Call for Abstracts

You are invited to submit paper and poster abstracts to present at the AAA2023 Conference. When submitting an abstract you will need to:

  • Provide a title, author(s) and affiliation(s)
  • Nominate ONE session theme into which you would like your presentation scheduled
  • Indicate whether the abstract is an oral presentation (15 mins plus 5 mins Q&A) or a poster presentation
  • Provide a 300-word abstract (maximum 2050 characters including spaces)
  • Agree to abide by the Association’s Code of Ethics, Sexual Harassment Policy 2012, Discrimination Policy 2012, Equal Opportunity Policy 2012 and Website and Social Media Policies.

The Conference Organisers reserve the right to reassign your paper if they feel it is more appropriate for another session theme.

Please note that an individual may be the principal author and present only ONE oral presentation and ONE poster at the conference, although they can be subsidiary co-authors on any number of other papers and posters.

The first presenter/author of the paper is required to be a member of the Association.

Submissions for abstracts close 21 July 2023 Extended to 4 August 2023.

Please note: If your abstract is accepted for presentation at the conference, AT LEAST ONE named author on each paper must be registered for the conference by close of business on 6 October 2023 or the paper will be removed from the program.

Presentation Protocols
Delegates and Session Convenors are reminded of the Association’s Code of Ethics regarding protocols for the presentation of any data and/or interpretations of data that relate to Indigenous culture. These protocols require all Session Organisers and presenters to ensure that full prior and informed consent to collect, record, and present data and interpretations relating to Indigenous cultural materials is obtained from Indigenous collaborators and/or owners of data before any presentation is accepted into a session and subsequently presented at the conference, as either a spoken paper or poster. We take this opportunity to reiterate that breaches of the Association’s Code of Ethics can result in the expulsion of members under section 32 of the Constitution.

Paper and poster presenters will be asked to agree to abide by the Association’s Code of Ethics, Sexual Harassment Policy 2012, Discrimination Policy 2012, Equal Opportunity Policy 2012 and Website and Social Media Policies during the submission process.

For enquiries, please contact Julie Jerbic at or 0402 189 948

Session Themes

Archaeology as Environmental History

The call for more diverse and inclusive histories is an agenda critical to archaeological practice in the present. In recent years, this issue has been framed by global shifts, particularly around climate change and anti-colonialist movements, through which the entanglements of nature and culture have developed into dynamic discussions of race, gender and more-than-human agency. Within this space, the environmental humanities have emerged alongside multispecies studies and more-than-human approaches. Yet within Australasia, environmental humanities relating to the past have mostly been occupied by the sub-discipline of environmental history. Potential contributions of archaeology have lagged behind (with notable exceptions). Therefore, this session aims to examine the methodological interface between archaeology and the environmental humanities.

Broadly, this session seeks research engaged with interdisciplinary theory centred on postcolonial studies (specifically those that deconstruct or critically examine the nature of European colonisation and its knowledge systems), environment and more-than-human approaches in a material way. Presentations could include research on topics such as First Nations connections to Country, settler-colonial experiences with ‘new’ environments, agriculture, environmental science approaches, human-animal relationships or impacts of climate change.

Caitlin D’Gluyas, University of New England

Beyond Earth: The Heritage of Sky and Space

In line with the overall theme of ‘Change and Resilience,’ we explore change through the application of terrestrial heritage management frameworks to material culture in space, and resilience, by the continued nurturing of astronomical knowledge from the world’s first astronomers. Our focus is on the transformative shifts and enduring heritage resilience in the face of new and challenging environments such as space. We examine how archaeological practices, interpretations, and methodologies contribute to our understanding of space heritage, celestial interactions, and their profound influence on our present and future.

Key areas of discussion will include:

  • Australian Space History
  • Space Archaeology
  • Heritage management of sites in outer space
  • Indigenous sky knowledge
  • Archeoastronomy

Through these lenses, we aim to stimulate thought-provoking dialogues on navigating the new and emerging practical and legal challenges of space-related heritage, and the role heritage professionals will play in the burgeoning space industry of Australia.

We extend a warm invitation for papers on any aspect of space or sky heritage, with an emphasis on how Australian space archaeology contributes to the narrative of humanity’s journey in space. Join us as we explore the unknown, demonstrating the adaptability and resilience of archaeology amidst change.

Jessica Pearson, Jacobs
Jessica Baker, Jacobs

Both Sides of the Timor Trough: Change and Resilience in Island and Coastal Communities

Australia and the islands to its north were first settled at least 60,000 years ago by people who had mastered maritime water-crossing and the subsistence strategies required to live in depauperate island environments. In northern Australia there is little evidence that reflects these earliest maritime endeavours prior to the Holocene, due to post glacial sea level rise. In contrast, in the Wallacean islands on the northern side of the Timor Trough the offshore profile drops steeply and many of the islands are actively uplifting. As a result, their contemporary coastlines preserve abundant evidence of how the earliest island communities used the sea and its resources, and of cultural and material exchanges that occurred between islands from at least the terminal Pleistocene. In Australia evidence of contact from across the Timor Trough first appears in the late Holocene in the form of new technology such as fish hooks, dugout canoes and rock art featuring Asian watercraft and other objects. In this session we welcome papers that look at change and resilience in coastal and island communities through time on both sides of the Timor Trough, and explore community interactions between Wallacea and Australia.

Shimona Kealy, Australian National University
Sue O’Connor, Australian National University
Daryl Wesley, Flinders University
Mirani Litster, James Cook University

Change and Resilience in Archaeology Teaching and Learning

ANCATL will host a conference panel and a session for general discussion papers. The panel will include experts with a range of experience within the industry. The panel will focus on Change and Resilience, including reviews of past and contemporary Australian archaeology teaching and learning approaches, and the challenges currently faced. Archaeology is now explicitly mentioned within the national (V9) and many state curricula, and for the first time, we would like to define ANCATL’s remit to include primary, secondary, tertiary and professional development linked to archaeological teaching and learning.

The panel will seek to explore innovative ways of transforming archaeological teaching and learning. Contemporary best-practice supports the co-creation of teaching resources and experiences between educators, students and stakeholders including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Archaeological and heritage education should not only provide a critical reflection of the past, but also provide relevant skill-building opportunities that will assist the next generation of practitioners entering the workforce. We welcome the submission of general discussion papers that touch upon the above topics or other relevant aspects.

Georgia Williams, Australian National Committee for Archaeology Teaching and Learning
Georgia Stannard, Australian National Committee for Archaeology Teaching and Learning

Change and Resilience in Biological Anthropology: Australia and Beyond

In Australia during the 1980s a new community engaged direction was taken in the field of biological anthropology, pioneered by Colin Pardoe, helping ensure resilience in a discipline that some social scientists argued had changed little from pre WW2 anatomical sciences that once divided humanity into ‘races’. Across the World bioarchaeological research has revolutionised our understanding of past socio-economic change, with the adoption of new techniques such as aDNA and isotopes linked with archaeological landscapes, providing at times revisionary understanding of the past. In many places such research has supported the social aspirations of descendant communities, addressing past injustices or helping highlight the importance and complexity of past societies.

We will highlight the value of research across Sahul and beyond, but also consider its future. Case study level research has addressed issues directly important to Aboriginal communities such as Truth Telling and humanising what were once considered ‘anatomical’ collections. Other projects are designed to tackle much larger questions in archaeology relevant for both communities and broader audiences. Research in bioanth continues to be valued by many Indigenous and descendant communities as a way of understanding the complexity of their past, but also as a means of addressing important social questions.

Michael Westaway, The University of Queensland
Mark Grist, Grist Archaeology

Change and Resilience in South West Queensland

The Channel Country is renowned for its environmental contrasts. Dry and hot through summer, every few years cyclonic activity to the north inundates the area with floodwater, filling dry river channels and transforming floodplains into vast ‘inland seas’. Consequently, the area’s ecology is dominated by ‘boom and bust’ cycles of greater extremes than many other regions. This session explores the ways Aboriginal people thrived through these cycles of changes, how the resilience of the archaeological resource in that area is contributing to a deeper knowledge of the human past and how Mithaka people today are building on their cultural heritage studies to care for Country.

Doug Williams, Access Archaeology
Tracey Hough, Mithaka Aboriginal Corporation

Change and Resilience: The Changing Face of Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management in Government

Government at all levels has a significant role to play in protecting and managing cultural heritage sites from impacts caused by various agents of change, either natural or human-induced. This session aims to provide a forum for the presentation of archaeology and cultural heritage management projects currently being undertaken within a Government context, centred around the conference theme of Change and Resilience. The session will call for presentations that address:

  • Resilience: the protection of cultural heritage from impacts caused by development and climate change, including rising sea levels, while balancing the provision of services to the community;
  • Work with Traditional Custodians to protect cultural heritage from impacts due to various mechanisms causing change, such as development, extreme environmental events and visitors/tourism;
  • Impacts of the substantial changes on the archaeological and cultural heritage records wrought by colonisation, including studies of post-contact sites;
  • Projects/programs that attempt to monitor environmental and/or human-induced changes to archaeological sites and cultural heritage, including the built environment; and
  • Any other aspects within a Government context related to the conference theme.

Papers are invited from archaeologists; Federal, State and Local Government cultural heritage officers; and Traditional Custodians. Presentations by and co-presentations with Traditional Custodians are particularly encouraged.

Natalie Franklin, Moreton Bay Regional Council
Alex Wisniowiecka, Moreton Bay Regional Council

Changing Pasts, Changing Futures

This session is intended to critically explore the dialectical relationship between archaeological practices of interpretation and how they shape the archaeological record and its perception. The way we construct pasts, the data we privilege, the voices we listen to and the methods we apply all affect our pictures of past people, their societies, and the worlds they lived in. These pasts, in turn, shape how we build our own worlds and envision the future. In this session, we are seeking to engage critically and reflectively with the variety of ways we interpret the past, and how those can recursively shape the present day and produce different futures for archaeology and contemporary communities. We welcome papers on any aspect of archaeological interpretation and specifically invite reflections on Australian archaeology’s chronopolitics, how dating regimes shape archaeological narratives, the development and application of decolonising approaches to archaeological interpretation, the relationship between archaeological interpretation and the creation of heritage, as well as more general reflections on how changes in interpretative practices can change the pasts we study and construct.

Martin Porr, The University of Western Australia
Catherine Frieman, Australian National University
Emily Miller, Griffith University

Community Led Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management

Community led archaeology and cultural heritage management prioritises the needs and desires of First Nations peoples. This approach actively collaborates with, and involves the community, who direct research that is aligned with their specific interests. The way work is being conducted throughout Australia is steadily changing to acknowledge Traditional Custodians rights to manage Country and research. As such, proactive management strategies prioritise First Nations interests over reactive responses to development or commercial enterprises. This new way of doing business includes key elements of education, training and capacity building programs, cultural mapping programs, multidisciplinary, and multicultural research.

Archaeology (and anthropology) has the ability to facilitate a re-connection to Country by restoring cultural heritage knowledge not only through excavation and survey but also through effective joint management and protection of cultural resources. This session invites papers that explore these themes and asks, who are the facilitators and collaborators? What pathways are available to achieve such outcomes? What lessons can we learn from successful community collaborations?

Tanja Harding, Everick Heritage
Laura Bowen, Everick Foundation
Serena Love, Everick Foundation
Andrew Wilkinson, Everick Heritage
Nathan Wright, Everick Foundation

Cultural Plants: Value, Understanding, and Connectivity Within Landscapes

There is a strong focus on culturally modified trees-by academics, arborists, and archaeologists that warrant further study. However, in addition to these resources, trees and other types of vegetation holding deep meaning may not be modified. These values and meanings can stem from location, species, age, bark, usability, and formation. We know plants provide key physical markers in the landscape, determine land use, and provide meanings in different ways. These physical landmarks, and knowledge about them, are highly vulnerable and risk being lost due to age, infection, or weather. Moreover, construction projects continue to devastate the natural environment across the country.

In consultancy, natural vegetation communities of value are not recognised as ‘objects’ or protected as readily as archaeological sites. Providing this information on vegetation significance would benefit people who work in this field and within wider Aboriginal cultural heritage. This information would be used to inform significance assessments, accurate recording, community engagement, understanding of a landscape, and protection and mitigation measures to prevent loss. To understand landscape use and connectivity across landscapes, we need to bring plants with cultural significance to the forefront.

Hannah Morris, Extent Heritage
Talei Holm, Flinders University

Cultural Protocols in Ways of Working

In Australia increasing numbers of First Nations Peoples are encouraged to be active in the design and focus of archaeological research initiated and carried out on their County. In this session some examples of community-led research projects discuss how the focus of research is determined by communities and why control by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is important to managing and protecting cultural heritage values for future generations. Community-led research projects contribute to decolonising archaeology education and invites cultural knowledge sharing to be foremost in the design of research.

Laura Bowen, University of New England
Ken Hayward, Edith Cowan University

Desert People and Resilience

Australian desert people and their cultures are possibly some of the most dynamic known from the world’s southern deserts. In the space of just three decades the timing and nature of Australian desert settlement, social complexity and technological flexibility have been revolutionised through improved representation of bioregions, increased sampling, advances in chrono-stratigraphy, multi-scalar approaches and the rise of Indigenous-led research programs. As near-50 ka records emerge from the north-west to the south-east of the continent, many previous gaps in occupation are being filled. Early, dynamic and persistent occupation appears to be underwritten by some of the richest exchange and information systems known. If persistence and high levels of organisational flexibility are the hallmarks of the desert peoples of Australia, how might resilience be reliably inferred from the archaeological record? Given the extraordinary heterogeneity of deserts and their varied histories of stochastic climates, what are some of the theoretical and interpretive approaches that might best highlight resilience in its many facets? This session encourages contributions from archaeologists, Indigenous corporations and quaternary researchers working from the arid interior of Australia through to the coast “where the desert dips its toes into the sea” (Tim Winton Ningaloo Episode 1).

Peter Veth, The University of Western Australia
Wendy Reynen, The University of Western Australia
Kane Ditchfield, The University of Western Australia

Detecting Change and Promoting Resilience: The Benefits and Disadvantages of a Digital Approach

The conference theme of change and resilience is particularly relevant to digital archaeology. Archaeologists constantly describe, discuss and debate change, but one of the key strengths of digital archaeology is that it can provide many objective methods to detect physical changes through time, refuting or supporting anecdotal observations. Digital archaeology also allows us to envision change, particularly physical and environmental change, in an intuitive way, allowing complex discussions to be more accessible, clear and comprehensive to specialists and non-specialists alike. Increased accessibility ensures that the products of digital archaeology can also be used to bolster resilience in stakeholders’ responses and understandings of change. In an age of digital disinformation and artificial intelligence, this accessibility also has inherent risks. Therefore in this session, we welcome examples of how digital archaeology has been used to quantify and visualise change and how this can foster resilience. But we also encourage cautionary tales or discussion of how digital archaeology has been misused or weaponised to support harmful agendas and what practitioners can do to address or combat these approaches. In this way we seek to promote and foster resilience in our industry at a time of great digital change.

Andrea Jalandoni, Griffith University
Emma Beckett, The University of Western Australia
Jarrad Kowlessar, Flinders University

Dynamic Animal-People Encounters of the Past, Present and Future

Across Australasia (Australia, New Zealand, Melanesia, and nearby areas) animals and people have engaged in dynamic and diverse relationships for millennia. These interactions were and continue to be negotiated in response to a range of social, cultural, spiritual, and economic practices. The study of animal-people relations has been transformed in recent decades through the application of innovative analytical methodologies to examine diverse archaeological and ethnohistoric records, such as faunal remains, iconography, organic technologies, and ornamentation. Increasingly, archaeology is playing a key role in connecting long-term ecodynamic trajectories with contemporary issues. Multi-disciplinary collaborative endeavours, integrating social sciences, natural sciences, and Indigenous knowledge, are exploring the role of people in shaping land- and seascapes over generations to enhance present-day biodiversity, sustainability, and cultural resilience. This session seeks to examine the varied archaeological signatures of animal-people encounters in Australasia and welcomes papers that explore this theme across different localities, time depths, and using diverse archaeological signatures. We particularly encourage presentations that consider how understandings of the past can enhance our resilience in the present and future.

Ariana Lambrides, James Cook University
Ashleigh Rogers, Monash University

Exploring Far North Sahul's Past of 50,000 Years of Change and Resilience

Notions of prehistoric and historic change and resilience have been at the centre of all archaeological investigations for more than half a century in Far North Sahul. In the space of 50,000 years, this northern neighbour of Australia has gone through many cultural and environmental changes. Through all these changes, it is evident that Indigenous populations thrived because of their resilience.

In recent times, archaeological investigations of notions of change and how Far North Shulians, much like their Indigenous neighbours in the south (Australians), were able to adapt, persist and overcome these changes have resulted in more collaborative and multi-disciplinary research. This session explores the themes of change and resilience in northern Sahul and New Guinea from this multi-disciplinary lens. Case studies from this session would be helpful in recognising prehistoric and historic changes and the strategies that enabled these past societies to be resilient in the face of change and its consequences. Additionally, the session seeks to look at current research dynamics in Papua New Guinea and how that might impact future archaeological or inter-disciplinary research endeavours in the region.

Teppsy Beni, University of Southern Queensland
Matthew Leavesley, University of Papua New Guinea

Fire, Flood and Mud: Challenges for Heritage Management and Fieldwork in the Australian Climate Era

In recent years changing environmental conditions in Australia, have seen extremes of heat and cold, as well as flood, fire and drought impact the way in which heritage fieldwork is undertaken, and heritage sites are managed. Expanded bushfire impacts have posed an increased risk to sites like culturally modified trees, just as floods have caused significant damage to historic heritage buildings located in low lying areas. The increasing recurrence of extreme weather events requires innovative responses for the long-term management of heritage in Australia. Similarly, widespread flooding during three years of La Niña posed significant logistical challenges to heritage professionals seeking to undertake fieldwork with access to sites, and the ability to undertake archaeological excavation, requiring unique responses or postponement or even abandonment in some cases. Various industries, government bodies and communities are starting to adapt to the increasing pressures of changed environmental conditions and the heritage management industry must follow suit. This session presents the opportunities and challenges that these changing conditions pose to heritage and archaeology, both in the long-term management of Australia’s finite heritage resource and in how archaeology is practiced in the field at times of extreme environmental conditions.

Darran Jordan, AECOM Australia Pty Ltd
Matthew McNaughton, AECOM Australia Pty Ltd

Indigenous Resilience in the Face of Australia's Heritage Legislation: Indigenous Perspectives on the Acts

Australia’s First Nations People’s cultural and emotional health and wellbeing are intrinsically linked to the ongoing quality of management of Country to which they are connected. In Australia there is currently no cultural heritage legislation that adequately protects all Indigenous cultural heritage values. This session provides opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to share their experiences of navigating the current legislative environment as it applies to Country. Speakers will voice their aspirations on how future and proposed legislation can more effectively protect cultural values to support them in maintenance of their own and their Country’s well-being.

Rosalie Neve, AAA RAP Working Group
Ken Hayward, Edith Cowan University

Marking Resilience: Rock Art as Enduring, Responsive and Agentic Signalling

Rock art around the world provides deep time canvases which allow us to understand cultural and environmental change and social resilience. It provides a lens through which we can see people’s reactions to changing landscapes and social pressures – and other mechanisms that mobilise symbolic behaviours.  Rock art is a form of material culture which allows us to understand social, cultural, and environmental shifts: from seasonal changes at the local level through to deep time and persistent signalling across regions.

We invite papers in this session which explore themes such as adaptation, behavioural change or cross-cultural interaction, through shared or contrasting styles, as recursive engagements with existing marking systems, or as contemporary art systems which demonstrate the resilience and persistence of our host and collaborating communities of interest.

Jo McDonald, The University of Western Australia
Sam Harper, The University of Western Australia

Research Advances and Future Directions in Australian Stone Artefact Studies

Stone artefacts are often the most abundant class of objects encountered at archaeological sites in Australia. Indeed, some sites only contain stone artefacts since other organic materials, like wood or bone, are not preserved. As such, a significant portion of Australia’s human history arguably depends on our ability to identify, characterise, and analyse stone artefacts. This includes our ability to track human resilience and change, particularly in conjunction with Pleistocene patterns of environmental and social fluctuation. How can we use stone artefacts to track patterns of resilience and change in the Australian archaeological record? Given the importance of stone artefacts to past and present Australian archaeology, this session invites papers which aim to showcase recent innovations in Australian lithic research that address different aspects of stone artefact studies, from raw material sourcing to production techniques, tool function, transport patterns, especially those which consider these aims in the context of resilience and change. The session will also consider the future of stone artefact research in Australian archaeology.

Kane Ditchfield, The University of Western Australia
Sam Lin, University of Wollongong

Resilience in Changing Environments: A Zooarchaeological Perspective to People's Response to Change

Current discussions about mitigating climate change predominately focus on our response to anthropogenic changes and how we could cope with rapidly changing environments in the future. Since the late Pleistocene, First Nations communities in Australia and surrounding nations have successfully adapted to environmental changes, some of which altered local conditions within a generation, such as sea-level rises following the LGM. People’s resilience and ability to adapt may have been due to cultural knowledge and connection to Country. In this regard, zooarchaeological assemblages can provide a tangible link to deep-time responses and adaptations to change; as understanding how First Nations communities lived on Country and exploited natural resources in the past allows us to understand their capacity to survive challenging conditions.

This session welcomes zooarchaeological studies that focus on how people were able to adapt to changing environments in Australia and surrounding nations from the late Pleistocene until contemporary times. We particularly encourage research that includes Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and First Nations perspectives. We also welcome presentations focussing on new field, laboratory and community-based methods aimed achieving a deeper understanding of people’s ability to adapt to change.

Sofia Samper Carro, The Australian National University
JIllian Garvey, La Trobe University

Resilience in the Face of Alternative Ways of Knowing

Since colonisation Australia’s First Nations peoples have been involuntarily placed in a position where they have been required to navigate and meet Western expectations and frameworks of knowing. This is particularly the case when addressing the interpretation of heritage, either as part of regulatory assessments and site/place mitigation or for archaeological research. In the main, until the 1990s Indigenous interpretations of the past were largely ignored.

In relatively recent times, over the last 30 or so years, there has been a distinct shift in archaeological and cultural heritage practice towards the recognition and acceptance of Indigenous Knowledge as a valid knowledge framework. This acceptance has relied on meaningful collaboration between First Nations knowledge holders, archaeologists and cultural heritage specialists. This collaboration, while a positive and arguably essential step, is still not without its challenges.

This session will focus on the ways in which stakeholders have negotiated knowledge frameworks different from their own, and the resilience required to move forward collaboratively.

Anna Weisse, Smart Nine Project Management
Annie Ross, The University of Queensland

Rock Art Conservation and Management: Reframing the Narrative Through Resilience

Rock Art is one of the most valuable links to our Old People that we have today. A direct link. This is not art as we know art to be. These are libraries full of our communal resources. They inform us of our place on Country. They inform us of our obligations, roles and rights. They give us our law and legitimacy. They instil into us our identity: Who we are. If our sovereignty was written, it was written here, by our Ancestors. By our law holders and still it is here, embedded into the solid rock that is our home. (John Clarke (EMAC))

The Gariwerd Rock Art Management Forum was held in Gariwerd (Grampians – western Victoria) in March 2023. On the lands of the Djab Wurrung, Jadawadajali (Wotjobaluk Nations) and Gunditjmara peoples, more than 150 Indigenous rangers and Elders from across Australia came together to share knowledge, experiences and challenges while discussing opportunities focused on caring for rock art and cultural heritage places. This session seeks to extend the discussions from the recent forum with the potential to share these stories of resilience to manage, protect and celebrate rock art through Indigenous-led initiative’s to inform the present and prepare us for future advancements in the discipline.

Melissa Marshall, University of Notre Dame Australia
Darren Griffin, Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
Billy Briggs, Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation
Nathalia Guimaraes, Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation
Billy Bell, Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owner Aboriginal Corporation
Jake Goodes, Parks Victoria
Cissy Gore-Birch, Kimberley Cultural Connections

Scientific Approaches to Investigating Change and Resilience: The ARCAS Network Session

Scientific techniques and methodologies can play a crucial role in uncovering the dynamics of change and resilience, providing novel insights into the ways that people have adapted, innovated and survived. As a multidisciplinary area, archaeological science strives to combine cutting-edge technologies and traditional knowledges to arrive at in-depth understandings of the past. The Australasian Research Cluster for Archaeological Sciences (ARCAS) network invites papers that explore all aspects of change and resilience, and that incorporate scientific methods of investigation, such as archaeobotany, geochemistry, geophysics, geoarchaeology, isotope analysis, palaeomagnetism, traditional science, zooarchaeology, and more, to reveal the complex interactions and relationships between people, their environment, and material culture, and how they have adapted and endured over time.

This session encourages contributions that explore environmental and social adaptation, the transformation of cultural practices and technologies, and the endurance of cultural identities and practices throughout time. We particularly welcome papers that incorporate collaboration with First Nations communities, leading to deeper understandings of their history and promoting self-determination, and showcasing their resilience in the face of change. By integrating archaeological science with Indigenous perspectives, we endeavour to create a more complete and nuanced understanding of change and resilience. As we face the challenges of the modern world, the insights offered by archaeological science can support our journey towards a more sustainable and resilient future, drawing on the lessons of the past.

Rebekah Kurpiel, La Trobe University
Amy Prendergast, The University of Melbourne
Louise Shewan, The University of Melbourne

Western Australia’s Revolving Door of Legislative Change: An Illustrative Case in Adaptation and Resilience

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage (ACH) Act 2021 represented the first significant legislative change in the state since 1972. The ACH Act purported to improve the protection of cultural heritage by giving Aboriginal people a stronger say in the decision-making process, but had a mixed reception from all sides. After years of co-design, the ACH Act became fully operational on 1 July 2023. Only 6 weeks later, the Cook government announced that they would be repealing the ACH Act following pressure from various lobby groups. On 8 August, the Aboriginal heritage legislative amendment bill was introduced to parliament which seeks to amend the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972. This session examines Western Australia’s tumultuous revolving door of legislative change, speaks to the lived experiences of those working within it and seeks to examine alternative viewpoints for good practice heritage management.

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