Healing our planet and peoples to navigate Indigenous futures: Papaarangi Reid’s Narrm Oration

A portrait shot of Professor Papaarangi Reid with graphic lettering saying Narrm Oration 2021
Professor Papaarangi Reid's 2021 Narrm Oration – Navigating Indigenous Futures.

Internationally recognised advocate for Indigenous health equity, Professor Papaarangi Reid, will explore how Indigenous futures can be redefined through a constructive Indigenous lens, in the University of Melbourne’s key annual address, the Narrm Oration.

In her speech this Thursday 18 November, titled Navigating Indigenous Futures, Professor Reid will consider the challenges faced by Indigenous peoples that she calls "‘C’ crises"– the critical challenges of climate, COVID, capitalism, colonialism and consumerism.

She will discuss healing the planet and Indigenous bodies, finding joy in culture and ancestry, and rebuilding respectful relationships.

Professor Reid is Tumuaki (Deputy Dean – Māori) and Head of Te Kupenga Hauora Māori at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland. She is most well-known for holding governments accountable for equity in Māori and Indigenous health outcomes.

A specialist in public health medicine, Professor Reid is a Fellow of the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine and holds an honorary fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. She has been a member of WHO and UNICEF Commissions and is an honorary professor at the University of Melbourne.

In her oration, Professor Reid will outline the importance of health equity for Indigenous people, to make it safe for Indigenous children to be born on their traditional lands.

“At the most basic level, demanding equity is reclaiming our full humanity and self-determination free from discrimination,” Professor Reid will say in her oration.

“Some commentators assume differences in health outcomes for Māori are due in a large part to differences in genetics or bad behaviour.

“It is more important to understand intergenerational colonial trauma and the epigenetics of a life lived in toxic environments. And how if some groups do poorly, get fewer of society’s resources – others get more.”

The oration will discuss issues that help or hinder Indigenous people’s navigation points into their futures, such as Indigenous ways of learning and doing, how that will inform the future for Indigenous people and how it relates to the past.

The Narrm Oration is the University’s key address profiling leading Indigenous peoples from across the world in order to enrich our ideas about possible futures for Indigenous Australia.

The 2021 Narrm Oration will be delivered online at 5pm, Thursday 18 November. 

Media enquiries: Stephanie Juleff | +61 435 151 096 | sjuleff@unimelb.edu.au