Yuki Hokari: Knitting connections in her brother’s memory

20 May 2017

My fundraising efforts and activities are there to encourage people to get involved and feel connected to Mino

For over a decade, Yuki Hokari has been devoted to honouring the memory of her brother, Minoru Hokari. He was a promising young PhD scholar who came to ANU from Japan to work in remote locations with Australia's Gurindji people. He passed away from cancer in 2004.

Since his sad passing, Yuki has established the ANU Minoru Hokari Memorial Scholarship for students conducting fieldwork in remote Indigenous communities, created a memorial website, exhibited Minoru's photography across Japan, and published his newspaper essay Conversations and his Japanese translations of Deborah Bird Rose's Nourishing Terrains and Ghassan Hage's White Nation.

In addition to these considerable efforts, Yuki has shown remarkable determination in helping her brother's legacy flourish in new and creative ways. To bolster her fundraising efforts, Yuki creates knitting designs under the private label Nimara & Japarta. "Nimara" is the Gurindji name for sister and "Japarta" is the skin name given to Minoru by the Gurindji. Each of her designs is dedicated to Minoru with names like A Long Loop for Mino and Songlines. Yuki says:

"Knitters all over the world gather at Ravelry [a global social networking service for fibre arts] and come across my designs, learn about Mino and his work with the Gurindji community, and donate to the scholarship fund by purchasing the designs. Thus each of my knitting designs carries the stories of Mino and the Gurindji people."

All money raised through the knitting is donated to the scholarship fund, which reached AUD$127,000 in 2016.

This provides a $5,000 annual scholarship, largely due to the impassioned fundraising of Yuki. Yuki says:

"My fundraising efforts and activities are there to encourage people to get involved and feel connected to Mino."

The scholarship is open to anyone currently enrolled at any Australian university who is undertaking a PhD, or has graduated in the past three years. Professor Ann McGrath, Director of the Australian Centre for Indigenous History, says the scholarship is "a great achievement that's involved the painstaking and endlessly creative work of Yuki and the warm generosity of Mino's family, friends and many ANU Alumni who have been regular donors".


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