Aboriginal activist Gary Foley will launch Greek history seminars

by on 04/03/2015

MELBOURNE | Prominent indigenous academic and activist Dr Gary Foley and Professor Nikos Papastergiadis (University of Melbourne) will launch on Thursday 5 Μarch 2015, the new series of Greek History and Culture Seminars, offered for the fifth consecutive year by the Greek Community of Melbourne, with the participation of distinguished academics from Australia and overseas.

The topic of Foley’s lecture is: “Reclaiming your cultural heritage; the return of Aboriginal artefacts from the British Museum vis-à-vis the case of the Parthenon Marbles”.

Professor Nikos Papastergiadis will introduce Dr Foley and he will also elaborate on the importance of the seminar series.

“The seminar series program enters its fifth year and has become a major part of our cultural and educational programs” said Dr Nick Dallas, head of the organizing Committee of the Greek History and Culture Seminars.

“The program continues to introduce new academics and topics of interest to the broad community. We are honoured that this year’s Seminar series will be launched by academic and indigenous activist, Gary Foley. It is the first time an indigenous academic will take part in our Seminars.”

Dr Foley is an associate Professor of the Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit. He was born in Grafton (1950), northern NSW of Gumbainggir descent. Expelled from school aged 15, Foley came to Sydney as an apprentice draughtsperson. Since then he has been at the centre of major political activities including the:
• Springbok tour demonstrations (1971)
• Tent Embassy in Canberra (1972)
• Commonwealth Games protest (1982)
• protests during the bicentennial celebrations (1988).

Dr Foley was involved in the establishment of the first Aboriginal self-help and survival organisations including:
• Redfern’s Aboriginal Legal Service
• Aboriginal Health Service in Melbourne
• National Black Theatre.

Dr Foley has been:
• a director of the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (1981), Aboriginal Arts Board (1983-86) and Aboriginal Medical Service Redfern (1988)
• senior lecturer at Swinburne College
• consultant to the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody (1988)
• board member of the Aboriginal Legal Service
• on the national executive of the National Coalition of Aboriginal Organisations.

Late in life Dr Foley completed his BA and then gained first class honours in history in 2002. Between 2001 and 2005 he was also the Senior Curator for Southeastern Australia at Museum Victoria. Between 2005 and 2008 he was a lecturer/tutor in the Education Faculty of University of Melbourne. In 2012 he completed at PhD in History at the University of Melbourne. He has worked at Victoria University since 2008.

Nikos Papastergiadis is Professor at the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. He studied at the University of Melbourne and University of Cambridge. Prior to returning to the University of Melbourne he was a lecturer at the University of Manchester. His current research focuses on the investigation of the historical transformation of contemporary art and cultural institutions by digital technology. His publications include Modernity as Exile (1993), Dialogues in the Diaspora (1998), The Turbulence of Migration (2000), Metaphor and Tension (2004) Spatial Aesthetics: Art Place and the Everyday (2006), Cosmopolitanism and Culture (2012) as well as being the author of numerous essays which have been translated into over a dozen languages and appeared in major catalogues such as the Sydney, Liverpool, Istanbul, Gwanju, Taipei, Lyon and Thessaloniki Biennales.

When: Thursday, 5 March 2015 at 7.00pm
Where: Greek Centre, Mezzanine Level, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
More info: or +61 3 9662 2722