Indigenous Liasion Officer to Visit New Zealand
Australian War Memorial’s Indigenous Liasion Officer to Visit New Zealand
The Indigenous Liaison Officer from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Gary Oakley, will speak in Auckland, Gisborne and Wellington this month. Mr Oakley will be in New Zealand with support from the Australian High Commission in Wellington.
He will take part in a series of talks and speak on the subject of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service in the First World War and Gallipoli.
Australian High Commissioner, Mr Michael Potts said he was delighted that Mr Oakley is able to come to New Zealand. “There has been great interest in the talks from both the museums and the public. It is particularly relevant given that both ANZAC nations are commemorating 100 years since Gallipoli”.
The events will be held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on 23 June, Tairawhiti Museum in Gisborne on 24 June and at Te Papa in Wellington on 25 June.
The Gisborne event will feature Mr Oakley. In Auckland and Wellington, Mr Oakley will take part in a panel discussion on “Indigenous and Pacific Experiences in WWI”.
The two other panellists are Dr Monty Soutar, Senior Historian, Ministry of Culture and Heritage and Dr Damon Salesa, Associate Professor of Pacific Studies, University of Auckland.
Gary Oakley was born in Katoomba NSW. His people are the Gundungurra. He was the first Indigenous Liaison Officer employed at the Australian War Memorial and he also works as a curator in the Exhibitions section and curated most of the major gallery refurbishments in the last 20 years.
Gary Oakley is the National President of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans and Services Association of Australia (ATSIVSAA). His connection with the military started as a member of the cadet corps at high school, he then joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Junior Recruit in 1969 and after twelve months at HMAS Leeuwin in ships such as HMAS Duchess, HMAS Sydney (Vietnam service), HMAS Perth, HMAS Stewart, HMAS Stalwart and the submarines HMAS Oxley and Ovens.
While at HMAS Platypus, he became curator of the 1st Australian Submarine Squadron Museum, and on leaving the RAN, took up a curatorial position at the Australian War Memorial in the 1991.
Gary Oakley has been a curator at the Bavarian Army Museum in Ingolstadt, Germany and studied Cultural Heritage Management and Museum Studies at the University of Canberra. As a member of the Navy Reserve for twenty years, he worked closely with the Navy History section, documenting and researching naval history also assists with Indigenous Affairs–ADF helping with their Indigenous Pre- Recruitment courses as well as travelling to community to speak to Indigenous youth in relation to careers in the Defence Force. Gary Oakley transferred late 2014 to the Air Force as a Squadron Leader working within Air Forces Indigenous Affairs branch.
Gary Oakley’s Speaking Engagements in New Zealand 23 June Auckland 530pm Auckland War Memorial Museum Indigenous and Pacific Experiences in WWI- panel Gary Oakley, Dr Damon Salesa, Dr Monty Soutar http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/whats-on/war-memorial/first-world-warcentenary/ indigenous-and-pacific-experiences-in-wwi 24 June Gisborne 5pm Tairawhiti Museum Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait service in the First World War and on Gallipoli https://www.facebook.com/events/847542658633720/ 25 June Wellington 530pm Te Papa Tongarewa Indigenous and Pacific Experiences in WWI- panel Gary Oakley, Dr Damon Salesa, Dr Monty Soutar, Puawai Cairns (facilitator) http://www.tepapa.govt.nz/WhatsOn/allevents/Pages/IndigenousandPacificExperie ncesinWWI.aspx For more information, see www.newzealand.embassy.gov.au.