Wrap up – Rubbish on the Shore Think Tank with Agency Projects

Country is crying.

Its People are crying.

The songlines connect clans across the entire continent, in this way, we are all connected.

In this way, we are all responsible for country.

For caring for country.

Tait are honoured to have recently participated in a powerful three-day cross-cultural think tank, Rubbish on the Shore, held on Miwatj Country in Arnhem Land, which delved into design solutions for ghost net and associated marine debris affecting Indigenous communities and Sea Country across Northern Australia.



Presented by Agency Projects, with Indigenous leaders from over 20 First Nations rangers groups and artists working across Indigenous owned art centres, this cultural workshop was a first nations-led exploration created to discuss design solutions for ghost net and associated marine debris – a global problem which requires innovative local solutions. The delegation of attendees included experts from educational institutions, professionals working within the design and architecture sectors, material scientists, marine biologists and data analysts in a discussion around the importance of applying systems thinking and design solutions to the environmental issues.

We are deeply grateful to the Gumtaj Clan, the Traditional Owners for the Gulkula site for allowing us to attend this important event on their Country, and to the Yolŋu Clan groups from the Miwatj region for the special opening and closing ceremonies of the think tank. It goes without saying that this outstanding event would not have been possible without the energy and commitment of Agency, event partners Parks Australia, Marine Parks Australia, NGV and Sea Shepherd. We thank you everyone for their collective contribution to making a difference for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The project will be complemented by a series of follow-up conversations and presentations across 2024 including the Rubbish on the Shore | Symposium event held in the Great Hall at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), as part Melbourne Design Week in 2024. Tait joined Agency at this event, in partnership with First Nations design thinkers and rangers which built on the energised discussions from the Think Tank, expanding conversations and building dialogue through diverse perspectives and the exploration of innovative solutions. Findings and results of the project will be shared with a wider public through a published report.

Tait worked closely with Agency last year as part of our 2023 Melbourne Design Week exhibition and these events expand on this topic, exploring culture, creativity and sustainability. We are all responsible for country. For caring for country – everyone is a stakeholder. We look forward to diving deeper into this big and complex issue, unpacking what lessons have been learned and broadening the conversations around how design thinking and collaborative conversation can seed solutions to the issues impacting Australia’s oceans and waterways.

Published 26 June 2024

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