Olaf Geerken is an Anthropologist and works as an academic researcher with the Georg-August University Goettingen on the PAESE project “Provenances of Tjurungas at the Landesmuseum Hanover and the Hermannsburg collection”.
Olaf studied Ethnology, Anthropology and Aboriginal Studies in Munich and Adelaide, Australia. Following his studies, he worked for 22 years as an Anthropologist with and for the Central Land Council in Central Australia, primarily on Aboriginal land rights matters. In the course of his work he collected valuable experiences in relation to Tjurungas (Aboriginal secret-sacred objects), both in terms of their ongoing use and ceremonial value among current Aboriginal communities, as well as relating to provenance research on secret-sacred objects held in german-speaking museums in Germany and Switzerland. For this project Olaf also draws on his previous experiences in the repatriation of sacred Objects and cultural knowledge within the Australian context.