Please note: This is a temporary page to provide information while the project and the website are being developed - we look forward to launching the full website as soon as possible.

The Minutes of Evidence Project is a groundbreaking, interdisciplinary collaboration, bringing together leading Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal performance artists, researchers, education experts and Community members, to promote new modes of publicly engaging with the past and ongoing cases of historical injustice. Supported through an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant, the Minutes of Evidence Project is a partnership between:

  • The University of Melbourne
  • ILBIJERRI Theatre Company
  • La Mama Theatre
  • VicHealth's Arts About Us Program
  • The Department of Education & Early Childhood Development
  • The Koorie Heritage Trust
  • Arts Victoria
  • Regional Arts Victoria
  • The Victorian Aboriginal Education
    Association Inc (VAEAI)
  • The State Library of Victoria
  • Deakin University
  • Sussex University
  • Royal Holloway
    University of London

Through verbatim-theatre performances such as Coranderrk, the Minutes of Evidence Project aims to promote effective public engagement with Australia’s history and its legacy, sparking new conversations about structural justice within, and between, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, whether it be in secondary-school classrooms, Universities, or in the public arena.

To this end, the project is working in three interconnected areas:

Performance

1. PERFORMANCE: At the heart of the Project is the verbatim-theatre work, Coranderrk: We Will Show the Country. Consisting entirely of the voices of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people who testified at the 1881 Parliamentary inquiry into the Coranderrk Aboriginal station, Coranderrk unites the authority of the written word and the intimacy of oral testimony in order to bring back to life the voices of a past and allow them to speak directly to a contemporary audience. Coranderrk was developed by core Minutes of Evidence Project members between 2009-2011; it has been performed for Coranderrk descendants on Coranderrk Land, and has since gone on to garner growing audiences and glowing reviews. Premiering at the La Mama Courthouse Theatre in 2011, Coranderrk has been performed at Melbourne's inaugural Indigenous Arts Festival (BMW Edge, Federation Square), and most recently at the Sydney Opera House. For more information see the ILBIJERRI website.

2. EDUCATION: Partners in the Minutes of Evidence Project are preparing to stage a pilot season of Coranderrk for Victorian secondary schools in 2013/14, and will be developing associated curriculum modules that will embed the performance into the new school curriculum, assisting teachers and students in engaging with the history and voices of Aboriginal Victoria. Consultation and collaboration with local Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities will guide this dimension of the project, as has been the case during the earlier stages of performance development.

3. RESEARCH: The socio-legal, criminological and historical research dimension of the Minutes of Evidence Project will locate the Coranderrk struggle in a broader narrative of historical and contemporary justice and injustice. Through an interdisciplinary and comparative methodology, researchers will connect a range of official responses to experiences and claims of injustice across time and space (from 19th-century colonial inquiries to contemporary truth and reconciliation commissions) bringing together the concepts and understandings informing the currently discrete fields of transitional justice and settler colonial studies. The research aims to shed further light on the enduring legacies of past injustices, despite official responses ostensibly designed to redress them, to consider how notions of justice have been formulated, invoked and confronted, and to foster new ways of thinking about structural justice in the present.

ResearchImages: Steven Rhall

Thank you,
Minutes Of Evidence Project Team