Woman in museum store holding an object

Lindy Allen

Senior Curator, Anthropology (Northern Australia)

About me

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Lindy Allen is Senior Curator at Museum Victoria and currently manages the museum’s national and international Indigenous Repatriation Program. Having worked in the museum sector for almost 40 years, she has developed and led a strong cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary research program on museum collections, particularly in collaboration with Indigenous scholars and communities. She has published broadly, been a named researcher on six Australian Research Council funded projects, and curated over 30 major exhibitions. Lindy’s expertise is in the analysis and history of Indigenous Australian museum collections as well as material culture studies more broadly; and is focused primarily on northern Australia, Cape York and Arnhem Land where she has developed close working relationships and regularly undertakes fieldwork. The broader research focus relates to institutional and collection histories as well as material culture, Indigenous art and history, representation and agency of Indigenous people in museums, in collections and in the collecting process and practices.

Key publications

Duncan Wright, Michelle Langley, Sally May, Iain Johnston and Lindy Allen, (2016),  Painted shark vertebrae beads from the Djawumbu-Madjawarrnja complex, western Arnhem Land, Australian Archaeology, 82:1, pp.43-54

Lindy Allen, (2014), Message Sticks and Indigenous Diplomacy: “Thomson’s Treaty”—Brokering Peace on Australia’s Northern Frontier in the 1930s, in Darian Smith, Kate and Penelope Edmonds (eds), Conciliation on Colonial Frontiers. Routledge, pp.113-131  

Nicolas Peterson, Lindy Allen and Louise Hamby, Eds, (2008), The Makers and Making of Indigenous Australian Museum Collections. Melbourne University Publishing, Melbourne, 596 pages

Philip Batty, Lindy Allen and John Morton, Eds, (2005), The Photographs of Baldwin Spencer. Melbourne University Publishing, Melbourne, 223 pages

Lindy Allen and Louise Hamby, (2011), Pathways to Knowledge: Research, Agency and power relations in the context of collaborations between museums and source communities. In Harrison, Rodney, Robin Torrence, Sarah Byrne and Annie Clark (eds), Unpacking the Collections: Networks of Material and Social Agency in the Museum, One World Archaeology, Springer Science+Business Media (New York), pp. 209-230

Projects and events

Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (LP160100415), How Meston’s “Wild Australia Show” Shaped Australian Aboriginal History, a collaboration with University of Queensland, Museums Victoria, Queensland Museum and State Library of New South Wales

Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (LP130100346), The Legacy of 50 Years of Collecting at Milingimbi Mission, a collaboration with the Australian National University and Museums Victoria with the Milingimbi Community

Teaching and students

I'm available for student supervision.

Honours, masters, doctoral student for museum / collections based projects

Publications

Major/Recent Publications

Lindy Allen and Louise Hamby, (2016), A History of the Art of Milingimbi. In Pinchbeck, Cara with Lindy Allen and Louise Hamby, Art from Milingimbi ─ Taking Memories Back. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, pp.28-36

Lindy Allen and Louise Hamby, (2016), Makarrata ─ Bringing the Past into the Future. Australian National University and Museum Victoria, 2016, 37 pages

Lindy Allen, (2016), On the Edges of Their Memories–Reassembling the Lamalama Cultural Record from Museum Collection. In Hafner, D. and J-C. Verstraete, (Eds), Land and Language in Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf Country. Culture and Language Use (Studies in Anthropological Linguistics), Amsterdam/Philadelphia, pp.435-454

Duncan Wright, Michelle Langley, Sally May, Iain Johnston and Lindy Allen, (2016), Painted shark vertebrae beads from the Djawumbu-Madjawarrnja complex, western Arnhem Land, Australian Archaeology, 82:1, pp.43-54

Lindy Allen, Bruce Rigsby and Diane Hafner, (2015), The Legacy of Norman B. Tindale at Princess Charlotte Bay in 1927: Lamalama engagement with museum collections. Journal of the Anthropological Society of South Australia, 39, pp.1-25

Lindy Allen, (2014), Message Sticks and Indigenous Diplomacy: “Thomson’s Treaty”—Brokering Peace on Australia’s Northern Frontier in the 1930s, in Darian Smith, Kate and Penelope Edmonds (eds), Conciliation on Colonial Frontiers. Routledge, pp.113-131  

Lindy Allen and Louise Hamby, (2013), Aboriginal Australia. In Condra, Jill (ed), Encyclopedia of National Dress: Traditional Clothing Around the World, Volume 1. Santa Barbara, CA. ABC-CLIO, pp. 44-51  

Lindy Allen and Louise Hamby, (2011), Pathways to Knowledge: Research, Agency and power relations in the context of collaborations between museums and source communities. In Harrison, Rodney, Robin Torrence, Sarah Byrne and Annie Clark (eds), Unpacking the Collections: Networks of Material and Social Agency in the Museum, One World Archaeology, Springer Science+Business Media (New York), pp. 209-230

Nicolas Peterson, Lindy Allen and Louise Hamby, (Eds), (2008), The Makers and Making of Indigenous Australian Museum Collections. Melbourne University Publishing, Melbourne, 596 pages

Lindy Allen, (2008), Tons and Tons of Valuable Material: the Donald Thomson Collection. In Peterson, Nicolas, Lindy Allen and Louise Hamby (eds), The Makers and Making of Indigenous Australian Museum Collections. Melbourne University Publishing, Melbourne, pp. 387-418

Diane Hafner, Lindy Allen and Bruce Rigsby, (2007), Museums and Memory as Agents of Social Change. The International Journal of the Humanities, Vol.5, No.6, pp. 87-94

Philip Batty, Lindy Allen and John Morton, (Eds), (2005), The Photographs of Baldwin Spencer. Melbourne University Publishing, Melbourne, 223 pages

Lindy Allen, (2005), A lasting legacy: Spencer’s Top End Photography. In Batty Philip, Lindy Allen and John Morton (eds), The Photographs of Baldwin Spencer. Melbourne University Publishing, Melbourne, pp.190-193

Lindy Allen, (2005), Greedy for bakki. In Hamby, Louise (ed), Twined Together: Kunmatj Njalehnjaleken. Injalak Arts and Crafts, Gunbalanya, pp.41-51

Lindy Allen and Louise Hamby, (2005), Links to the South. In Hamby, Louise (ed), Twined Together: Kunmatj Njalehnjaleken. Injalak Arts and Crafts, Gunbalanya, pp.59-65  

Lindy Allen, (2005), A Photographer of Brilliance. In Rigsby, Bruce and Nicolas Peterson (eds), Donald Thomson, man and scholar. Canberra: Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, pp.45-62

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