A different lens

01 October 2013

Aboriginal voice offers exciting research discourse, says Brian Martin.

Research is Dr Brian Martin’s passion.

Having just completed his own PhD, he is now taking that passion in a new direction … developing and driving the new research agenda at Deakin’s highly-regarded Institute for Koorie Education (IKE).

“We are now putting together the research plan for the next five years,” says Dr Martin, who as IKE’s new deputy-director has carriage of the research portfolio.

“As part of that we have put together a strategic planning committee which brings together some of the heavyweights from around the University, including Professor Lee Astheimer, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

“This is a really positive thing for IKE because it takes us into the very fabric of the University and will help push indigenous knowledge systems to the forefront of research at Deakin.

“Another thing we’re aiming towards is developing our research culture internationally, looking at indigenous knowledge systems around the world and seeing how they relate to each other.

“We are the oldest living culture on the planet and the most sophisticated, philosophically, artistically and ideologically.

"By looking at the world through an Aboriginal lens we can reframe research world-wide.

“This is not an area that, historically, has ever really been delved into.

“The whole process of colonisation, and various government policies that have followed, have inhibited the Aboriginal voice.

“I think what is really exciting as a future philosophical discourse is our lens on the world.”

A successful artist with more than two decades experience of exhibiting his works around the world, Dr Martin did his PhD at Deakin.

“I have got that history with Deakin before taking on this role,” he said.

His PhD was a mixture of theory and exegesis in practice.

“I started out as thesis only, but got to a point where I realised I could demonstrate the argument in practice,” he said.

That argument examined a different way of looking at art and culture in general, but then refiguring the notions of ideology in Western society through an Aboriginal system.

“Aboriginal culture is based on country,” Dr Martin said.

“It is not like Western culture based on religion or notions of God.

“When you look at all the various theories across cultures through an Aboriginal lens, it all becomes quite exciting.”

Combine that excitement with Dr Martin’s undiluted passion and research at IKE, and Deakin generally, is about to enter a tantalising new era.

Listen Dr Brian Martin talking about his art and his research on Radio National’s AWAYE program

Dr Brian Martin When you look at all the various theories across cultures through an Aboriginal lens, it all becomes quite exciting, says Dr Brian Martin.

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