Tag Archives: Directed Study

Mimburi Traditional Ecological Uses and Cultural Uses of Flora and Fauna Book

The Mimburi book is progressing nicely. This is part of my Directed Studies (ARCH8403) project, which is part of my Masters of Cultural Heritage Management (see previous blog ‘Flora and Fauna of Mimburi- the Bush tucker/ bush medicine/ cultural uses book’ for more information). Aunty Beverly Hand (Kabi Kabi Traditional Custodian and Mimburi Upper Mary Aboriginal Association President) and myself have been for many walks around the property, photographing species of flora and fauna that we have come across and having discussions about their uses. When we return to the Wongai Room (the office) I have been undertaking research on various resources in order to gather more information. Currently we are collating all our information. Photographs have been placed in their species folders and we have a working draft of the book. We are now sitting on 100 species. At one stage it seemed that the book was getting bigger than Ben Hur and we had to remind ourselves that the goal is to produce a book on some of the flora and fauna of Mimburi. We cannot include every species that is at Mimburi for now. The book is like a stage one, or volume one, which the community can add to in the future.

We have identified three key species that we do not have photographs of, that we think are really needed in the book, as they are rare and threatened species and the key species that saved the property from being turned into the Mary River Dam in 2009. It was the five umbrella species, including the Giant Barred Frog and the Mary River Turtle (and others), that allowed the Federal Government, under environmental legislation, to stop the State Government’s plan to build the Mary River Dam. These five species are all found at the Mimburi property and thus we thought they were important to include in the book. Aunty Beverly and I will utilise our networks in order to find the three photographs required.


Azure Kingfisher at Mimburi (Photograph Kate Greenwood)

I have already met with Marc Russell, Environmental Operations Officer for Sunshine Coast Regional Council, who kindly offered his own personal collection of plant photographs for use in the book as long as acknowledgement is made to him. We will go down this track with other people for the key species as well.

We did try putting out a fauna monitor in three different places around Mimburi, which was lent to us from Sunshine Coast Regional Council, as the property has Land for Wildlife status. We have only so far managed to get images of a few cows and the tail of a Scrub Turkey, but hopefully we will capture some other species when we find the right position for it.

Fauna monitor in place (Photo Kate Greenwood)

Fauna monitor in place (Photograph Kate Greenwood)

I have been busy reviewing Kabi Kabi language documents and, with the assistance of Aunty Beverly, have decided to utilise Zachariah Skyring’s 1870 recordings of Kabi Kabi language, as he lived close to Mimburi. His recordings were found via historical research and library visits. They are in no way a conclusive list and other Kabi Kabi language recordings and word lists will be utilised for species and items that we do not have names from Skyring.  These word lists will include the work of Watson (1944), Petrie (1904), Mathew (1887), Ridley (1887), Westaway (1887), Landsborough (1887) and others. Bianca Bond, Aunty Beverly’s daughter, has been undertaking Kabi Kabi language work for quite some time now and her expertise will be essential for the audio recording of language names in the online version and for the spelling in the hard copy version of the book.

Zachariah Skyring's handwritten notes (Photography Kate Greenwood)

Some of Zachariah Skyring’s handwritten notes

A lot of the historical information has also been collated and added to the draft of the book. Where possible, we are using historical accounts to describe species and/ or their use. For example:

‘With the natural history and appearance of one of these relicts of the ancient forest, the Moreton Bay fig-tree, which I then saw for the first time, I was remarkably struck. This tree bears a species of fig, which I was told (for it was not in season at the time) is by no means unpalatable, and of which it seems both the black natives and the bronze-winged pigeons of the Australian forest are equally fond’ (Lang 1861:81).

We have decided to do it this way as we would like the book not to be like the usual flora and fauna books, in that each species tells a story that is unique. and therefore each page is different from the others.

Moreton Bay Fig (Photography Kate Greenwood

Moreton Bay Fig (Photograph Kate Greenwood)

Discussions have been undertaken with Michael Aird, Director of Keeira Press, in regards to layout out the hard copy book. As we have no current funding, I am trying to learn graphic design layout for the book. We are still in discussions about what will work best and it seems that it will be similar to the historical information, i.e. that every page will be different, not just in text, but in visual design as well.

The next stage is to check with experts that we have photographed and identified the correct species and to continue with compiling the book.


Landsborough, W 1887 Portion of the Country Between Brisbane and Gympie, Curr, E. M 1887, 1886-1897 The Australian Race- its Origins, Languages, Customs, Place of Landing in Australia and the Routes by which it Spread Itself over that Continent, Volume III. Melbourne: John Ferres.

Lang, J. D 1861 A Highly Eligible Field for Emigration and the Future Cotton-field of Great Britain: With a Disquisition on The Origin, Manners, and Customs of the Aborigines. London: Edward Stanford.

Mathew, J 1887 Mary River and Bunya Bunya Country. In Curr, E. M (ed.), The Australian Race – its Origins, Languages, Customs, Place of Landing in Australia and the Routes by which it Spread Itself over that Continent, Volume III. Melbourne: John Ferres.

Petrie, C 1904 Tom Petrie’s Reminiscences of Early Queensland, Watson, Ferguson & Co.: Brisbane.

Ridley, W 1887 North side of Moreton Bay. In Curr, E. M (ed.),  The Australian Race- its Origins, Languages, Customs, Place of Landing in Australia and the Routes by which it Spread Itself over that Continent, Volume III. Melbourne: John Ferres.

Skyring, Z 1870 Gympie District Aboriginal Dialect. Unpublished notes.

Watson, F 1944 Vocabularies of four representative tribes of south eastern Queensland with grammatical notes thereof and some notes on manners and customs. Supplement to Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of Australiasia (Queensland) 34 Vol. XLVIII.

Westaway, R 1887 Portion of the country Between Brisbane and Gympie. In Curr, E. M (ed.), The Australian Race- its Origins, Languages, Customs, Place of Landing in Australia and the Routes by which it Spread Itself over that Continent, Volume III. Melbourne: John Ferres.

Finishing up my directed study

By April Webb

It’s the end of semester and my directed study is done, hooray! (Not that I mean to imply that it wasn’t fun… of course.) It was a lot of work (50% research, 25% writing, 25% deleting the gibberish that my cats inserted while I wasn’t looking), but now I can say with confidence that I have a basic understanding of Indigenous heritage management in Australia. And now I can do more than nod politely and give a blank stare when people talk about legislation and government bodies that I previously knew nothing about. I’m sure that’s a good thing. In my previous blog posts I discussed the basic advantages of a regional governance system, and talked a little about the Ngarrindjeri and Torres Strait Regional Authorities. Here’s a summary of my final report.

This segment of Horton's map of Aboriginal Australia shows the locations of the four ARA Test Sites.

This segment of Horton’s map of Aboriginal Australia shows the locations of the four ARA Test Sites.

In July 2013 the Department of the Premier and Cabinet of the South Australian Government announced plans for implementing a system of Aboriginal Regional Authorities across the state. These Authorities would be responsible for a range of functions which would differ according to the needs and capabilities of each region, and would base their operations to an extent on the successful example of the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority. Submissions were received from a variety of interested parties, and in December 2013 test sites were chosen. They are:

• Narungga (Yorke Peninsula) – Narungga Aboriginal Corporation Regional Authority;
• Ngarrindjeri (Lower River Murray) – Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority;
• Port Augusta – Port Augusta Aboriginal Community Engagement Group; and
• Kaurna (Adelaide Plains) – Kaurna Nation Cultural Heritage Association.

My Directed Study project involved a study of existing ARAs and similar structures in order to determine how such bodies might function, and what their pros and cons might be.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, regionalism was generally seen as a desirable model for Indigenous governance, as evidenced in the academic literature on the subject and in submissions made to the South Australian Government on the topic by interested parties. A caveat was that regions should be decided by Indigenous people themselves and not be the product of ‘top-down’ approaches, such as that derived through census data. It was also noted that Regional Authorities would most likely need to have statutory authority  or some sort of legislative recognition in order to achieve effective governance, although there are some examples of bodies who are able to govern effectively without this, such as the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority. Funding was another major concern. It is likely that Regional bodies will require more intensive funding from the government in their early stages, and that this will enable them to become more self-sufficient as time goes on. The funding arrangements of existing bodies such as the NRA and Gumala Aboriginal Corporation provided insight into possible schemes for self-funding. Lastly, Aboriginal Regional Authorities might provide clarification in South Australia on whom to approach for heritage matters, and exactly how much authority Indigenous groups have in these instances.

So, I am happy to say that my report is finished and submitted! Now it’s the holidays, time for me to concentrate on other things, like watching TV and continuing with my botched attempts to learn to play the flute (sorry, neighbours). Oh, and continuing to work on this report. My industry partner has mentioned that we might be able to turn the report into a joint publication eventually, which is very exciting. So, still a lot of work to do!

Taylorville: A Place of Mystery

Boggy Flat was established by James White in 1871. James White held approximately 21 pastoral leases, covering an area of 1,386 square miles. In 1908 Frederick George Taylor, a famer, renamed Boggy Flat to Taylorville. Taylor is also known as the father of Taylorville. Taylor and his family’s first home was located under the cliffs at Gillen East; their permanent home was completed in 1911 on the Murray.

James White

James White

At Taylorville there was a river landing for paddle steamers, and the Kookaburra and the Queen were constant visitors.

There was a stage coach that ran between Morgan, Renmark and Wentworth (when required), operated by Moody and Plush. F.G. Taylor opened a post office on April 13, 1915; it closed on July 31, 1967. In 1914 F.G. Taylor created the F.G. Taylor and Sons Mail Lorry.


Mallyons Restaurant

Western’s Flat was part of Taylorville; on the site was a building built in 1841 that was specifically designed as a rest stop for overlanders travelling to Overland Corner. This building is an organic restaurant today known as Mallyons. A hotel was built within the area and the rest stop became a stable for passengers and staff of Cobb and Co. These buildings were also used as a shearing shed in the 1900s during the Second World War and for barn dancing for the adolescents from Morgan and Taylorville.


Anon. 1919 The Late Mr F.G. Taylor, The Father of Taylorville. The Murray Pioneer 13 July n.p.

Anon. 2010 Mallyons celebrates a decade of fine food. Riverland Weekly 16 September p.10.

Nunn, J.M. 1994 History of Waikerie: Gateway to the Riverland. Waikerie: Waikerie Historical Society.

Taylor, M. 1995 Taylorville South Australia Towards 2000: “Southward Ho” to Adelaide on The Barque “Himilaya”. Mildura: Victoria.

Using Google Earth in Archaeology

Google Earth and Archaeology.

By Tom Georgonicas

For my 3rd blog post for my directed studies, I thought I would discuss the main program I  decided to use to help complete my report on potential archaeological sites buried under the car parks of Adelaide. I am sure most of you have used Google Earth at some point—either as a way to plot road trips, create maps to a site, make mud maps (I have), or for actual reports and papers. The most widely used version is the free version available online via the Google home page. The better version, dubbed ‘Google Pro’, could set you back around $300.

In relation to my directed study, the use of Google Earth has been an important part of my work. Besides using Google Earth to locate ground level open-air car parks around Adelaide, I have also used Google Earth’s image overlay function to place historic maps of Adelaide over the current satellite image of Adelaide.

Currently I have managed to find 33 car parks around the city of Adelaide that may have potential archaeological value. Google has also added a ‘time scale’ function on Google Earth. It allows the user to review past satellite images of the location they are viewing. In Adelaide, for example, I was able to observe the development in the city from the first satellite image added on Google Earth to the latest image. This function also shows which areas of the city have undergone redevelopment in the past few years.

In 2009, Dr. Adrian Myers, then a grad student from Stanford University used Google Earth for his research on Internment Camps. He quite famously in 2009 used Google Earth, satellite images, aerial photographs and other data on Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to show that the prison had been expanded during the beginning of the War on Terror. It was interesting to see how the Camp had expanded as the war progressed. Myers also states that Google Earth has been used by other researchers to investigate looting of sites over the past few years, as well as locating and recording sites that are in inaccessible or dangerous areas for field work.

In conclusion, Google Earth is a powerful tool that can be utilised in archaeology. Desktop studies, such as my directed study, have been possible because of Google Earth and its functions. But, interestingly enough, Myers also makes the  point that if archaeologists can freely access Google Earth to locate sites, then other people looking for potential sites, such as looters, can also use it.

For those interested in reading up on Google Earth’s use in archaeology and its potential. I would highly recommend these two papers.

‘Field work in the age of digital reproduction’ by Adrian Myers.


‘Camp Delta, Google Earth and the Ethics of Remote Sensing in Archaeology’ by Adrian Myers.


 and finally a link to Google Earth



The Multiple Benefits of a Directed Study in Maritime Archaeology

By: Chelsea Colwell-Pasch

I have now completed my semester long directed study topic at Flinders University, with only the final draft of my field work report for the industry partner involved, Heritage Victoria, remaining. It is the perfect time to reflect upon the semester and the benefits of partaking in a directed study topic. For the purposes of my research it was in maritime archaeology, but I imagine that any directed study would carry the same benefits and this blog could be taken synonymously.

This has been a hard topic. I know that this blog, the last in my required blog posts for this topic, is supposed to be about the benefits of a directed study but I feel that it would be amiss if I didn’t let you, the reader, know that it was a very taxing endeavour. You spend a lot of time thinking about it, working on it, doubting yourself, having the pressure of a professional or industry partner being involved, and the scariest of all, relying on yourself to do what needs to be done. I do not want people to get the wrong idea: it was hard, yes, but in the best possible ways. 

Even now as I write this I am thinking about the quality of my writing and whether or not I will meet the standards required for a professional maritime archaeology field work report. I have read through multiple field reports by various government and commercial maritime archaeology firms and have created what can only be described as a ‘Frankenstein-esque’ version of a report, with the pieces I could use cut and sewn together, because no field report is alike. Sections included in one may not be relevant in another and vice versa. The end product is very specific and a very large report covering every possible aspect that I or others could conceive. This has been a great exercise in understanding what maritime archaeologists actually do as a job. By understanding at least one end product of their work, I can better understand how to conduct myself in the field to make the task of report writing easier.

Another beneficial outcome of this project is acknowledging your personal work ethic and drive. I am not being paid to write this report, on the contrary I am paying a substantial international post-graduate course fee to write it. That being said, I treated it as a job, as if it was my duty to write this report to the highest standard and not let my industry partner or professors down. Pressure to succeed is a good stressor (to a certain degree), and it will be a part of any career you choose so to understand how you handle it in a safe, academic environment is very nice.

For this entire semester, I was the ‘captain’ of my professional report writing ‘voyage’. I ‘steered’ the way the report was going by choosing what to include and how to include it. The best part of being enrolled in a course is that my ‘safety beacon’ if you will (apologies for the nautical puns…occupational hazard) was the very knowledgeable university staff who were there to answer any and all questions and guide me to ‘safe harbour’ when rough water was met (I will stop with the puns now, I promise). This is a luxury that is not afforded in the real world.

I will end my last directed studies blog with the best part of enrolling in this topic: experience. I will, once everything is completed, have a professional report under my belt. I will not be intimidated by report writing once I am in the professional realm. I can show future employers, colleagues and, most importantly, myself that I CAN do this. The only real issue I have about this topic is that I am not able to take part in another one.

Fieldwork: keeping it real

By Tegan Burton, Grad Dip in Archaeology

As the Directed Study assessment due date draws ever nearer I return again and again to numerous journal papers, book chapters and web sites. Such is the nature of a literature review project. But it is fieldwork that truly keeps me alive.

No matter where, no matter when, no matter what the activity, no matter what the weather, fieldwork is always one of my favourite things. But the most inspirational fieldwork of all is Indigenous archaeology or cultural heritage management alongside Indigenous youth.

Since 2010 I’ve been in the fortunate position of coordinating what has evolved in to a ‘Connecting to Culture’ project in northern Sydney, engaging urban Indigenous youth in Aboriginal site recording and management within National Parks. Each year has been a little different, but a persistent gap has been the involvement of women. Well, no longer, with the first tangible steps towards a young Indigenous women’s group now under way!

Our first day out together was spent visiting some Sydney rock art sites with strong connections to women. We began at the sign-posted America Bay Track engraving site where a passionate and ‘say it like it is’ Indigenous mentor introduced the idea of women’s business. We also talked about threats facing the engraving site, and whether there were simple things we could do to reduce those threats.


Young Indigenous women’s mentoring group visiting a Sydney rock engraving site

Our next stop was the Great Mackerel Rockshelter featured in Jo McDonald’s doctoral research, Dreamtime Superhighway (McDonald 2008). McDonald describes both cultural remains in a midden layer and a recent art phase as indicators of the presence of women at this site, perhaps as a semi-permanent living site for a smaller group in the last 500 years (McDonald 1992).

One the one hand I imagined looking at the art on the wall of the shelter through the eyes of an Anglo woman archaeologist. In doing so I was guided by what I could recall of Jo McDonald’s writing.

On the other hand I imagined looking at the art through the eyes of a young Indigenous woman, raised in the heart of the city and reconnecting with different elements of culture. For this perspective I was guided by the conversation of those around me.

Bringing these two perspectives together, archaeologist and Indigenous person, made real the question of Indigenous community perceptions of archaeologists, and of the discipline of archaeology overall.


Young Indigenous women’s mentoring group visiting a Sydney rock art shelter site

Our second day together came a few weeks later, returning to the America Bay Track rock engraving site. Two main threats to the site were identified during our previous visit.

1) Burnt vegetation from a wildfire a few years earlier had fallen on the rock surface, providing fuel which could damage the rock in future wildfires, and promoting the accumulation of organic material across the rock surface.

2) Poor drainage along the walking track resulting in water flows and sediment deposition on the rock surface.

A small crew with simple hand tools over a couple of hours was able to make great head way in the amelioration of both of these threats.


Clearing burnt and fallen vegetation from around a rock engraving site


The Connecting to Culture women’s mentoring group

Coming from a conservation land management background I find it hard to know where to draw the line between archaeology and cultural heritage management. Advice has been not to get too concerned, the line is often blurry.


McDonald, J. 1992 The Great Mackerel Rock Shelter excavation: Women in the archaeological record? Australian Archaeology 35:32-50

McDonald, J. 2008 Dreamtime Superhighway: Sydney Basin Rock Art and Prehistoric Information Exchange. Canberra: ANU E Press – Terra Australis 27.

Leven Lass: An Origin Story

By: Chelsea Colwell-Pasch

As I near the end of my directed study in maritime archaeology, I wanted to take the time to discuss one of the main facets of my final report: Leven Lass. I have had the opportunity thoroughly to research the background of Leven Lass, not only for my directed study, but also as part of my masters thesis. For my thesis, I am producing a multiphasic vessel biography on Leven Lass utilising Wessex Archaeology’s BULSI (Build, Use, Loss, Survival, and Investigation) system. I plan on evaluating the system for its utility in shipwreck studies and place Leven Lass in a broader context of nineteenth century seafaring in Australia.

Leven Lass was chosen as my thesis topic after the 2014 Maritime Archaeology Field School conducted at Phillip Island, Victoria this past January. The field school was centred on a wreck that was determined to be Leven Lass by a previous Flinders masters student who worked on the wreck during the 2012 Maritime Archaeology Field School (Wilson 2012). While the focus of that thesis was more on maritime cultural landscapes, my thesis is looking at the vessel’s life cycle or career, from design inception to shipwreck investigation, and its broader implications for shipwreck studies, significance assessments and post-colonial Australian seafaring.

Leven Lass was built in Dumbarton, Scotland, at Denny’s Shipyard (see Figure 1 below), yard number two, in 1839 (The Clyde Built Ships 2014). Leven Lass was sold in Glasgow, Scotland, on 16 September 1852 by Paton and Grant and sailed from Scotland to Australia (Melbourne) on 1 October 1852 by Captain Sholto Gardener Jamieson (1818-1882), arriving in 1853 (Glasgow Herald 17 September 1852:8; Lythgoe 2014; Wilson 2012). The brig Leven Lass spent time as a post carrier between Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart and Sydney and was considered “a remarkably fast sailer” (Glasgow Herald 17 September 1852:8). A brig was a two-masted sailing ship with square rigging on both masts and was commonly used as couriers on coastal routes (Encyclopaedia Britannica Online 2014). 



Figure 1. A model rendition of Denny’s shipyard in 1908 at Dumbarton, Scotland (Royal Museums Greenwich 2014).

Leven Lass is going to be thoroughly researched by the end of 2014 to say the least. The field report being constructed for Heritage Victoria during this directed study is not going to be as detailed as my proposed thesis but more of a synopsis of field work conducted and a discussion of the results and interpretation of the data collected during both the 2012 and 2014 field schools.


Encyclopaedia Britannica Online 2014 “Brig”. Retrieved 3 June 2014 from: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/79477/brig.

Glasgow Herald 1852 “At Glasgow – For Melbourne, Port-Phillip”. 17 September: 8.

Lythgoe, Darrin 2014 Shetland Family History. Retrieved 23 May 2014 from: http://www.bayanne.info/Shetland/getperson.php? personID=I11228&tree=ID1.

Royal Museums Greenwich 2014 Denny’s Shipyard. Retrieved 23 May 2014 from: http://prints.rmg.co.uk/art/510730/Topographic_model_Dennys_shipyard_Dumbarton.

The Clyde Built Ships 2014 Leven Lass. Electronic document. Retrieved 23 May 2014 from: http://www.clydeships.co.uk/view.php?ref=14432,

Wilson, Dennis D. 2012 The Investigation of Unidentified Wreck 784, Phillip Island, Victoria: Applying Cultural Landscape Theory and Hierarchy of Time to the Assessment of Shipwreck Significance. Unpublished Masters thesis, DEPT Flinders University, Adelaide.