Notice of the 2016 AGM

09th November 2016

Notice of the 2016 Australian Archaeological Associations’

Annual General Meeting 

Notice is hereby given of the Annual General Meeting of members of the Australian Archaeological Association.

The 2016 AGM will be held during the annual AAA conference on Wednesday, 7 December 2016 from 4.30 pm – 6.00pm, in the Harry Kendall 1 Room, Level 1, Crowne Plaza Terrigal.

All conference delegates are invited to attend.  Only financial members of AAA are eligible to vote.  To confirm your membership status, please contact the Membership Secretary on:

Nominations for Officer Bearer and Subcommittee Member positions can be submitted in writing via the President or Secretary by COB Monday 28 November 2016.  Please be advised that the following positions will be vacant in 2017:

  • Social Media Officer
  • Media Co-Officer

AAA Members are invited to submit for consideration any agenda items or special motions at the AGM in writing to the AAA Secretary via:  Please include your name and contact details as proposer of the motion or item.  All agenda items or motions are to be submitted by COB Thursday 24 November 2016.

Provisional agenda

1. Welcome

2. Apologies

3. Minutes of the previous AGM (Fremantle, 3 December 2015).

4. Business arising from previous minutes

5. Reports

    5.1. President

    5.2. Secretary

    5.3. Treasurer

    5.4. Membership Secretary

    5.5. Editors

    5.6. Webmaster

    5.7. Australian National Committee for Archaeology Teaching and Learning (ANCATL)

    5.8. Code of Ethics subcommittee

    5.9. Indigenous subcommittee

    5.10. Social Media

    5.11. Media Liaison Officer

    5.12. State Representatives

    5.13. National Archaeology Week subcommittee

    5.14. Discussion arising

6. Remuneration of Servants of the Association

7. Other Business

    7.1.  2017 Conference

    7.2.  2018 Conference

    7.3.  2019 Conference

8. Election of Officers of the Committee

9. Close of Meeting


Kind Regards,

Jo Thomson
AAA Secretary

Vale John Mulvaney

03rd November 2016

Vale Emeritus Professor John Mulvaney AO, CMG FAHA

1925 – 2016

John Mulvaney, the first university-trained prehistorian to make Australian archaeology his subject, has died at age 90.

John Mulvaney had a long and distinguished career and is justly described as the ‘Father of Australian Archaeology’. He was the Foundation Chair in Prehistory in the Arts Faculty at the ANU (1971), a former Commissioner of the Australian Heritage Commission and an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (since 1969). In 1982, John was awarded the Companion in The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (CMG), in 1991, he received an Order of Australia Medal (Australia’s highest Order) and in 1999 the British Academy awarded him the Graham Clark Medal.

In 2004, the Australian Archaeological Association awarded John Mulvaney the Rhys Jones Medal, Australian Archaeology’s highest honour, as an acknowledgement of his outstanding contribution to Australian archaeology, to AAA, the academic discipline, and to increasing public awareness of the discipline and the importance of Australia’s cultural heritage. Also in 2004, the Association established the John Mulvaney Book Award in his honour to further recognise his contribution and commitment to Australian archaeology over a lifetime of professional service.

On behalf of its members, the Australian Archaeological Association would like to express its sincerest condolences to John’s family, friends and colleagues.

Fittingly, there have been numerous additional tributes to John Mulvaney from leading institutions across Australia. Linked below are a selection of these:

In addition to writing his own autobiography (Digging Up a Past), John Mulvaney was interviewed at numerous times throughout his career.

Two key interviews that will be of interest for anyone who would like to learn more about his career in his own words:

In 2000, John Mulvaney was interviewed by Pamela Jane Smith, which can be downloaded here.

In 2012, John Mulvaney interviewed by Bronwyn Hanna in the Burra Charter oral history project for the National Library of Australia, which can be accessed here.

John Mulvaney


Barrow Island Archaeology Project: a deep history

17th May 2016

The Barrow Island Archaeology Project has been highlighted by UWA for its research impact.

The Barrow Island Archaeology Project, located 50 kilometres northwest off the Pilbara coast, was led by Peter Veth, Professor of Archaeology, Centre for Rock Art Research and Management (CRARM) at the University of Western Australia. Its goals were to understand:

  • how Australia was settled by Aboriginal people potentially 50,000 years ago; and
  • what life was like for Indigenous people in the deep past, and the nature of their coastal societies.

In conducting their research, the team looked for evidence of how maritime resources were used when Aboriginal people settled Australia as a maritime society and what art and skills-systems were in place.

The research is ground breaking though working on Barrow Island presented its own challenges. It is one of the first conservation estates of Western Australia, hosts oil and gas companies including Chevron Australia, is regulated by the Department of Parks and Wildlife and is covered by the Aboriginal Heritage Act and federal Instruments. Taking into consideration each of the stakeholders interests meant their support was critical to the success of the project.

Follow the link here to read about the challenges, solutions, and impacts this complex project has addressed.

World’s earliest ground-edge axe fragment.

12th May 2016

AAA is proud to announce that exciting news from northern Australia has been published in the latest edition of our journal, Australian Archaeology.

Peter Hiscock, Sue O’Connor, Jane Balme, and Tim Maloney have published the article “World’s earliest ground-edge axe production coincides with human colonisation of Australia”, where they report evidence for the world’s earliest ground-edge axe, 44–49,000 years old, from northern Australia.


We report evidence for the world’s earliest ground-edge axe, 44–49,000 years old. Its antiquity coincides with or immediately follows the arrival of humans on the Australian landmass. Ground/polished axes are not associated with the eastward dispersal of Homo sapiens across Eurasia and the discovery of axes in Australia at the point of colonisation exemplifies a diversification of technological practices that occurred as modern humans dispersed from Africa. Ground-edge axes are now known from two different colonised lands at the time humans arrived and hence we argue that these technological strategies are associated with the adaptation of economies and social practices to new environmental contexts.

For the full article please click here.

Student Research Grant Scheme 2016

09th March 2016

AAA is pleased to announce the return of the Student Research Grants Scheme in 2016. These competitive research grants award funding for costs directly related to archaeological research undertaken by Honours and Postgraduate students, including fieldwork and analysis of data.

The amounts awarded are a maximum of $750 for an Honours or Masters by Coursework student, $1200 for a Masters by Research candidate, and $1800 for a PhD candidate. Full details and conditions of the awards are provided in the attached document.

Application Process

Applicants are required to provide a project outline (1-2 pages), budget, budget justification, and a reference letter from the student’s supervisor, in addition to the completed application form. Applications must be submitted to the AAA Secretary by email ( or as hard copy to Secretary, Australian Archaeological Association, M257, 35 Stirling Highway, University of Western Australia, Crawley WA 6009, Australia.

Applications close Wednesday 6 April 2016

Download the application form here!