National Archaeology Week Grad Spotlight: Claire Greer


1. What year did you graduate from UWA?

2002, with a BA (Hons) in Archaeology

2. Where do you work now, and what is your current role?

I'm currently back at UWA, these days as a PhD candidate in the History department. In the years between graduating and returning to study I've worked across a wide range of roles in Western Australia's heritage industry, including jobs as diverse as tour guiding at the WA Maritime Museum, archaeology fieldwork in the resources sector, Aboriginal community development, cultural and natural resource management, and historical research and information management in Native Title.

3. What was your school or career path before you studied archaeology at UWA?

I came straight from high school into my archaeology degree- I'd been very focussed on becoming an archaeologist from a young age, and I never wavered much off that path. I wanted to study in a way that would allow me to work all over the world, but after I graduated I ended up gravitating towards much more local work with Western Australia's amazing Aboriginal communities. In the end archaeology opened doors to much different work than I ever expected, and it's been a very fulfilling career.

4. What was your most memorable experience in your archaeological studies/career?

Working up on the Burrup Peninsula to assess and record some of the thousands of petroglyphs will always be an incredible memory. It's a place that's every bit as awe-inspiring as any of the great wonders around the world and it's right here in Western Australia.

5. How has studying archaeology influenced your career?

Pure archaeology has only been a small part of my career so far, but in everything I've done, archaeology has remained a strong influence- particularly the ability to examine evidence and critically interpret the story behind it. My driving motivation is to understand past lives and to convey to other people the continued importance of heritage. Thanks to my studies, I've had the privilege of working with Aboriginal communities around the state. This ultimately allowed me to move into roles in the protection of cultural places and the management of cultural information, but it all goes back to people, past and present. Although my PhD is now in history, the methodology is very much archaeological, examining the social consequences of the First World War in an entire suburb, and utilising mapping to understand the distribution of the impact.

6. What piece of advice would you offer someone who is interested in pursuing archaeology?

I'd definitely recommend pursuing archaeology if it's your passion, while remaining open-minded about the potential challenges and opportunities that can arise from it being a competitive field of employment. Volunteer for every opportunity you can while studying. Every bit of fieldwork adds to your practical experience levels and consolidates the skills you'll need to work in archaeology. It also helps with all-important professional networking. The Aurora Project gives the opportunity to do internships in the Native Title sector- anything like that is worth pursuing if you have the ability.

Above all else, once you graduate, don't be afraid to take a sideways step into any areas where your skills can be used. Every single role will add new angles to your understanding of your own work, and facilitate exciting future possibilities.

Pure archaeology has only been a small part of my career so far, but in everything I've done, archaeology has remained a strong influence- particularly the ability to examine evidence and critically interpret the story behind it. My driving motivation is to understand past lives and to convey to other people the continued importance of heritage. Thanks to my studies, I've had the privilege of working with Aboriginal communities around the state. This ultimately allowed me to move into roles in the protection of cultural places and the management of cultural information, but it all goes back to people, past and present. Although my PhD is now in history, the methodology is very much archaeological, examining the social consequences of the First World War in an entire suburb, and utilising mapping to understand the distribution of the impact.

59 views

Mailing Address:

Centre for Rock Art, Research + Management,

School of Social Sciences,

M257, 32 Stirling Highway, Perth WA 6009

  • Phone Icon Plain
  • Mail Icon Plain
  • Facebook Icon Plain
  • Twitter Icon Plain
  • YouTube Icon Plain

For any issues with this web page please email the webmaster