Collaborative practice engendered by First Nations knowledges has the potential to cultivate a thriving future, specifically through demonstrating the value of culture, care and community. This paper examines a model of collaborative practice whereby a contemporary Ngarrindjeri artist and a non-Indigenous art history and theory lecturer worked together to integrate First Nations knowledges within their institution’s visual arts curriculum. From the outset, the two staff members partnered to establish what a dynamic unit that prioritises First Nations knowledges might look like, how it would be configured in the bachelor program, and the format its delivery would take. The pair co-taught the unit, working in tandem to engage learners in First Nations knowledges as a priority, but also to motivate an application of their learning to alternative contexts within the wider program, and beyond the institution.

While First Nations knowledges were central to the design of the unit, the delivery itself was equally important as a model for learners who reported positive outcomes of the collaborative teaching framework. The key topics determined to maximise student engagement with First Nations knowledges were: materials and methodologies; repatriation and maintaining culture; best practice and ethics; and diverse cultural expression. First Nations guest lecturers were also invited to speak on their discrete areas of research and practice, bringing multiple voices into the classroom. Though the model in this instance operated within a creative field, it was underpinned by a decolonial methodology and complementary objectives that speak to Australia’s unique social, environmental and cultural milieux. In its totality, the model is well positioned as one that might lead a reconfiguration of practice within interdisciplinary fields.

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Stream A: Panel One