This professional forum will consider the roles that can be played by museums, museologists, technologists and Indigenous cultural community members to support and rebuild cultural communities and to preserve Indigenous culture. As such work often does not take place within institutional walls, it is necessary to think about the many distributed tasks that can be combined to bridge the gap between ephemeral cultural knowledge and practices and the long-term preservation of representations of the culture.
The authors’ experience when working on a project that aimed to help repatriate the cultural resources of a north Australian Indigenous community focuses on the problems associated with the use of technology in the preservation of the culture of a community of which the technologists are not members. The work of a community agent who has ‘inside’ knowledge and is educated in the ways of the community as part of the culture of the community has a better chance of knowing what matters to the community but perhaps less access to resources and technological expertise.
The forum that is sought is one in which those with experiences from a range of perspectives can work together to find new, appropriate ways of working. In particular, the expertise of museum communities is sought in the hope that the depth of experience of professionals in this field can complement the emergent work of indigenous people in the preservation of their culture.
Keywords: indigenous, preservation, Australia, aborigines, culture, community, indigenous culture, community, collectives