The 9th Australian Association for Caribbean Studies Conference

Newcastle, NSW

16- 19th February 2011

“Narratives of Race, Place and Migration”

Attendees:  27 persons including 3 Keynote Speakers, 9 Professors, 6 PhD Candidates, 2 Independent Scholars, 1 Awabakal Member, 1 CaribVic Representative, 5 visitors including Kester Thomas and Lisa Montague.

We all met at the newly built WEA Hunter Conference Centre in Newcastle on a warm and sunny Wednesday morning. John Maynard, a Worimi man, did the Welcome to Country in Aunty Sandra Griffin’s absence.

One Keynote Speaker headed the program for each of the 3 days with their interesting studies pertaining to the Caribbean as listed in the program.

Three panels of 2 speakers each were scheduled each day with Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea breaks after each Panel.

Second item of the first panel on the first day was allocated to CaribVic..

Pat Thomas spoke on the ‘taking of place’ as a follow on from the Callaloo Exhibition in Victoria.

Pat spoke about her experiences of settling in the Victoria community, from the time of her arrival in 1968;  The setting up of the first West Indian Association of Victoria, the Minister of Immigration & Ethnic affairs, Mr Al Grasby making a statement on radio that he was unaware of any West Indians living in Australia; the efforts for West Indian   identity in the wider Community; the Department of Youth Sport & Recreation Crown Lands rejection; Moomba Parades; to the exhibition in the Immigration Museum of Victoria –  36 years later.

Karina prepared the power point presentation of the ‘Callaloo-the Caribbean mix in Victoria’ catalogue, while Pat explained the chattel house design as a symbol of a home away from home and our migration. The name Callaloo for its prolific growth throughout the region, its mixing and blending in the cooking as found in the mixing and blending of the people of the Caribbean and the further mixing and blending in Victoria.

The fact that the Brochure will live on in the Immigration Museum Library and in the State Library of Victoria, not only as a Legacy from CaribVic to our children’s children, but for the West Indians to take their place amongst the communities in Victoria, has been a dedication from the 12 Community members who worked tirelessly over 2 years on this Exhibition.

Pat thanked Dr. Karina Smith of the AACS and the Caribbean Community of Victoria for the opportunity to present at the Conference, and to be part of the 2011 CaribVic Awareness Program.

The Conference gave CaribVic great exposure amongst highly regarded Professionals from Universities around the world, whose studies centre on the Caribbean.

The next AACS Conference will be in Melbourne in 2013 and expressions for CaribVic’s participation and involvement has been communicated.

30 minute presentation included Question time –  7 Callaloo brochures were sold.