Wominjeka Djeembana are Boon Wurrung words translating as come here to learn, listen at a place of knowledge and sharing. Wominjeka means welcome, but also a deeper relationality than just welcome. It is welcome with obligation, ritualized practice and learning. Djeembana translates as: A gathering place for many special occasions for our mob to get together to barter, arrange marriages, to create dances, to pass on knowledge and to catch up with extended families and for new additions to family to be introduced.
The vision of Wominjeka Djeembana is to provide an identity of Indigeneity at MADA and on Caulfield campus. Its vision is simple yet multiple. It aims to articulate the synergies between Indigenous ways of knowing with practice led research specifically in the areas of art, design and architecture (and beyond). It is also a Lab that leads the Decolonial and Indigenization space for MADA curriculum and will have a leading arm of and with pedagogical discourse.
The research program at Wominjeka Djeembana is one that is innovative in its articulation of ancient cultural practices and methodologies premised on Country and relationality within contemporary society. The significant advancement that Djeembana offers in this area of Indigenous knowledge production is how knowledge pertaining to art, design, architecture and beyond can be reconfigured and improved through an Indigenous lens. The main aim of the research conducted and created at Djeembana is to become a national and international leader in Indigenous ways of knowing through practice based discourses. The very relationship between Indigenous ways of knowing and practice led research will be a significant contribution and advancement of research training methodologies. The members of Djeembana are world leaders in this relational methodology in research.
Brian has been a practising artist for twenty-seven years and has exhibited both nationally and internationally specifically in the media of painting and drawing. His research and practice focuses on refiguring Australian art and culture from an Indigenous ideological perspective based on a reciprocal relationship to “Country”.
Peta recently participated in The Koorie Heritage Trust's “Fostering Koorie Art and Culture Residency Program”, during which, she collaborated with the Dja Dja Wurrung community to research, develop and create a major series of large format landscape photographs responding to a massacre site on their Country. The residency culminated in the solo exhibition Undercurrent, presented at the Koorie Heritage Trust 8 March – 28 April 2019.
From 2016–2018, Brook led an international team of researchers in “Representation, Remembrance and the Memorial,” a visual arts research project that investigated the possibility of representing the magnitude of Indigenous loss and survival in the Australian frontier wars via a national memorial. Their work included a 2018 exhibition at MADA Gallery.