Connected to Country

Indigenous Australians have a remarkably deep cultural and spiritual connection to their country.

Connected to Country

Indigenous Australians have a remarkably deep cultural and spiritual connection to their country. Now, research at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA is explaining the history behind this.

The landmark Aboriginal Heritage Project between the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Museum is creating a ‘genetic map’ of Australia’s first 50,000 years, using DNA analysis of hair samples collected from Aboriginal Australians between the 1920s and 1960s, together with extensive cultural and genealogical data.

The genetic record is astounding. It reveals remarkable longevity of Aboriginal populations and demonstrates a history unlike anywhere else in the world.

The research will enable Indigenous individuals to retrace their family and regional history, including the displaced Stolen Generations and their descendants.

This fascinating presentation will explore Australia’s history and the team’s collaboration with Aboriginal communities and families, and what they’re working to achieve next.

The Presenter

Professor Alan Cooper is founder and Director of the  Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide, and the 2016 South Australian Scientist of the Year. He has led many large international multidisciplinary studies and created major new research areas including ancient human microbiomes (bacteria), ancient human genomes, and reconstructing the genomic history of Europe.

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The genetic record is astounding. Following initial settlement in the north around 50,000 years ago, Aboriginal groups rapidly moved around both coasts before meeting in South Australia.

2018 Events

13 February, 5:30pm

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13 March, 5:30pm

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10 April, 5:30pm

Engineering Champions

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8 May, 5:30pm

First Ferment

We’ve all heard stories of rum-soaked misadventure in Australia’s early colonial past. But fermented drinks, and food, were consumed on this land long before the First Fleet’s arrival, let alone our current love affair with kimchi and kombucha.

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12 June, 5:30pm

Homeground Disadvantage

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10 July, 5:30pm

Thought for food

Food and wine is big business in South Australia. We account for 80% of Australia’s premium wine exports and over half our state’s exports are agricultural products. Couple this with exceptional quality and it’s no surprise our produce is world-renowned.

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9 October, 5:30pm

An Apple a Day

Every day, we make a raft of minor choices—about our diet, product use and lifestyle—that over time have a major impact on our wellbeing.

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2017 Events