd, GCertCultHeritage, MA (Deakin) is a Wemba Wemba woman born in Hillston in central New South Wales. She has worked as a state schoolteacher, storyteller and cultural interpreter. Since 2003, Kella has been one of the cultural advisers assisting the Victorian Koorie Court at Shepparton, and since 2012 she has been involved with the Dungala-Kaiela Writing Awards.

Jennifer Jones is Associate Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga campus. She is a non-Indigenous woman who was raised on Wiradjuri country in southern New South Wales. Jennifer’s research interests include Indigenous Australian history, rural and religious history, and histories of childhood and education. She teaches environmental history, Aboriginal history and rural studies and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Katherine Ellinghaus is Associate Professor of History in the School of Archaeology and History at La Trobe University. She is of Irish, Scottish and German descent and has researched and written extensively on indigenous assimilation policies in Australia and the United States. In 2014 she was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant to write a history of Aboriginal exemption policies in Australia.

Lucinda Aberdeen is a sociologist and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, School of Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University Shepparton and Senior Research Fellow, Rural Health Department University of Melbourne. She is of Irish and Scottish descent and grew up on Noongar country in the south-west of Western Australia. Her research interests include ageing, anti-racist pedagogy, cultural diversity, human rights, racism and the settler colonial and contemporary state in Australia and rural health.

La Trobe University

210 Fryers Street Shepparton



18th Jan 2022 6:58pm

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