Brett Leavy is a First Nations, Digital Aboriginal and descends from the Kooma people whose traditional country is bordered by St George in the east, Cunnamulla in the west, north by the town of Mitchell and south to the QLD/NSW border.
Brett’s dedicated his working life to cultural knowledge recording and the industry of communications. His digital work seeks to represent the arts, cultural stories, heritage, traditional knowledge and histories of First Nation people using new, immersive and interactive technologies.
For over three few decades, Brett’s researched how to “build a time machine” to take people back to places where the traditional knowledge of First Nations people originated. Guided by Traditional Owners, anthropologists, archaeologists, botanists and the interactive games industry, he is inspired to create entertaining and engaging systems to represent the interactions between first settlers and traditional peoples. His Masters of Creative Industries covered the subject of Aboriginal Knowledge Management using 3D Immersive Technologies. This study explored ways to present arts, culture and heritage of First Nations people and display these within an immersive and 3D participatory geo-spatial virtual environment.
His studies inspired him to establish a business that sought to deliver virtual reality products that merged traditional knowledge with 3D virtual landscapes to present pre-colonisation Australia with all its embedded traditional Aboriginal culture, language, artefacts, community, trade and much more.
To date, Brett has demonstrated over eighteen virtual heritage landscapes, with many based on Australia’s capital cities. His first internationally acclaimed world being Virtual Warrane II: Sacred Tracks of the Gadigal and many of his efforts have been showcased across the world. Virtual Warrane was exhibited at Sydney’s Customs House in 2011 at Circular Quay and showcased Sydney Cove as it was prior to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788.
All of Brett’s work seeks to recreate a virtual heritage environment that immerses the user in a virtual landscape that they can walk in, gather knowledge, listen to the oral histories and dreamtime stories that were passed down since time immemorial. Its purpose, to showcase the deep-spiritual connection of First Nations peoples to their land, show their lifestyle, represent their Native Title boundaries, show their knowledge pertaining to bush foods and medicines and to provide a unique and immersive experience that respects first peoples of this great land.
Brett is highly respected within the academic, cultural, business and Indigenous sectors. He developed numerous websites, represent First Nations Internet interests at United Nations Forum on Internet Communication Technologies in Tunisia, has held Board positions with many not-for-profit community organisations in health, housing, media, communication and the arts and at present sits on the Digital Strategy Forum for the National Museum of Australia.
Brett calls himself the Virtual Heritage Jedi for Bilbie Labs, a virtual reality and interactive multi-media production company, whose staff number 7 and is located Spring Hill, Brisbane.