Tag Archives: News

National Archaeology Week 2014: Events in South Australia

National Archaeology Week 2014 is creeping up fast! Starting next Sunday, the 18th of May, NAW 2014 in South Australia is packed with a variety of public engagement initiatives. Many thanks to City of Tea Tree Gully Library, Old Highercombe Hotel Museum, Tea Tree Gully and Districts Historical Society, Flinders University Archaeology Department, the Flinders Archaeological Society, the South Australian Museum, and the South Australian Archaeology Society for organising this year’s events!

Please click this link to download the NAW 2014 SA flyer for more information: NAW 2014 SA Events.

For more information on NAW, please see the NAW Facebook page, Twitter account (@archaeologyweek), or contact Jordan Ralph, SA Coordinator of National Archaeology Week.

In South Australia, National Archaeology Week is incorporated into About Time, SA’s History Festival. For more on About Time and the many events on offer, please see their informative website or pick up a program from your local library.

NAW_General_Poster

Gunbalanya Repatriation – Stealing is No Bloody Good

This post discusses part of the Barunga, NT Rock Art Field School, with a focus on one of the more significant social and political events that occurred in 2011. I was a volunteer demonstrator on this field school because it was taking place in the area that I am conducting my research and I was due to begin my data collection. The participants of the field school were due to depart Darwin on Tuesday 19th July 2011, for Barunga but like all fieldwork, this changed…

Sally May (ANU) phoned Claire Smith on the Sunday before our departure to say the human remains that had recently been repatriated by the Smithsonian Institute (USA) as well as some Australian museums were being reburied in a ceremony at the community from which they were stolen. The largest collection of remains was taken from the Gunbalanya (Oenpelli) region of Arnhem Land as part of the Northern Australian Expedition led by Charles Mountford. Since then, the remains have resided at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. Other remains from this area that have resided in Australian museums, such as the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, had also been returned.

Our detour from Darwin - Gunbalanya - Barunga

Orchestrating the return of these remains was a long process involving many consultations between the Gunbalanya community and the museums. Ultimately, the hard work of Traditional Owners and community members paid off and the remains were returned to country.

The reburial ceremony was due to take place mid-afternoon on Tuesday and we decided that this was an event not to be missed; unfortunately, repatriation of human and cultural remains does not happen very often. In order to be on time to the cermony we had to leave Monday, which posed a problem, as some people were not arriving in Darwin until 2am Tuesday!

Flinders rock art field school crew

I left Darwin on Monday morning (with fellow students, Bianca, Nessa and Yolanda), following Sally and Ele in our rental four-wheel-drives. We arrived at Gunbalanya at about four in the afternoon; the rest of the Flinders cohort was to follow as they flew into Darwin. The second convoy (Mick, Ebbsy, Beckie, Jarrad and Tegan) arrived at about eleven pm. We were sharing a run-down, asbestos-riddled house of the like that are all too common in Aboriginal communities. The final convoy (Claire, Jacko, Michael, Zidian, Andrew, Britt, Lauren, Tom, Antoinette and Rebecca) arrived at about six am Tuesday morning.

While those that had little to no sleep slept, the rest of us helped organise the post-ceremony celebrations. The Art Centre capitalised on the large number of willing volunteers, and roped a few of the Flinders crew into helping with stock-take. What a great introduction to the necessity of flexibility on fieldwork!

The Flinders staff and students played a proactive role in the organisation and running of the events of the day; Mick, Michael and I acted as photographers for the community and visually documented the procession and ceremony. The rest of the group acted as de facto caterers for the community at the celebratory BBQ.

Cooking buffalo steaks for the celebrations

While this is a positive event, the remains should never have been stolen, especially under the guise of ‘research’. I use the word ‘stolen’ and acknowledge that some may disagree with this, however, I am not a fan of beating around the bush; this is what happened, it is the way the community feels and it is the way I feel. As Traditional Owner of the region, Jacob, says in the ABC footage, “stealing is no bloody good”. It is very important to acknowledge the wrongdoings of past researchers, however righteous they believed their actions to be, so that we can continue to learn and improve our approaches to culturally sensitive materials and issues. It is an indication of the strength of the current Australian archaeological and anthropological disciplines that most contemporary research is carried out professionally and ethically.

I will not describe the official events of the day because it is something that is better seen than read.

Instead, visit these links to the ABC news reports:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-25/celebrated-homecoming/2809308

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-20/20110720bones/2802414

Official procession to the burial grounds

There is no doubt this is one of the more important social and political events that occurred in 2011; it deserved much more media coverage than it received.

Jordan Ralph

This post originally featured  on my personal blog @ jordsralph.com

All views are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organisations, institutions or individuals mentioned within.

Last attempt to save the Glenelg Cinema

by Natalie Bittner.

We offer you the public of South Australia a centre of entertainment unique in this state. Every luxury, every thought, every care that 27 years of experience dictates, that modern science knows, is here for your comfort, your convenience, your service. We present the showplace of Australia, the Ozone Theatre Glenelg

(From the program distributed at the Gala opening night of the Ozone Theatre, Glenelg November 5th 1937)

Glenelg Cinema. Corner Jetty Road and Rose Street. Photo: Natalie Bittner. 26/05/2011

In the next few weeks, the fate of the Glenelg Cinema complex will be decided. The cinema has been closed since the end of January 2009 with no development on the site and a drop in visitor numbers to the Eastern end of the Jetty Road precinct noticed by nearby traders. In the week following its closure, the Wallis cinema company put up most of the interior fixtures for sale, including the seats and doors.

Having been designed by architect Kenneth Milne in 1936, the Glenelg Ozone Theatre (as it was then known) consisted of a single cinema screen, and had twin marble grand staircases and tartan carpeting throughout. Known for his impeccable detailing, the façade of the building includes stone from Basket Range in the Adelaide Hills, horizontal fins and the current vertical signage is the same element used in the original construction. Advertising material from 1938 says that the Ozone Theatre had air-conditioning throughout, a ladies smoking lounge, and a baby-friendly viewing area where mothers with screaming children ‘will not be embarrassed’ (The Advertiser Saturday October 9, 1937). On the 5th of November 1937 Glenelg Ozone Theatre’s gala opening night consisted of a technicolour screening of A Star is Born with shorts including How to Vote. (The Mail Saturday November 6th, 1937).

Continue reading

Blog progress

This is a new site that replaces the former blog of the Flinders University Department of Archaeology. We’ve imported all of the old content and are in the process of checking for errors and building the new site. There are many things to fix….but we are working on it!

We hope to have a formal launch within a few weeks.

Archaeology staff voted in top ten at Flinders in nation-wide poll

It was no surprise to Flinders students to find that two staff members in the Department of Archaeology graduate programs were in the top ten at Flinders in the “Lecturer of the Year” awards. Dr Alice Gorman was ranked first at Flinders, with Associate Professor Heather Burke at eighth position across the entire university.

For the last four years, UniJobs in collaboration with Campus Daily have conducted the poll to find Australia’s best lecturers, as voted by students. This year was the biggest yet, with more than 72 000 votes cast.

“It’s so nice to feel that our students appreciate what we do” said Dr Gorman. “I would like to thank everyone who voted for us – it is a real honour”.

Both Dr Gorman and Dr Burke, as well as Professor Claire Smith, were in the top 50 in the 2007 Lecturer of the Year awards.

“I think this says a lot about the effectiveness of the Graduate Programs in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management – we must be doing something right!” Dr Gorman commented.

Graduate students at the awards ceremony, Friday 27th February


Amirul Affifudin, runner-up for the Australian Cultural Heritage Management Graduate Prize, receives his award from Dave Mott, Director of ACHM.


Michael Field looks slightly surprised as he receives the Excellence in Field Practice Prize from Dr Lynley Wallis.


Rui Laranjeira accepting the Graduate Program Staff Encouragement Prize from the winged Dr Alice Gorman


Kylie Lower, runner-up for the Graduate Student Archaeology Prize, beams as she shakes Dr Heather Burke’s hand.


But wait, there’s more! Clare von Maltzahn receives the Graduate Student Archaeology Prize from Dr Heather Burke.

And finally – Jenna Randell, the recipient of the ACHM Graduate Student Cultural Heritage Management Prize, makes Dave Mott blush with pride.

Photographs courtesy of Debra Robertson and James Bateman

Graduate students receive recognition for their outstanding work

On Friday the 27th of February, a number of Flinders University students in the Graduate Programmes in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management received awards for their achievements. The ceremony was attended by staff, students, family, friends, the Executive Dean of Education, Theology, Humanities and Law Professor Faith Trent AM, the Dean of the School of Humanities Professor Graham Tulloch, and a number of our Industry Partners (Collections Council of Australia, Comber Consultants, Australian Cultural Heritage Management, the Cultural Heritage Branch of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation). The Flinders University Archaeology Society put on an excellent BBQ, ably assisted by Academic Administrator Kitty Sutcliffe, and a good time was had by all!

Award winners were:
Kellie Clayton – The Ecophyte Technologies Archaeological Geophysics Prize
Amirul Affifudin – Runner up, Australian Cultural Heritage Management Graduate Prize
Emily Bower – Runner up, Australian Cultural Heritage Management Graduate Prize
Michael Field – Excellence in Field Practice Prize
Rui Laranjeira – Graduate Program Staff Encouragement Prize
Clare von Maltzahn – Graduate Student Archaeology Prize
Kylie Lower – Runner up, Graduate Student Archaeology Prize
Jenna Randell – The ACHM Graduate Student Cultural Heritage Management Prize

The Department would like thank Australian Cultural Heritage Management and Ecophyte Technologies for their generous sponsorship of graduate prizes.

Stay tuned for photographs of the event.