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 Wominjeka 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 Wominjeka 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 Wominjeka Djeembana are world leaders in this relational methodology in research.
Research team View
Brian has been a practising artist for thirty 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.
Carolyn is a Boon Wurrung senior elder and is the chairperson and founder of the Boon Wurrung Foundation. She has been involved in developing and supporting opportunities for Indigenous youth and Boon Wurrung culture for over 50 years.
Brook is Director of NIRIN - the 2020 Biennale of Sydney. 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.
Desiree Ibinarriaga, Indigenous Mexican woman with Chamula (Mayan), Nahua (Aztec) and Euskaldunak (Basque) heritage. Desiree is a creative practitioner, collaborative and social design maker and thinker. She is Lecturer at Monash Art Design and Architecture, and Coordinator for Indigenous Higher Degrees by Research being part of Wominjeka Djeembana Research Lab.
Dr Kirsten Lyttle is the Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Wominjeka Djeembana Research Lab. Kirsten is a Māori wāhine academic, artist and creative practice-led researcher (Iwi/tribe: Waikato, Waka/Canoe: Tainui, Hapū/Subtribe: Ngāti Tahinga). Her primary research interests are: Indigenous-centred methodologies and knowledge systems, Indigenous customary art practices and their application to technologies such as photography and video.
James Oliver is a Hebridean Gàidheal and adjunct staff member of Wominjeka Djeembana and the department of Design. He has been an international contributor to 2017’s and to 2019’s Yirramboi Festival. He has also published Associations: creative practice and research, an anthology on doing research for, through, and with creative practices, particularly in the higher education sector. He continues to collaborate with Wominjeka Djeembana on Indigenous Practice Research and Graduate Research-Creation. He is an Associate Professor of Design at RMIT University.
Sarah Lynn Rees is a Palawa woman descending from the Plangermaireener and Trawlwoolway people of north-east Tasmania. She is a Lecturer at Monash University, practices architecture at Jackson Clements Burrows Architects (JCBA), and is a member of the Victorian Design Review Panel for the Office of the Victorian Government Architect.
Jessica Neath is a non-Indigenous Australian of settler descent and has been supporting research development at Djeembana since October 2019. In February 2021 she commenced as Research Fellow on the Australian Research Council project “More than a guulany: Indigenous Knowledge Systems” led by Dr Brian Martin and Associate Professor Brook Garru Andrew.
Academic research View
Graduate researchers View
Candidates undertaking Monash University’s Graduate research degrees are challenged to apply new thinking to interpret – and solve – complex questions. Here are some of the projects they’re currently investigating.
Graduate research opportunities View
11 May 2022, 1–2pm
Online and Monash Caulfield big screen
30 Mar 2021, 10am – 12pm
10 Mar 2021, 1–2pm
Online and Caulfield Big Screen
A Monash University exhibition will highlight the benefits of incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing with practice-led research.
20 Jul 2022
Two Monash Art, Design and Architecture (MADA) students have had their work showcased in the PHOTO 2022 New Photographers exhibition.
20 Jun 2022