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AAA Conference 2016

The 2016 AAA conference was held in Terrigal, NSW, and for the first time it was hosted by an Aboriginal group: Darkinjung LALC. The conference theme was “Interwoven: Indigenous and Western knowledge in archaeology and heritage”. A number of CRAR+M Indigenous colleagues and collaborators attended the conference (funded by the Murujuga and Visions ARC Projects).  At the 2016 AAA Awards ceremony almost half the prizes presented went to UWA staff, adjuncts, Indigenous partners, alumni and students:

  • CRAR+M's Director, Jo McDonald won the Rhys Jones Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Australian Archaeology - AAA’s highest award (the AAA committee, for the first time, jointly awarded this also to Paul Taçon, Griffith University);

  • Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation & Archae-aus (Caroline Bird and Eddie McDonald) won the John Mulvaney Book Award for their collaboration that resulted in “Kakatungutanta to Warrie Outcamp: 40,000 years in Nyiyaparli country”. 

  • Recently completed Master's candidate, Jacqueline Matthews was awarded Life Membership for her Significant Contribution to the Australian Archaeological Association;

  • Balanaggarra Aboriginal Corporation (represented by Jason Gore) and CRAR+M (Peter Veth, Sven Ouzman & Sam Harper) won the Waikato Award for best paper related to radiocarbon dating - for their “Kimberley Visions: A New Generation of Rock Art Research within the Cultural Landscapes of the North-Eastern Kimberley”;

  • Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation &  Archae-aus (Caroline Bird, Jim Rhoads, Fiona Hook and Eddie McDonald) won Best Poster for “Issues of Scale and Resolution in Interpreting Surface  Artefact Scatter in the Inland Pilbara” 

  •  Honours student, Brittany George was judged the Best Student Poster for “Western Australian high school students’ perceptions of archaeology”

From the Rhys Jones Award citation: Jo McDonald’s contribution to Australian archaeology includes innovations to cultural heritage management practice. She has revolutionised the methodologies and management of open site archaeology, with large-scale open-area excavations creating new understandings for the Cumberland Plain.  She found evidence for a regional Pleistocene occupation sequence with the extensive excavation of a rich sand body in Parramatta. She led the recovery of the remarkable Narrabeen Man, found beneath a bus shelter, the earliest evidence for the death by ritual spearing in the country.  She developed strategic conservation approaches to Cumberland Plain archaeology, where urban development has seen a stark reduction in plant biodiversity and Indigenous heritage. But it is for her work on Australian Aboriginal rock art that Jo is best known.  She pioneered the direct-dating of pigment art sites in Australia; was among the first to use a gendered approach to Australian rock art interpretation and advanced the acceptance of rock art as a valid archaeological artefact. She has produced management plans for regional art bodies and individual rock art sites and has assessed rock art’s significance at both National and World Heritage levels. She has deployed rock art to help argue for ongoing tradition in native title cases. She has championed the development of increasingly sophisticated data bases and recording methods relating to rock art research and management. In 2012 she co-edited a global synthesis of rock art research papers (Wiley’s Companion to Rock Art) which is now a leading text book internationally.

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