Articles Breakfast Talk: Professor Kate Auty on untold history

In the lead up to NAIDOC Week in Australia, our Melbourne Studio hosted Professor Kate Auty for its Breakfast Talk series.

As the author of ‘O’Leary of the Underworld: The Untold Story of the Forrest River Massacre’, Kate shared how her research for the book unfolded, revealing confronting truths, many of which were hidden in plain sight within historical archives.

For the Breakfast Talk audience, Kate’s talk was an opportunity for reflection on taught history and what histories might become evident should we consider more diverse voices. Importantly, Kate prompted the audience to focus on truth-telling and the questions we must ask ourselves as we look to face our history in Australia and remedy the legacy.

Professor Kate Auty is a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne and Chair of the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA). She has formerly held appointments as a magistrate in Victoria and in the goldfields and western desert of Western Australia, establishing Aboriginal sentencing courts in consultation with Aboriginal people.

Professor Kate Auty embodies strength, conviction and an unwavering commitment to face the uncomfortable truths of our untold history. What became clear to me during Kate’s talk is that our own personal legacies play a part in cultivating history and that we must honour this as both a responsibility and a duty for the benefit of future generations.

Andrew Perez, Managing Partner, Melbourne