Kumpaya Girgaba, Martumili Artists, Kaninjaku, 2008, acrylic on canvas.

Kumpaya Girgaba, Martumili Artists, Kaninjaku, 2008, acrylic on canvas.

The stories of country

It started out as a research project during his studies at ANU but it has taken Dr John Carty, PhD '12 into the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

Carty's research with the Aboriginal people who live along the Canning Stock Route - the world's longest historic stock route, which spans 1,850 kilometres of Western Australia's desert - formed the basis of a record-breaking National Museum of Australia (NMA) exhibition in 2010.

He has now curated a second NMA exhibition, Kaninjaku: Stories from the Canning Stock Route.

"Both exhibitions have been about an Aboriginal interpretation of Australian history, told through that one road," Carty says.