Fiona Blackburn

Fiona Blackburn is an Australian woman of English and European heritage. Able to live in Australia and call it home because of the dispossession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Fiona acknowledges that Traditional Owners never ceded sovereignty of their lands. She worked in libraries and archives for thirteen years, beginning as Special Collections Manager at Alice Springs Public Library and finishing as Manuscripts Collection Manager at the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

The willingness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to engage with libraries and archives, and librarians and archivists, challenged Fiona to begin to develop cultural competence and to try and envisage an archival practice that moves away from the dominance of Western intellectual approaches to acknowledge and privilege the Indigenous systems of knowledge that underpin collections in Australia’s collecting institutions.