12th April 2018



A series of fascinating, illustrated presentations and stories by rock art experts and other archaeologists describing investigations into a range of depictions, found across Australia, of European and other sea craft encountered by Aboriginal Australians.  This will be followed by a Q&A panel. (


Visions Theatre, National Museum of Australia, Acton

When: Sat. 14 April 2018
Start time:
 9.30 am
End time: 12.00 pm
Cost: Gold coin donation
Contact: 1800 026 132

This is a free event (gold coin donation), part of the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival, and we encourage everyone who wants to learn about maritime rock art to attend.

Also, coinciding with the ACT Heritage Festival will be an open day at Tuggeranong Schoolhouse

For more information see here or please go to the CAS website –

Calga Aboriginal Cultural Landscape considered for Heritage Register

02nd April 2018

AAA has been approached by the  NSW Heritage Council who are considering a listing of the Calga Aboriginal Cultural Landscape on the State Heritage Register.  Anyone who would like to comment on the proposed listing should contact within the next week

Review of WA Aboriginal Heritage legislation announced

09th March 2018

The West Australian Government announced today that the Aboriginal Heritage Act (1972) is under formal review with an intended bill by 2020.  They have asked for external parties to express interest in the process and to review their consultation paper.  Links to the media statement and the review are below.

AAA intend to take a proactive role in this consultation, headed up by the NEC, and will keep membership up to date on all developments.  If there are interested members that would also like to be involved in the official AAA management of this important issue please contact directly.


See links below:


SA Government Rejects Sale of Land Containing Archaeological Site

The AAA recently responded to the South Australian government regarding our organisation’s opposition to the proposed sale of waterfront Crown Land on Kangaroo Island.  The Crown Land contains a registered Aboriginal archaeological site, and the local geomorphology has high potential for additional buried archaeological sites.  See the AAA media release below:


We are happy to report that the SA government has rejected the sale of the Crown Land.  The AAA joined 775 submissions opposed to the sale of the land, highlighting its important archaeological conservation values (only 5 submissions supported the proposed sale).  See the story here:

2018 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

06th March 2018

2018 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash has opened nominations for the 2018 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science and announced some exciting changes.

Each year the Australian Government honours Australia’s best scientists, innovators and science teachers through the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science, and we need your help to find potential winners.

We are looking for:

  • Leading Australian scientists who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge through science—for the $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science.
  • Exceptional innovators from both industry and research who have translated scientific knowledge into substantial commercial impact—for the $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation.
  • Early to mid-career scientists whose research is already making, and will continue to have, an impact on our lives—for the $50,000 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year and $50,000 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year.
  • Promising early to mid-career innovators from industry and research whose work has the potential to enhance our economy through the translation of scientific knowledge into a substantial commercial impact—for the $50,000 Prize for New Innovators.
  • Inspiring science, mathematics and technology teachers who are dedicated to innovative teaching and inspiring the next generation—for the $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching (Primary and Secondary).


Note that the guidelines for the prizes have been updated for 2018 so make sure you review the latest information, including nomination forms, or contact 13 28 46.

Read about past winners at

If you have any nominations for these awards, please contact the AAA executive committee. Nominations will be collated and submitted on behalf of AAA to give nominees the maximum chance.  This is a great opportunity to recognise the contribution of our peers and members!

Vale Bruce James Wright

12th February 2018

Bruce James Wright has recently passed away, as announced  on 22 January 2018.

The following has been prepared by Moya Smith, on behalf of Alec Coles, of the Western Australian Museum, and reposted here with permission.

From 1975 until 1982 Bruce was the second Registrar of the Department of Aboriginal Sites, which was at that stage a department within the Western Australian Museum. Prior to his appointment as Registrar, Bruce was an Honorary Associate of the WA Museum, and renowned for his pioneering studies of Aboriginal rock art in the Pilbara region undertaken with the close involvement of Aboriginal community members. Initially employed as a teacher, then headmaster, before joining the WA Museum, Bruce was Superintendent of Curriculum for the WA Education Department.

His friendships  with local Roebourne Aboriginal Elders motivated what is perhaps his major publication, Rock Art of the Pilbara region, North west Australia, Occasional Papers in Aboriginal Studies No. 11, published in 1968 by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies in Canberra (now AIATSIS). This foundational publication continues to be referred to in rock art research, 50 years after its publication.

Bruce’s time with the WA Museum occurred at the beginning of the exponential growth of mining and development in the State, and the refining of processes for protection of Aboriginal Heritage. He encouraged his staff to undertake fieldwork across the State, advocating the involvement of  local Aboriginal people in their work.

He was a founding member of the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists, and as a consultant subsequent to his time with the WA Museum, his own consultancy reports are models of breadth in their coverage of site analysis.

The WA Museum expresses condolences to Bruce’s friends and family.

Source: Moya Smith, for Alec Coles, Western Australian Museum

Warwick Thornton’s We Don’t Need a Map – Now in cinemas

05th February 2018

Warwick Thornton’s (Samson and DelilahSweet Country) critically acclaimed documentary We Don’t Need a Map is screening nationally in cinemas for a limited time. Originally screened as the opening night film at the 2017 Sydney Film Festival, We Don’t Need a Map is about the hijacking of an Australian icon.

The Southern Cross is the most famous constellation in the southern hemisphere. Ever since colonisation it’s been claimed, appropriated and hotly-contested for ownership by a radical range of Australian groups. But for Aboriginal people the meaning of this heavenly body is deeply spiritual. And just about completely unknown. For a start, the Southern Cross isn’t even a cross – it’s a totem that’s deeply woven into the spiritual and practical lives of Aboriginal people.

We Don’t Need A Map is an epic telling of Australia’s history, told through our collective relationship to one famous constellation.

It is a challenging, poetic, cosmic essay about who we are as a nation.

The film proudly defines Aboriginal people’s lore and spiritual relationship with the land as fundamental to this nation.

And yet under the one night sky, we are all connected now … all people of this land, all Australians. So how do we want to move forward?

When we are lost we don’t need a map,

we just need a clear view.

Visit for more information.

We Don’t Need a Map Screening Dates