Sustaining the seas has an exciting line up

Leah Lui-Chivizhe

Leah is a postdoctoral fellow in History at the University of Sydney where she is currently working on the publication of her PhD thesis, Le op: An Islander’s history of Torres Strait turtle-shell masks. Prior to taking up this position, Leah lectured in Indigenous Studies at Nura Gili UNSW (2013-June 2017) and the former Koori Centre of the University of Sydney (2001-2012). Her research interests include Torres Strait cultural knowledge and histories, museum practice, gendered knowledge and labour history. Leah is a Torres Strait mainlander, with extensive family links to Mer, Erub, and Badu islands.

Charles David

Born and raised in the Torres Strait, Charles is a traditional owner with connections across the region, primarily to Tudu and Mer islands. He spent his early schooling life in the Torres Strait before completing high school at an agricultural boarding school on the Atherton Tablelands-Far North Queensland. He is currently employed as Senior Fisheries Project Officer with the Torres Strait Regional Authority.

His extensive involvement in the commercial fishing industry in the Torres Strait stems from his traditional ecological knowledge and his understanding and ability to communicate and lead others. One of his key roles is to assist traditional owners of Torres Strait sea country to achieve their aspirations relative to both commercial and traditional fishing.

Flora Warrior

Flora Warrior is a traditional owner from Mabuiag Island in the Torres Strait and a passionate advocate for her people. With a career background in State and Commonwealth public service and in Local Government, she is now involved in developing the Indigenous fishing sector in her home community. Flora has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland (1993) majoring in Linguistics and Anthropology. She also has a Master of Business Administration from James Cook University (2014).

Chels Marshall

Renowned expert in ecology and Aboriginal marine science.


Caring for Sea Country

The Caring for Sea Country plenary session goes to the heart of this conference and its core dilemma of how to better care for seas and the politics of caring.

Cultural links with the coast, sea, and marine life are integral to the lives for many Aboriginal people and all Torres Strait Islanders. Caring for sea is one and the same as caring for Country. Yet, in Australia caring for sea country is complicated by our enduring colonial legacy and the current legal and institutional frameworks, which have limited the rights of Aboriginal and Islander people to resources and potential to practice care.

This plenary session hears from some of the many people who continue to care for sea Country in collaborative, creative and cultural ways, in spite of the long history of the denial of rights.

Organised by Dr. Leah Lui-Chivizhe (Sydney) with panelists: Charles David (Maintaining and caring for sea country), Chels Marshall (The importance of Aboriginal Marine Park management concepts for Australia), and Flora Warrior (The microeconomics of caring for Mabuiag Sea Country).

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