Q & A with Oliver Acevedo

In this blog post we’d like to introduce our newest recruit to the Global Encounters program, Oliver Acevedo. Oli came to the program after completing an Honours in Australian Indigenous History at Melbourne University in 2020. Prior to and during Honours, Oli worked extensively with oral history, including research and interviews with post-war Italian immigrants undertaken in conjunction with the Brisbane non-for-profit Co.As.It.

Oliver Acevedo

Q. Lynette Russell

Oli the team is excited that you’ve joined us as the first of our doctoral students, soon to be followed by at least three more. Can you tell us what attracted you to the Global Encounters program?

A. Oliver Acevedo

My initial interest in the Global Encounters program was encouraged by my experience with Indigenous-colonial interactions in an Australian context. Once I got to know more about the program and the academics working within, it became increasingly clear that the goals and motivations behind the project were very much in line with the research I wished to pursue. My personal belief in transforming and correcting deep biases in Australian colonial history reflects the program’s use of decolonial methodologies in examining and reevaluating global encounters. Furthermore, through the program I am given the opportunity to conduct research on my own familial Indigenous heritage in Chile, which is an exceptional and incredibly exciting honour.

Q. LR

What are your plans for the next three and a half years?

A. OA

In the coming years, the project I plan to work on is generally on Spanish Colonialism, with a specific focus on the interactions between colonial agents and Indigenous peoples in Hispanic settlements across the South Pacific. My Chilean Mapuche heritage encouraged the focus on Spanish colonialism, with familial heritage and ancestral connections to colonialism in Chile providing a personal connection to the history of Indigenous-Hispanic relationships in the region. Through using a combination of Indigenous and colonial perspectives found in diverse primary sources, I hope to contribute to the growing decolonial literature on Spanish-Indigenous relations in the South Pacific.

Q. LR

Tell us something about your interests outside of academia.

A. OA

I am passionate about land care and environmental work. I am involved with multiple groups focused on natural restoration, and I hope in the future to organise widespread tree planting in collaboration with local Wurundjeri land-care groups. Additionally, I own and operate Riverview Mushrooms, a small commercial mushroom farm with a community-focused mandate concerned with minimising environmental harm.

Q. LR

Finally Oli, as I might have mentioned I am a big Star Trek fan (some might say nerd). I have asked all of the team to choose a Star Trek character. Leonie is Riker, Lily is Deanna Troi, Leigh is Worf, Jacinta is Guinan, and David is Data. I, of course, am Picard. Who will you be Oli?

A. OA

Embarrassingly, despite being a huge nerd, I am yet to watch Star Trek. So I think I’d choose Sulu from the original series. Despite not seeing him in action on the show, I greatly respect the actor who plays him, George Takei, for his outstanding work in the area of LGBTQIA activism.