The photographs, films and sound recordings in this webpage contain the images and voices of deceased people. To avoid unintentional distress, people should be aware of this when they download material, or if they view the website in the presence of people who may be affected.
A major part of the Deepening Histories of Place project has been the development of high level protocols for Indigenous participation and ownership of materials. These protocols should be read as part of the “Pelican Dreaming” website.
It needs to also be acknowledged that the research for the “Pelican Dreaming” story has a history deeper than the protocols, and that this history is embedded within each image, voice recording and film. When I listen to sound recordings or look at photographs from some 30 years ago I am reminded of the deep sense of attachment that people had, and still have, to each other and of my own emotional connection to people and places. Many of these people are, of course, deceased. Many individuals are, however, still alive and for them these recordings have special meanings, and their attachment and claim to them goes well beyond legal obligations. Certainly, these more formal obligations have been met to the best of my ability. But, with the launch of a website that contains so much information also comes the launch of new obligations that may be unforseen by any of us.
I ask therefore that people who look at the website, or show it to others, simply ask first about how the information is used or displayed. Any feedback from use of the website would be greatly appreciated.
The “Pelican Dreaming” webpage is a part of the larger Deepening Histories of Place site, that is an ARC funded Linkage project. Professor Ann McGrath is the Chief Investigator for the overall project and Ann is also my Doctorate supervisor. Ann has provided the guidance that forms the thread of connection that runs through the various images, film, sound recordings and text. Like all large projects there are partners who provide support through funds, research facilities and mentoring. I would like to thank: The Australian Research Council, The Australian National University, The National Film and Sound Archive, AIATSIS, Parks Australia, The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Ronin Films, The Northern Territory Government and Sydney University. The content of the "Pelican Dreaming" website is entirely my own, except where otherwise acknowledged.
Putting a website together is a bit like a house building project, with some ninety percent of the work hidden beneath the glossy veneer. In this sense, my circle of colleagues working on the Deepening Histories of Place are the real “builders” of the website, dealing with everything from funding for filming, travel forms, coding for the website and so on. For special mention, I would like to thank Dr Jason Ensor for his beautiful web architecture that allowed me to present knowledge and not just information. Dr Mary Anne Jebb, the Project Manager and Researcher, supported me throughout the year and encouraged lines of thought that must have, at times, seemed odd. My fellow Doctoral students, Julia Torpey and Shannyn Palmer, have been good companions exploring the possibilities of deep history and the digital world. Kate Rogers was behind the camera on much of the recent work in record high temperatures in Central Australia when all I could offer was water and sunscreen as payment.
The Aboriginal people I have worked with in the Top End for the past 30 years are acknowledged in the website through images and recordings which I hope captured something of their rich cultures and our friendship.