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This is Anthropology

This Anthropology

Lindy Allen
Photo for Lindy Allen

Affiliation: Museums Victoria

Department: Humanities

Location: Victoria, AUSTRALIA

Biography: Lindy Allen is Senior Curator (Anthropology) at Museums Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, where she held curatorial roles since 1989. Prior to that she was curator/collection manager of Australian and Pacific collections at the University of Queensland Anthropology Museum from 1978. Lindy has an extensive record researching museum collections and working with Indigenous communities about their heritage in museums. She has been a Chief Investigator and Partner Investigator on 5 Australian Research Council Projects; most recently ‘How Meston’s “Wild Australia Show” Shaped Australian Aboriginal History' (LP160100415) and ‘The Legacy of 50 Years of Collecting at Milingimbi Mission’ (LP LP130100346). She also manages Museum Victoria’s Indigenous Repatriation Program involving the return of Ancestral Remains and Secret/Sacred objects to Indigenous communities in Australia and overseas. Lindy’s extensive career has spanned five decades and she has developed expertise in Indigenous Australian collections, material culture and led an active research program of collaboration with Indigenous scholars and communities, particularly from northern Australia. She has initiated the application of this cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary framework to the work of the museum's conservation staff and engaging them in a dialogue with Indigenous custodians regarding the preservation of their cultural heritage. Lindy's broader research focus includes material culture studies, Indigenous art and museum history, including institutional histories, the representation of Indigenous people in museums, and the history of collecting. Lindy co-edited the seminal volume The Makers and Making of Indigenous Australian Museum Collections, with Professor Nicholas Peterson and Dr Louise Hamby at the ANU (Melbourne University Publishing 2008); and The Photographs of Baldwin Spencer, with Dr Philip Batty and Dr John Morton. She has chapters in the volumes Conciliation on Colonial Frontiers (Routledge, 2

Subfield: Cultural Anthropology

Job Type: Academic & Practicing

Geographic Areas of Expertise:
Australia and New Zealand

I went into Anthro because: As an undergraduate at the University of Queensland, I attended the inaugural professorial lecture given by Bruce Rigsby after his appointment of Professor of Anthropology ahere. His lecture focussed on his language work with Native Americans in northwest USA, and, more interestingly for me, the Lamalamic languages of southern Cape York in Australia. This inspired me to study anthropology. Fortunately I managed to get a curatorial position after graduation, and led me on the career path as a m

My latest research is: Lindy is currently Partner Investigator on Australian Research Council Linkage Projects ‘How Meston’s “Wild Australia Show” Shaped Australian Aboriginal History' and ‘The Legacy of 50 Years of Collecting at Milingimbi Mission’ in collaboration with ANU and Milingimbi. These look at identifying collections in cultural institutions across the world and reassembling them in order to construct histories and recover the legacy collections relating to Indigenous Australians. In relation to Milingimbi

My advice to potential anthropologists is: Take every opportunity that comes along no matter how small or insignificant it may appear.