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ServDes2020

2–5 February 2021

RMIT UNIVERSITY, MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA

Special Event

Welcome to ServDes.2020

08:00AM

08:30AM
Presenting Author(s): Yoko Akama, Liam Fennessy
02 February 2021
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Welcome to ServDes.2020

Unfortunately, Welcome to Country was unable to be performed by N’arweet Dr Carolyn Briggs AM, Boon wurrung Elder.

However, in this video N’arweet Dr Briggs and Aunty Di Kerr (Wurundjeri Elder), share their traditional knowledge of the Victorian waterways.

"Protocols for welcoming visitors to Country have been a part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures for thousands of years. Despite the absence of fences or visible borders, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups had clear boundaries separating their Country from that of other groups. Crossing into another group’s Country required a request for permission to enter. When permission was granted the hosting group would welcome the visitors, offering them safe passage and protection of their spiritual being during the journey. While visitors were provided with a safe passage, they also had to respect the protocols and rules of the land owner group while on their Country. Today, obviously much has changed, and these protocols have been adapted to contemporary circumstances. However, the essential elements of welcoming visitors and offering safe passage remain in place. A Welcome to Country occurs at the beginning of a formal event and can take many forms including singing, dancing, smoking ceremonies or a speech in traditional language or English. A Welcome to Country is delivered by Traditional Owners, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have been given permission from Traditional Owners, to welcome visitors to their Country."

(From Reconciliation Australia)


Yoko Akama
Yoko Akama
RMIT University

Yoko Akama is Associate Professor in the School of Design, RMIT University. Her practice is shaped by various Japanese philosophies of between-ness and mindfulness, to consider how plural futures can be designed together. She is a recipient of several national and international awards for collaborative work with self-determining Indigenous nations and regional communities preparing for disaster. Recent works include a co-authored book on Uncertainty and Possibility by Bloomsbury, and co-leading the Designing Social Innovation in Asia-Pacific network with Joyce Yee. She is also the co-founder of Service Design Melbourne network and active in building its community.

Liam Fennessy
Liam Fennessy
RMIT University

Concerned with how design practice might attend to the socio-cultural-environmental implications of new product and service development Dr. Liam Fennessy teaches Industrial Design at RMIT University. His research has two key foci: on industrial design pedagogy and practice after the project of industrialisation; and on product-service-systems design projects that deal with questions of sustainability through de-materialisation.

Screen shot of Aunty Briggs video