AAA2021 Virtual Conference

1-3 December 2021

Artwork by Maddy Hope-Hodgetts.  Find out more

Plenary Session: Reconciliation and Working Together

In AAA we commenced our journey in reconciliation with our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2018. We submitted our plan to Reconciliation Australia and had our proposal accepted. We have spent the years since then planning our implementation phase. As part of our RAP commitment, we planned a “Working Together” themed conference.  At the conference we had hoped to bring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collaborators, colleagues and friends to Darwin to help us celebrate our ongoing relationships, to reflect on our practice, ask some challenging questions, and to start to plan a shared future.

Although we cannot be in Darwin this year, it’s still important that we take these steps, so that that in 2022 we may celebrate coming through some difficult years in regard to heritage, research direction and activity, and other broader social issues.

In this first keynote session of our online conference in 2021, we have invited a number of eminent members of AAA to speak personally of their experiences in archaeology and what it has meant to “Work Together” over long periods. Matthew Spriggs and Lynette Russell review the early history of Aboriginal involvement in archaeology in Australia, commencing as far back as the 1830s.  They argue that Aboriginal knowledge has been a part of archaeology in all stages of the history of the discipline. Paul Tacon takes up this theme in his review of 40 years of doing rock art research.  Like Matthew and Lynette, Paul reflects on the early years of collaborative research in many parts of Australia, and how this collaboration has continued to the present day. Sharon Sullivan and Sharon Hodgetts also consider the importance of having archaeologists and Aboriginal Traditional Owners working together in achieving shared management goals for heritage. They review the long history of heritage management collaboration in NSW from the initial focus entirely on the archaeological value of sites, which ignored Aboriginal perspectives, to the current measures that are a vast improvement on the 1960s, but are not quite all the way there yet.

Certainly there have been times of conflict in the past, when Traditional Owners and archaeologists have not always seen eye to eye on research and heritage goals and objectives.  But in this session, we focus on the achievements made over the many long years of collaboration, and the positive results of reconciled methodologies and shared outcomes.

Professor Matthew Spriggs

Professor Matthew Spriggs

Australian National University

Professor Lynette Russell

Professor Lynette Russell

Monash University

Professor Paul Tacon

Professor Paul Tacon

Griffith University

Professor Sharon Sullivan

Professor Sharon Sullivan

Bywater Farm, Argents Hill

Sharon Hodgetts

Sharon Hodgetts

Wiradjuri-Wangaaypuwan Woman, Forestry Corporation NSW and University of New England

Professor Annie Ross

Associate Professor Annie Ross

The University of Queensland

Dr Michael Slack

Dr Michael Slack

Scarp Archaeology

Flagship Session: Truth Telling

This flagship session will be presented in the format of casual conversation, or yarn, in a semi-formal atmosphere with guests who have been invited to join Dr Kellie Pollard about truth-telling under the Australian Archaeology Association conference theme of ‘Reconciliation’. Dr Pollard will open with a short presentation about the notion of truth-telling at the global level before tracking back to its development and currency in Australia. Led by Dr Pollard the invited guests will then have a general discussion about different aspects of truth-telling in Australia. And then the conversation will transition to a discussion about the book Dark Emu and its portrayal of Aboriginal socioeconomic organisation in Australia.

Dr Kellie Pollard

Dr Kellie Pollard is a Wiradjuri archaeologist from New South Wales who gained a PhD in archaeology from Flinders University. Dr Pollard works for Charles Darwin University where she specialises in teaching Indigenous philosophies of knowledge making and Indigenous methodologies for doing research with Indigenous people. Dr Pollard’s interest’s extend to emancipatory approaches in research. 

Dr Kellie Pollard

Wiradjuri Archaeologist and Charles Darwin University

Dr Christopher Wilson

Dr Christopher Wilson is a Ngarrindjeri archaeologist from South Australia, and lecturer in archaeology at Flinders University where he specialises in repatriation, ancient history of the Lower Murray River and Coorong regions in south-eastern Australia and broader archaeological perspectives of the First Australians. Chris’s interests extend to critical race studies and the empowerment of Indigenous people in archaeology, heritage and social justice.

Dr Christopher Wilson

Ngarrindjeri Archaeologist and Flinders University

Professor Claire Smith

Professor Claire Smith of Flinders University is an archaeologist with more than thirty years specialisation in working with Indigenous people in Australia and internationally specialising in the decolonisation of archaeological theory, method and practice. Professor Smith is former twice-elected President of the World Archaeological Congress (WAC). A prolific author whose works appear in several international languages, Professor Smith is current Editor of Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology.

Professor Claire Smith

Flinders University

Associate Professor Lynley Wallis

Associate Professor Lynley Wallis is an archaeologist with more than twenty years specialisation in heritage consultancy in Australia and palaeoenvironmental analysis for the reconstruction of ancient habitat through the study of phytoliths. Professor Wallis is a former Editor of Australian Archaeology and is on the current Editorial board of Queensland Archaeological Research. Professor Wallis’s interests extend to collaborative research in community practice. 

Associate Professor Lynley Wallis

Griffith University

Professor Henry Reynolds

Professor Henry Reynolds, an eminent academic of Australian European invasion and colonisation history and dispossession of Aboriginal people in Australia, is recognised for his contributions of distinction to the Australian community with the award of ‘National Living Treasure’ in Australia. Author of several seminal works of European and Aboriginal history, Professor Reynolds is honorary research professor at University of Tasmania.

Professor Henry Reynolds

Emeritus Professor

Dr Keryn Walshe

Keryn is an archaeologist and was with the South Australia Museum from 2006 to 2018. Currently, Keryn is a research affiliate with University of Auckland in New Zealand. Keryn is co-author with Peter Sutton of the recent book Farmers or Hunter-Gatherers? The Dark Emu debate.

Dr Keryn Walshe

University of Auckland

Claire Smith with Jawoyn women

Dr Christopher Wilson is a Ngarrindjeri archaeologist from South Australia, and lecturer in archaeology at Flinders University where he specialises in repatriation, ancient history of the Lower Murray River and Coorong regions in south-eastern Australia and broader archaeological perspectives of the First Australians. Chris’s interests extend to critical race studies and the empowerment of Indigenous people in archaeology, heritage and social justice.

Professor Claire Smith with Jawoyn women.

Photo used with the consent of, and compensation to, Esther Bulumbara,
Crystal Bulumbara, Joyce Bulumbara and Nell Brown.

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Contact the Conference Organiser, Julie Jerbic

0402 189 948

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