Grampians- Gariwerd Directed Study

Well after a slow start, the aim has been identified and the questions laid out. In my eternal quest for rock art related projects I have somehow managed to find a project where the aim is to focus on everything but rock art and rather on other archaeological sites. The project that I am undertaking is in conjunction with Parks Victoria and the team out of the Gariwerd (Grampians) National Park. This project will focus on the creation of a ‘catalogue of knowledge’. Currently, Parks Victoria manages the land of the Gariwerd (Grampians) Cultural Heritage area and is very conscious of the land management activities that if carried out inappropriately have the potential to alter, disrupt and potentially destroy cultural sites. This project aims to provide an overview of site types, location, significance, and condition. It will help define culturally significant areas of the landscape that are sensitive to various land management activities.

A couple of weeks ago I was able to visit Gariwerd (Grampians) National Park and meet with the team there. I was treated to an excellent tour of their Brambuk Cultural Center and a tour of some of the rock art sites. It was a wonderful day and I learned so much being out on Country. The Parks Victoria staffs are so amazing and welcoming. I would suggest that if you are ever passing through on your way to Melbourne to venture towards Gariwerd (Grampians). During my visit I was told that many of the tourists say they didn’t plan to stop but they felt a pull towards it. I can understand why!

This project has taught me so much. Even without doing much research. Firstly, to remember that archaeology is made up of so many aspects. If we just focus on one thing, we miss the bigger picture. That although we as archaeologists focus on the past, it is what we are providing for the people of today that makes it all worthwhile. I also realized how much we all take for granted the amount of work that our Tutors and Techs. put into taking us into the field and on field trips (risk assessments are a true test of patience). And that friends named Matt are few and far between, they will never make you go camping alone, and will provide you with endless hours of entertainment over the campfire.

A special thanks goes out to the Indigenous Communities of the Gariwerd (Grampians). To Suzy Skurrie, Mike Stevens and David Newton (the Parks Victoria team). As wells as Emily Jateff and Dr. Heather Burke, Dr. Michael Westaway and Dr. Alice Gorman.

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