Aboriginal myths and Elders are not what you think – Jacinta Koolmatrie

Learn why books about Aboriginal myths should be in the anthropological section, and why we undervalue Elders.

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For more than 50,000 years there were over 200 different groups of people living on the landmass now referred to as Australia. All of these groups formed a strong understanding of the land. This knowledge was passed down through thousands of generations as stories. Could these be connected to the extinct megafauna? And who holds this knowledge today and is it respected in Australian society?

Jacinta Koolmatrie explores these questions and connects them to her own experiences as an Adnyamathanha person.

Jacinta Koolmarie is an Adnyamathanha and Ngarrindjeri person who grew up in Port Augusta (SA). In 2017 she won the Flinders University’s Ken Wanganeen Medal as the most outstanding Aboriginal student for her studies in archaeology.

In 2018 Jacinta was working on her Masters thesis, researching Adnyamathanha yura malka (rock art), with a focus on Aboriginal knowledge. At the beginning of 2017, Jacinta began working at the South Australian Museum with the aim of changing the way museums portray and work with Aboriginal people.

It's time to move on from only seeing Elders as people who provide Welcomes [to Country].

— Jacinta Koolmatrie