CARE: Interdisciplinary Forum - Ian Potter Museum of Art

CARE: Interdisciplinary Forum

14 Oct 2022

In this year’s Interdisciplinary Forum, we consider spaces, systems and experiences of CARE.


CARE brings academic expertise, lived experience and artists’ perspectives together for an engaging day of presentation and discussion. Questions of care, or lack thereof, are an urgent focus of the present moment. How do we consider individual, societal, environmental, or institutional systems of care?

Curā, Latin for care, is the etymological origin of ‘curating’ and the basis of western modes of museum practice. This is perhaps most evident in the care of collections, yet curatorial care also extends to care for our artists, participants and the broader communities implicated in creative practice. How we care for artists cuts to the heart of our societal ideals. Outside the sector, the question of adequate care goes to the heart of basic human rights, equity and freedoms — how they are valued and enacted and how that care is accessed, experienced or denied.

Across three dynamic sessions, we’ll traverse understandings and networks of care in diverse contexts including health, the environment and food security.




10am – 10.15am

10.15am – 11.15am 

  • CHAIR: Dr Ryan Jefferies, Associate Director, Science and Academic Programs, University Museums and Collections
  • James Nguyen, artist and filmmaker & Victoria Pham, composer, archaeologist and artist | Destruction as Conservation
  • Jo Caust, Principal Fellow (Hon), School of Culture and Communication | Valuing artists and Arts Practice
  • Tania Cañas, Artistic lead and co-Director, Arts Gen; Coordinator and Lecturer, Performance and Community Engagement, Victorian College of the Arts & Priya Pavri, independent curator and co-Director, Arts Gen | Arts and Health: an Arts Gen approach to care


11.15am – 11.30am 


11.30am – 12.30pm 

  • CHAIR: Claire Loughnan, Lecturer in Criminology, School of Political and Social Sciences
  • Cath Chamberlain, Professor of Indigenous Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health | Replanting the Birthing Trees: recreating sacred places for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies to be born
  • Sara Guest, Associate Lecturer in Geography, Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences | From the everyday to the institution: questions of care in the life of food insecure university students
  • Indigo Daya, Survivor activist, artist and academic | Russian dolls and epistemic crypts: Reflections of a trauma survivor about violence in psychiatric ‘care’


12.30pm – 1.15pm 


1.15pm – 2.15pm 

  • CHAIR: Rose Hiscock, Director, University Museums and Collections
  • Nicholas Hill, McKenzie Fellow, School of Political and Social Sciences and Manu Kailom, asylum seeker, community development worker and advocateInclusive LGBTIQA+ Mental Health Care: The need for caring partnerships
  • Tania King, Senior Research Fellow in Social Epidemiology, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health | Young carers: unknown and unrecognised
  • Kathryn Williams, Professor of Environmental Psychology, Ecosystem and Forest Sciences | Connection, care and the natural world


2.15pm – 2.30pm 



James Nguyen, artist and filmmaker
James Nguyen is an Australian artist and filmmaker based in Melbourne. He has been commissioned by institutions such as the Australian War Memorial, the Museum of Contemporary Art for The National: New Australian Art 2019, and others. A past recipient of the Maddocks Art Prize and the Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship, James has had the opportunity to develop projects and work collaboratively on experimental documentary, research and curatorial exchanges in New York City, Europe and the Asia Pacific. IG @jamesnguyens → →
Spoiler title
Gerald McMaster is a curator, artist, author, and professor emeritus OCAD University, Toronto. Dr. McMaster has forty years of international work and expertise in contemporary art, critical theory, museology, and indigenous aesthetics. His international curatorial projects include the 1995 Venice Biennale, 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, and Artistic Director to the 18th Biennale of Sydney in 2012. His most recent books are Iljuwas Bill Reid: Life & Work (2020); Post-commodity: Time Holds All →
Nicholas Hill, McKenzie Fellow, School of Political and Social Sciences
Dr Nicholas Hill is a McKenzie Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Arts. He specialises in LGBTIQA+ mental health research conducted in partnership with community organisations and representatives. Nicholas is currently working on Improving LGBTIQA+ Mental Health: Co-creating Inclusive Health and Social Care project.
Manu Kailom, asylum seeker, community development worker and advocate
Manu Kailom (he/they) is an asylum seeker and a community development worker and advocate for LGBTQIA+ Refugee and Asylum Seekers. They are the Peer Support and Community Development Officer with Three for All Foundation, a not-for-profit International Development Organisation working with LGBTQIA+ refugee populations internationally as well as in Australia.
Tania King, Senior Research Fellow in Social Epidemiology, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Dr Tania King is a social epidemiologist who uses causally focussed quantitative social science methods to understand social and structural determinants of health inequities across the life-course. Specific focusses of her work include: 1) gender equality and norms as determinants of health outcomes; 2) the distribution of caring and paid work across society; 3) mental health and suicide. Tania currently holds a University of Melbourne Dame Kate Campbell Fellowship and an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award focussed on the lives and trajectories of carers. TW @TaniaLKing
Kathryn Williams, Prof (Environmental Psychology) Ecosystem and Forest Sciences
Kathryn Williams is Professor of Environmental Psychology in the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She enjoys exploring how people feel, think and act toward plants, animals and the places we live in – and what this means for conservation and well-being. She explores this in the context of forests, bushfire and the nature of our cities. TW @kathjhw →

About Interdisciplinary Forums

The Ian Potter Museum of Art Interdisciplinary Forum is an ongoing, annual series presented by The University of Melbourne’s Museums and Collections Department. Each Forum seeks to address pressing themes of our time, and features academic researchers from across the University of Melbourne, alongside contributions by creative practitioners, proposing art-making as a form of knowledge creation alongside other academic fields of inquiry. Previous Forums have explored the themes of  WATER, LANGUAGE, MACHINE and CONSENT.