The Scholar as Educator, the Educator as Disruptor - Launceston


In NAIDOC Week, the University of Tasmania will hold its annual Japanangka errol West Lecture.

Start Date

11th Jul 2018 6:00pm

End Date

11th Jul 2018 7:30pm


Lecture Theatre 9, Faculty of Arts, Newnham campus

RSVP / Contact Information

Enquiries: T. 6226 5553; E:

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presented by

Professor Marcia Langton

University of Melbourne

Marcia Langton

Extraordinary changes in the educational status of Indigenous Australians have occurred in the decades since Professor Japanangka errol West shook up the comfortable world of Australian education that had systemically and blinding excluded us. Whereas Professor West was one of a handful of Indigenous education leaders thirty years ago, now we have thousands of Indigenous postgraduates, many more Indigenous professors, professional societies of Indigenous doctors and lawyers, and a dramatic rise in the number of Grade 12 completions, to mention just a few of these dramatic changes. Professor West was one of the disruptors who made all this possible. But we are far from reaching parity. In this lecture in honour of Professor West, Professor Langton will discuss our educational status, some of the reasons for the successes so far, and the problems we have yet to solve.

About Marcia Langton

Professor Marcia Langton AM is an anthropologist and geographer, and since 2000 has held the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne.

She has produced a large body of knowledge in the areas of political and legal anthropology, Indigenous agreements and engagement with the minerals industry, and Indigenous culture and art. Her role in the Empowered Communities project under contract to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and as a member of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians are evidence of Professor Langton's academic reputation, policy commitment and impact, alongside her role as a prominent public intellectual.

In 1993, she was made a member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her work in anthropology and the advocacy of Aboriginal rights. Professor Marcia Langton is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, a Fellow of Trinity College, Melbourne and an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College at The University of Queensland.

In 2016 Professor Langton is honoured as a University of Melbourne Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor. As further recognition as one of Australia's most respected Indigenous Academics, in 2017 Professor Marcia Langton was appointed as the first Associate Provost at the University of Melbourne.

Refreshments from 5.30pm.

Photo of Japanangka errol West

The Japanangka errol West Annual Lecture

This annual event honours the life and work of the late Japanangka errol West, an internationally recognised poet and scholar. Japanangka errol was a leading Tasmanian Aboriginal academic, known for his scholarship in the field of Indigenous methodologies and pedagogies. He articulated the Japanangka teaching and research paradigm, based on knowledge entrusted to him by Walpiri elder Japanangka Rex Granites and incorporating an understanding of the learning paths critical to the success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Western education.

Japanangka errol West was a leader in what has become a global body of scholarship unashamedly framed from Indigenous perspectives. It is this legacy of alternative narratives and scholarship that this annual lecture seeks to represent. It also seeks to embody another characteristic of Japanangka errol: his unstinting intellectual generosity to all within his orbit.