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Billy Griffiths - Deep Time Dreaming

People would have known about Australia before they saw it. Smoke billowing above the sea spoke of a land that lay beyond the horizon. A dense cloud of migrating birds may have pointed the way. But the first Australians were voyaging into the unknown.
— Billy Griffiths, Deep Time Dreaming

Soon after Billy Griffiths joins his first archaeological dig as camp manager and cook, he is hooked. Equipped with an historian’s inquiring mind, he embarks on a journey through time, seeking to understand the extraordinary deep history of the Australian continent.

Billy Griffiths is a writer, historian and research fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, and Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia is the passionate product of that first archaeological journey. It investigates a twin revolution: the reassertion of Aboriginal identity in the second half of the twentieth century, and the uncovering of the traces of ancient Australia.

It explores what it means to live in a place of great antiquity, with its complex questions of ownership and belonging. It is about a slow shift in national consciousness: the deep time dreaming that has changed the way many of us relate to this continent and its enduring, dynamic human history.

Join Billy in conversation with Indigenous archaeologist Dave Johnston, and writer and farmer Sam Vincent to discover a little more about the deep history of our land.

Tickets: $12 (includes a complimentary glass of house wine or soft drink)


Dave Johnston.jpg

When David Johnston was a boy, he keenly explored the caves near his home, leading his mother to suggest he might become an archaeologist. Later, he became one of the first Indigenous Australians to gain a degree in archaeology, graduating from ANU with Honours and completing a Master degree in London. As a consultant archaeologist for 27 years, he has worked on more than 2,000 heritage projects across eastern Australia from Cape York to Point Nepean. In 2014, he was awarded the Sharon Sullivan National Heritage award for his outstanding contribution to the Indigenous heritage environment and his continuing influence on practice.


Sam Vincent is a writer and farmer. His first book, Blood and Guts: Dispatches from the Whale Wars, was longlisted for the Walkley Book Award, and shortlisted for ACT Book of the Year. His work has been published in the Monthly, Griffith Review and The Best Australian Essays.

Earlier Event: September 23
Dreaming Other Voices - A Conversation
Later Event: October 6
Gabrielle Chan - Rusted Off