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.
Our intrepid Technical Officer Louise Holt sends these pictures from the Chile Field School. She reports that the food is good, and the Chilean wine is great.
The recent wedding of our beloved maritime archaeology lecturer, Ms Jennifer McKinnon, to the elegant Jason Raupp in Louisiana. Congratulations, Jen and Jason!
Our very own Lynley Wallis received an award from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council on Monday 3rd August, for “leadership and innovation in developing an outstanding graduate training programme in archaeology and cultural heritage management to produce industry-ready graduates.
Since joining the Department of Archaeology at Flinders University in 2005, Dr Wallis has been a dedicated teacher who captures the interest and imagination of students through her enthusiasm and passion for her discipline. She has been instrumental in creating a unique training program that has proven conclusively to be the leading provider of graduate education in these fields nationally, effecting a paradigm shift in the ways archaeology is taught in Australia”.
(Quote taken from Lynley’s citation).
On Friday 8th May, two Flinders masters students, Emmily Bower and Georgina Ashley, presented talks on their 2008 Directed Studies projects to students at the University of the Third Age in Adelaide.
U3A is a voluntary organisation for people who are retired, where members share their knowledge with each other. The Adelaide programme is organised by Sue Lea.
Georgie spoke about her research into the influential – and often controversial – Kingston family, who played a large role in the development of South Australia. She completed the study for the Friends of Kingston House, the family home of the Kingstons. The audience was alternatively amused and horrified by the tales of horse-whippings, nose-twistings, duels and extramarital shenanigans that were a feature of this turbulent family.
Emily presented the results of her research into the Maesbury Cemetery, where Dr Lynley Wallis has been conducting a project in collaboration with the Norwood-Payneham-St Peters council. All the headstones were removed when the cemetery was redeveloped into a park, and with only minimal records kept, the task of reconstructing the lives of this small community is a challenging one! As well as researching three families represented in the cemetery, Emily investigated health issues leading to high infant morality rates in the 19th century.
The audience of U3Aers was very appreciative, and expressed the hope that more Flinders archaeology and CHM graduates would participate in the programme! We are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration with the U3A.
On the 26th of March, 2009, Adjunct Associate Lecturer Ian Moffat gave a seminar entitled the Geophysical Detection of Historic Graves. The seminar room was filled with forty-one (41) fellow academics and students from the Department of Archaeology.
The seminar focused on the effects of geology on current grave detecting methods such as the magnetometer and the ground penetrating radar. There are three divisions of burials or graves; the Indigenous, the Clandestine, and the Historic. Ian’s case studies were focused on the latter division which included the Selheim Cemetery (North Queensland), the Pioneer Park Cemetery (Adelaide), the Encounter Bay Cemetery, and the Meadows Cemetery (Adelaide Hills).
The Selheim Cemetery was the most successful of the four case studies with the rediscovery of all thirty previously ‘lost’ burials. Both the Pioneer Park and Meadows Cemeteries case studies produced good quality data but the amount of time used was a minor setback. Geology and its effect on burial data analysis was profound in both the Encounter Bay and Meadows Cemeteries. The heavy vegetation in Encounter Bay and the sandy conditions at Meadows Cemetery have deterred the geophysical survey process.
Some of Ian’s conclusions at the end of the seminar were:
- the magnetometer and EMI methods are greatly affected by the presence of surface metal
- decrease in line spacing of GPR data leads to substantial increase in the ability to detect burials effectively
- GPR is more effective in sandy locations than in clay (contrary to previous studies)
- the greater the number of trees on the site, the slower and less effective are the geophysical methods
Even though I do not have an archaeology background, Ian’s presentation was very organised and was not too difficult to comprehend. His research and conclusions were well-received with various questions and comments from at least eight people in the audience.
Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the first seminar of the weekly Department seminar series. The seminar titled Archaeology engaged: the Northern Territory Emergency Response was delivered by Claire Smith and was in my opinion probably one of the most personal and in that sense powerful lectures I’ve ever attended. While the lecture briefly touched on archaeology it should be said that the lecture was based more on the impact the NT National Emergency had on the Barunga Wugullar community in the Northern Territory, just one of the communities which were affected by the intervention.
The seminar addressed the different perceptions and outcomes of the intervention often negative but sometimes positive and because of Claire’s ongoing work with the community, the seminar was able to provide a more personal view of the intervention which is often so rarely discussed anymore. This seminar also demonstrated how interpersonal relationships develop in archaeology and it is often impossible to separate yourself from what may be happening.