OzAsia Festival Keynote Address: More Than Meets the Eye

Safeguarding Intangible Heritage - Asian Australian Perspectives

Delivered by Professor Amareswar Galla, Executive Director, International Institute for the Inclusive Museum

Monday 24 September 2012, Dunstan Playhouse

  Podcast available HERE - listen now
  (MP3) 32Mb (or right click and select 'save target as' to download)

Presented by The Adelaide Festival Centre's OzAsia Festival and The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre at UniSA


Intangible heritage encompasses the expressions and traditions of communities across the world, inherited from ancestors and transmitted to descendants, often through the spoken word and performance.

Many of these communities are now represented within our multicultural Australia, so the question remains, how do we as Australians acknowledge and engage with the intangible heritage of so many rich cultures? How do we also recognise the First Australians, our Indigenous Peoples, and reflect in our sense of place the complexity of both the original culture and subsequent cultures? Are we doing enough to safeguard the intangible heritage values that enrich, engage and challenge the Australian ethos and which so extend the possibilities of our expressions?

Looking at transformations over time, Amar will reflect on this fascinating topic through his First Voice as an IndoAustralian. In doing so, he will remind us of the North Terrace forum in Adelaide that put arts and culture into the landmark National Agenda for a Multicultural Australia, launched in 1989 by the Prime Minister of the day, the Hon Bob Hawke AC.

Silk Road
The Silk Road music project features Adelaide musicians presenting traditional music from Indian, Afghanistan and the Middle East and brings musicians of different backgrounds together to collaborate. Through live music performances at festivals, arts events and community celebrations the Silk Music group present the fascinating songs and music of this region to the SA public. Three members of the Silk Road group, Feroz Ansari vocals and harmonium, Jay Dabgar North Tabla, and Keith Preston Santoor and Bouzouki, will present Afghan songs with a regional flavour during the OzAsia Keynote.

Biography: Professor Amareswar Galla

Amar Galla brings a deep commitment to the value of cultural diversity and rich artistic experience to his role as 2012 Keynote Speaker.

Educated in New Delhi, a longstanding citizen of Australia and a global contributor to multicultural heritage and arts, Amar's career currently encompasses a leading role in the 40th Anniversary of the 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention, directing the International Institute for the Inclusive Museum out of Copenhagen (inclusivemuseum.org) and as a Professor of World Heritage and Sustainable Development at the University of Split, Croatia.

He provided strategic cultural leadership in the Asia - Pacific region as the first Professor of Museum Studies in Australia at the University of Queensland and previously, as Director of Sustainable Heritage Development Programs at the Australian National University. He led a National Affirmative Action program for the participation of ATSI Peoples in Australian museums, galleries, parks and World Heritage Areas. He has been a technical adviser on similar projects in Canada, USA, Belize, Brazil, Vietnam, India, China, Norway, Greenland and several Island States. A past office bearer in the Asia Pacific Executive Board, the Cross Cultural Task Force , and the International Executive Council of the International Council of Museums in Paris, he was recently elected in Singapore as the Vice President of the Commonwealth Association of Museums.


While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: strengthening our democracy - valuing our diversity - and building our future.

The copying and reproduction of any transcripts within the Hawke Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.