We acknowledge that we live and work on unceded country. Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.

Zena Cumpston is a Barkandji woman currently working as a Research Fellow for the Clean Air Urban Landscapes Hub at the University of Melbourne, undertaking research and projects which explore Aboriginal perspectives of biodiversity in urban areas. Zena was the lead researcher, co-producer and co-designer of ‘The Living Pavilion’, a temporary living laboratory comprised of 40,000 Kulin Nation plants which celebrated and explored Indigenous knowledge, custodianship and belonging. She also works as a freelance writer, researcher and consultant. Most recently Zena’s freelance work has been with Science Gallery Melbourne as a researcher and mentor, working with young Aboriginal people to produce Indigenous Design workshops to be presented in high schools, aimed at encouraging students to consider Indigenous perspectives in tackling modern environmental challenges. In 2019 she collaborated with artist and curator Jonathon Jones, Uncle Bruce Pascoe and Professor Bill Gammage on ‘Bunha-bunhanga; Aboriginal Agriculture in the south-east’ as part of the Tarnanthi Aboriginal Festival at the Art Gallery of South Australia. She has recently been published in People and Nature, The Conversation, The Adelaide Review and the Australian Garden History Journal. Zena is currently curating an exhibition in partnership with the CAUL Hub, Science Gallery, The Old Quad and the Melbourne University Herbarium which revolves around Aboriginal plant use engaging with Aboriginal artists, research and community perspectives to interrogate the lens through which Aboriginal agricultural and plant knowledge has been perceived since Invasion.

Zena Cumpston

Zena Cumpston is a Barkandji woman currently working as a Research Fellow for the Clean Air Urban Landscapes Hub at the University of Melbourne, undertaking research and projects which explore Aboriginal perspectives of biodiversity in urban areas. Zena was the lead researcher, co-producer and co-designer of ‘The Living Pavilion’, a temporary living laboratory comprised of 40,000 Kulin Nation plants which celebrated and explored Indigenous knowledge, custodianship and belonging. She also works as a freelance writer, researcher and consultant. Most recently Zena’s freelance work has been with Science Gallery Melbourne as a researcher and mentor, working with young Aboriginal people to produce Indigenous Design workshops to be presented in high schools, aimed at encouraging students to consider Indigenous perspectives in tackling modern environmental challenges. In 2019 she collaborated with artist and curator Jonathon Jones, Uncle Bruce Pascoe and Professor Bill Gammage on ‘Bunha-bunhanga; Aboriginal Agriculture in the south-east’ as part of the Tarnanthi Aboriginal Festival at the Art Gallery of South Australia. She has recently been published in People and Nature, The Conversation, The Adelaide Review and the Australian Garden History Journal. Zena is currently curating an exhibition in partnership with the CAUL Hub, Science Gallery, The Old Quad and the Melbourne University Herbarium which revolves around Aboriginal plant use engaging with Aboriginal artists, research and community perspectives to interrogate the lens through which Aboriginal agricultural and plant knowledge has been perceived since Invasion.

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