Wuurri-lay: my why.


Ngaya Amy Thunig, Gamilaroi yinarr winanga-y-la-nha Mari ganungu maran, ngay maran, yinarraa, dhilaagaa.

I’m Amy Thunig, I’m a Gamilaroi woman, I acknowledge all First Nations
people, their ancestors, my ancestors, respected elder women, respected elder men. I recognise and acknowledge that I reside on unceded lands, and that throughout my life I have been nurtured by the lands of Darug and Awabakal Nations.

Welcome to Blacademia®: an environment or community of First Nations People concerned with the pursuit of research, education, and scholarship.

This podcast, the associated website and social media accounts are in no way affiliated with my employer, nor are they formally sponsored by any business, institution, or organisation. This is a passion project built in my own time and born from my experiences as a First Nations woman who loves education, research and mob. It stems from my desire to facilitate and contribute to more people hearing/seeing/recognising the incredible work and heart of blacademics from the many Nations of this continent that is now commonly referred to as ‘Australia’.

First Nations academia explored and shared via a podcast… Why?

While I grew up with a firmly fixed goal of going to university, I can honestly say that as someone who was ‘first in family’ to finish year 12 I had no exposure to what university actually was until I was in the midst of it. (First in family is a specific term used to describe someone who has no siblings, parents or grandparents to have accomplished/completed a particular task, in this instance, finish high school or attend University). It was years after completing my first degree that I began to understand what engagement as a researcher and/or educator in higher education might mean, and how this could be utilised for many different aims and purposes.

Since becoming an academic myself I feel privileged to spend my days reading, listening, and engaging with the stories and work of deadly academics, writers, individuals and communities. I am surrounded by First Nations excellence, and I want to share and highlight this excellence with the world – especially with and for other mob. Much of what is done in academia takes place behind closed doors, or pay-walls, and is coded in academic specific jargon which can be difficult for those ‘outside’ of formal academia to understand. I am inspired by the various deadly academics who work at producing and sharing their work in ways which are accessible to all, including those outside academic institutions. Through this podcast I would like to contribute to that work by creating an audio conduit to share consumable portions of the great things being done and made by First Nations people in higher education. In future seasons I will extend this to yarning with First Nations students, and community members engaged in ‘education’ beyond the walls of the formal spaces recognised within this settler-colonial state.

I must share my heartfelt thanks to each guest who very generously gifted their time and yarns to this project, it is such a privilege to be the one to facilitate this project and to listen first hand to these stories. I also acknowledge and thank the many Tweeps who contributed to the GoFundMe which allowed the purchasing of necessary start-up recording equipment, as well as covering the legal fees associated with creating culturally appropriate consent forms for all guests, and filing Trademarks, establishing the domain name etc. I was just yinaar with an idea, you all helped bring it to birth.

This is not a professional, high budget production. In fact, it is me, in my home, with some general store bought equipment and some DIY editing lessons online (I just googled or asked around when I got stuck). My approach is to do what I can, where I am, with what I have, so here we are. I hope you can look past any scrappy editing and take from it the stories and learnings that are within. Ongoing costs such as website hosting and audio streaming are covered by me, Amy Thunig, from my personal account and any funds left from the GoFundMe.

May this journey be a good one for each and every one of us, and may these word-gifts be appreciated by those of you who choose to pick them up.





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