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We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation - the custodians of the country in which we meet - and acknowledge their Elders, past and present.

The Next Frontier

Todd Fernando
Chaired by Brook Andrew
Sun 25 August 5:45pm
Sun 25 August 5:45pm
Are we ready for Indigenous excellence?

The concept of Indigenous excellence is fraught with tension within Aboriginal Australia. The farleft questions its feasibility, the farright denies its legitimacy, and centrists struggle with how to implement it effectively. Meanwhile, a growing middle class of Aboriginal Australians are beginning to experience the power of excellence, even as the equality gap widens. Wiradjuri man and academic Todd Fernado suggests these dynamics raise a critical question: Are we ready to accept excellence? 

I think it’s useful to remind ourselves that we all face a system of oppression that operates in a different way.
Todd Fernando

Todd Fernando

Todd Fernando, a descendant of the Kalarie Peoples of the Wiradjuri Nation, identifies as queer and uses he/him pronouns. He holds a PhD in Medical Anthropology from The University of Melbourne and is a global expert in intersectional policy reform across government, private, and public sectors. Recently appointed to the Federal Government’s Rapid Review into Domestic, Family, and Sexual Violence Best Practice Prevention Approaches, Todd has an extensive background as thought leader. As the former Victorian Commissioner for LGBTIQA+ Communities, he spearheaded the development and implementation of the Victorian Government’s LGBTIQA+ Strategy. Currently, Todd is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, where he is working on his first book, Queer Dreaming: The Experiences of Queer Indigenous Australians. His innovative leadership and strategic insights continually shape inclusive policies, underscoring his pivotal role in social capability development. His work demonstrates a steadfast commitment to transformative outcomes, leveraging his expertise to drive equitable reforms.


Brook Andrew

Brook Andrew is an artist, curator and writer who is driven by the collisions of intertwined narratives emerging from the mess of the “Colonial Wuba (hole)”. His practice is grounded in his perspective as a Wiradjuri and Celtic person from Australia. Brook is Enterprise Professor Interdisciplinary Practice and Director Reimagining Museums and Collections at the University of Melbourne and is represented by Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne, Ames Yavuz Gallery, Sydney/Singapore/London, and Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels.

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25 August
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