The National Recording Project for
Indigenous Performance in Australia

Takbing Siwaliya from Makassar performs
at the 4th Symposium on Indigenous Performance at Gulkula. Photo: J. Dunn, 2006.

The Symposium on Indigenous Music and Dance is an annual event where partners in the NRP meet to their share ideas and experiences.

2010 | 2007–09 | 2003–06 | 2002


Our 9th Symposium was convened in in Canberra in conjunction with the AIATSIS Information Technologies and Indigenous Communities Symposium.


From 2007–09, the Sympsoium was convened in Darwin by Professor Allan Marett in partnership with Charles Darwin University and the Darwin Festival. Presentations there set a new benchmarks in communicating the breadth and immediacy of current approaches to recording and researching Indigenous music and dance within the broad aims of the NRP.


Until 2005, the Symposium was convened in conjunction with the Garma Festival by Professor Allan Marett, Professor Marcia Langton and Dr Mandawuy Yunupingu with the Symposium’s Secretary, Dr Aaron Corn, convening in 2006.

Symposium highlights include:

  • the official launch of the NRP by Dr Mandawuy Yunupingu in 2004,
  • performances and workshops by the world-renowned Bauls of Bengal in 2004,
  • the revisitation of centuries of pre-colonial trans-Torres contact through performances and workshops by Takbing Siwaliya from Makassar in 2005, and
  • the premiere of Crossing Roper Bar by the Australian Art Orchestra and Yolngu musicans from
    Ngukurr in 2006.


The NRP was conceived as a result of the 1st Symposium on Indigenous Music and Dance in 2002 which was convened at Gunya?ara during the 4th Garma Festival through partnership between the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne and the Yothu Yindi Foundation.

Funded by AIATSIS, this inaugural Symposium resolved that community, academic and industry partners should collaborate to ensure that:

  • as many discreet performance repertoires as possible are recorded and held for future generations,
  • Indigenous Knowledge Centres and similar digital archives are established to support local access to all data generated, and
  • these materials are made available to community health, education, governance and business initiatives as appropriate.