The Way of the Turtle (residency project)

Residency project

Short Description

The Way of the Turtle is a collaborative project between Lee Joachim, Martin Drury and Tracey Benson. It explores the use of emerging technologies to investigate a range of issues related to place, culture and identity.

Long Description

The Way of the Turtle project is a collaboration between artist Tracey Benson, Lee Joachim from the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation (YYNAC) and photographer Martin Drury. This project takes a consultative approach and is considered a long term project which seeks to empower and engage the Yorta Yorta community and provide many benefits - cultural, economic, social, educational and environmental. The project also intends to explore a range of media including augmented reality (AR), video and photography to critically engage with scientific research that YYNAC has done with a range of collaborating organisations like Parks Victoria and Monash University. For the WPP project, Lee and Tracey will collaborate with Martin Drury to develop a video installation in the bush, generated by alternative energy sources. We see WPP offering a rich opportunity to discuss ideas and focus on solutions for mindfully creating artworks in natural environments, particularly those with cultural significance. The project aims to foster intergenerational knowledge transfer, skills transfer and also to support and facilitate develop eco-tourism in Barmah National Park, though a range of activities. The participation in the WPP hui and residency will help guide ideas for how to develop products and events back in Yorta Yorta country. The Way of the Turtle project is supported by key scientific researchers Professor Dave Griggs, Deirdre Wilcox and Professor Ross Thompson, who have long standing research relationships with YYNAC.


Lee Joachim is a Yorta Yorta man and father of 9 children. “Raised and strongly influenced by the teachings of my Grandmother, a survivor of oppression through the Aboriginal Mission system and polio. She was a strong believer in environmental socialism and had great capacity to network and influence.” Work in area of self determination through active research by the people for the people. Since 2001, Lee has been focused on developing intergenerational research projects through the continuation of oral history. He works with researchers from the USA, Switzerland, the Pacific and Australia to share knowledge and to build linkages between Yorta Yorta culture, science and education. Tracey Benson is an artist and researcher based in Canberra, Australia. Her work focuses on notions of place and identity, experimenting with a range of media - video, online, emerging media technologies and augmented reality. She often collaborates with cultural owners and guides - working with Indigenous communities, historians, artists, technologists and thinkers. Community and audience engagement are also areas of relevance and this is echoed in her work with government on online sustainability programs plus in her work in the university sector, where she works as a sessional academic focusing on cross-media and media focused subjects. Her work has featured in many international and national emerging media festivals since 1996. Tracey has a MA from QUT, Creative Industries and a PhD from ANU, which explores online environments and social impacts in the geo-physical world. Martin Drury is a photographer, cartographer, bushwalker, sailor, rock climber, cyclist and general adventurer. He has traveled throughout Australia and internationally including Turkey, France, Croatia, Indonesia (Bali), New Zealand, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.Martin has a degree in Information Technology, and works as a quality professional based in Canberra, Australia. He also holds qualifications as a Cartographer and had the enviable role of being the cartographer for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (1989-1995). More recently, Martin has been collaborating with Tracey Benson and Lee Joachim on the "Way of the Turtle" project.

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