Following the Thursday afternoon opening formalities, Wiradjuri man, Mark McMillan will present the opening keynote, The Art of Sovereignty Never Ceded: Reigniting Sovereign Practices of Indigenous Nations through Art Practices of, and with, our First Peoples. Mark, an Associate Professor at the Melbourne Law School, will explore the connectedness of the art practices of weaving and sovereign practices of Indigenous nations.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, ARTLANDS will examine each of the themes that defined the thinking behind this conference. On Friday morning, Prof Ruth Renschler will introduce the conference themes and the outcome of the research project, Stats & Stories developed with Regional Arts Australia. The following presentations and conversations address the theme of REGENERATION stimulated by a keynote from Clive Parkinson. Weapons of Mass Happiness, a gently provocative presentation reframing the arts and health agenda in terms of social justice and inequalities fundamental to any notion of arts and health. The second morning session addresses REGENERATION by examining where communities, town and societies can build new economies through investment in cultural infrastructure and innovative programming. Skinder Hundal’s keynote Reinventing Identity to Create the Centre of the World speaks about the story of reinvention in the regional city of Nottingham.

Saturday interrogates the CONNECTEDNESS theme, joined-up thinking and connecting within a local, national and global context, leading with a key note from Lee-Ann Buckskin. A Culture of Innovation and Capability. Indigenous culture is widely regarded as central to the foundation of Australia’s cultural identity but how are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander focused programs developed and delivered of from a position of cultural authority?

Then we look at film and new media and how it connects and tells the stories of rural and regional First Nations people to national and international audiences.

Sunday morning is time to dream and think of boundless possible futures. Kate Fielding’s  vision of a shared creative future for all regional Australians sets the scene for EMERGENCE.  Kate will be followed by our final keynote, Rural Routes, an innovative new program linking across national borders in the EU presented by Henk Keizer.

Anne Dunn will lead a panel conversation with some of Australia’s most notable arts leaders, including Wesley Enoch, Lindy Hume, Mat Trinca and Michael Williams thinking about national thought leadership and considering the futures of regional arts, regional innovation and genuine investment/partnership/collaboration with regional artists and organisations.

Then while everyone’s brain is buzzing with new thinking, Brad Haseman will sum up the key elements of the four days of ARTLANDS discussions.

The big themes from the morning can be followed up in deeper detail through the afternoon parallel sessions with a huge diversity of panels, presentations, masterclasses, forums, workshops, performances and exhibitions.


   Download the conference program here