Professor Harry Allen has been influential in Australian and New Zealand archaeology for decades. In 1969-1972 he undertook regional surveys in the Darling Basin of western New South Wales, which supported the nomination of the Willandra onto the World Heritage List. His later Arnhem Land cultural heritage work added support to the declaration of Kakadu National Park, and the subsequent listing of this property as a World Heritage Area.
Harry taught at the University of Auckland from 1974 to 2008. He was a member of the Maori Heritage Council from 1993 to 2006, and he has been a keen exponent of collaborative research for many years. His 2010 book (co-edited with Caroline Phillips): Bridging the Divide: Indigenous communities and archaeology into the 21st century, sought to raise awareness of the social, cultural and political concerns of Indigenous communities and bridge the enduring cultural divides within contemporary archaeological practice. By inviting contributors from Australia and New Zealand, Allen and Phillips also sought to bridge the trans-Tasman divide, as Allen has been doing throughout his career.
Harry Allen is widely respected for his work in archaeology, ethnohistory and cultural heritage management, as well as his generous and understated contributions as a mentor and teacher. He played a foundational role in the discipline of archaeology and has been one of the central voices bringing antipodean debates, concerns and ideas to an international audience. He has made an outstanding contribution to Australian and New Zealand archaeology.