5-8 December 2023

Gold Coast, Queensland








Australian Archaeological
Association Annual Conference 2023

We are delighted to announce the theme for the 2023 AAA annual conference. This year we especially look forward to welcoming you to the sunny Gold Coast this December.


Change and people’s responses to change, including resilience, are universal in human experience. Change, whether imposed or directed from within, includes alterations to: environments, social practices, economies, belief systems, and ways of knowing. Changes may be human induced, such as the current climate crisis, or generated by natural cycles, such as the extreme environmental changes of the Pleistocene, or result from a range of internal and external mechanisms, including colonisation, cultural change, and social upheaval. Resilience refers to the capacity to anticipate, prepare, withstand, recover from, and respond to changes: physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, culturally and spiritually. Resilience emphasises the capacity of people and societies to protect, improve, or modify their environmental, economic, social, or cultural practices.

We invite delegates to explore how societies in Australia and surrounding nations initiated changes in their surroundings or had changes imposed upon them, and how they have addressed change through their cultural practices, social networks, economies, rituals, or other ways of life. We encourage the exploration of resilience, through topics such as how people tackled changing ecosystems; the drivers of stylistic change over time and space; how relationships between different cultural groups can drive or manage change; the sources and roles of change and resilience detected in the archaeological record; and how past responses to change, especially environmental change, can inform the present and prepare us for the future.

Artwork designed by First Nations students from Indooroopilly State High School,
representing their interpretation of ‘Change & Resilience’

Keynote Speakers

Lesley Head

The University of Melbourne

Resilience and Change: Bringing Archaeology into
Conversation with Climate Change Response

Michael-Shawn Fletcher

Wiradjuri / The University of Melbourne

Healthy Country: Re-Writing the Book on Australia

Australian Indigenous Archaeologists Association Panel Discussion

Dave JohnstonAustralian National University
Galiina (Kal) EllwoodAustralian Indigenous Archaeologists Association
Mark GristGrist Archaeology
Nathan WoolfordFlinders University
Dr Matilda HouseNational NAIDOC Elder of the Year 2023, Ngambri/Ngunnawal
Jo ThomsonThe University of Western Australia
Moderator: Ken Hayward, Edith Cowan University

The Way Forward a Time to Listen: State of the Environment & Heritage Reform

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Archaeological Association acknowledges and pays respect to the people of the Yugambeh language region of the Gold Coast and all their descendants both past and present. We also acknowledge the many Aboriginal people from other regions as well as Torres Strait and South Sea Islander people who now live in the local area and have made an important contribution to the community.

Adaptation and Resilience: WA's Response to a Changing Legislative Regime

The new Western Australia Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021 represents the first significant legislative change in the State since 1972. The Act purports to improve the protection of cultural heritage by giving Aboriginal people a stronger say in the decision-making process. However, it has had a mixed reception amongst professionals, Aboriginal corporations, proponents and researchers. The Act commenced on 1 July 2023 and although it is still very early in its implementation stage, this session seeks to explore the experiences of a diverse range of participants including Aboriginal communities, Corporations, and other stakeholders to reflect upon how the Act has fared thus far.

Lucia Clayton, Big Island Research
Jo Thomson, Thomson Cultural Heritage Management
Emma Beckett, The University of Western Australia
Annabelle Davis, Alcoa
Wendy Reynen, Big Island Research

Important Dates

Call for Sessions Opens

6 April 2023

Call for Sessions Closes

19 May 2023

Session Acceptances Issued

7 June 2023

Call for Abstracts Opens

8 June 2023

Registration Opens

8 June 2023

Call for Abstracts Closes

21 July 2023 4 August 2023

Abstract Acceptances Issued

6 September 2023

Subsidy Applications Open

6 September 2023

Subsidy Applications Close

24 September 2023

Draft Program Released

29 September 2023

Subsidy Acceptances Issued

1 October 2023

Speaker Registration Deadline

6 October 2023

Early Bird Closes

6 October 2023

Final Program Released

27 October 2023

Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre

Application 'error' delays UNESCO World Heritage List application for Murujuga (Burrup Peninsula) #heritagematters #AboriginalAustralia /em

AAA is saddened to learn of the passing of Emeritus Professor Graham Connah, a very significant figure in Australian Historical Archaeology. A funeral service for Emeritus Professor Connah will be held tomorrow in Canberra https://tributes.canberratimes.com.au/obituaries/496037/graham-connah/?r=https://tributes.canberratimes.com.au/obituaries/canberratimes-au/

REMINDER - The 44th International Symposium on Archaeometry in Melbourne in May 2024 is calling for abstracts with a deadline of 1st December https://arcas.org.au/isa2024.melbourne/index.php/abstracts/ #archaeology /em

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