Hi guys. My directed study on this SANTS Collection has been focused quite a lot on repatriation and what options might be possible. To look into this I’ve done a bit of research into the situation of cultural material repatriation in Australia broadly and more specifically at South Australia. This is opposed to the repatriation of human remains which seems to have considerably more literature and attention. I have found Rachel Lenehan’s 1995 thesis on this topic of cultural material repatriation to be very helpful and interesting. I have considered an updated version (taking in the last 15 years) to be a possible thesis opportunity for myself.
I have included a short history on archaeology in Australia and its connection with indigenous communities and the paradigm shift towards community participation and a respect for other people’s cultural property. This history includes issues that have been raised for and against repatriation. As for the SANTS Collection, there are a few options available.
In my background research on cultural material repatriation I have looked at certain institutions and how they have behaved over time in particular repatriation instances. In particular I have looked at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council (TALC) versus La Trobe, The Australian Museum and the South Australian Museum.
Just another quick note to tell you about the work I have been doing as part of my cultural heritage management practicum with the World Archaeological Congress (WAC). I have been working with Ashley Sands as part of the Global Libraries Program, researching the current international copyright and intellectual property (IP) laws regarding electronic materials, e.g. journal articles, ebooks etc. The Global Libraries Program hopes to use this information to develop a digital academic database, which would ensure that all Global Libraries have the same materials and resources as high income libraries, thus, levelling he playing field of knowledge across the globe.
My main research question is:
What are the current international laws regarding copyright?
The sub-questions analyse in detail what is allowed and was is prohibited by these laws in regards to uploading personal collections, uploading the work of others and whether domestic laws have an impact on such arrangements.
It has been an interesting research task and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the Global Libraries Program creates as a result.
Just a quick note to tell you about the work I have been doing as part of my cultural heritage practicum with the World Archaeological Congress (WAC). As you may remember, I have been working with Ashley Sands on the Global Libraries Program. Just to remind you of what Global Libraries Program is: The Global Libraries Program aims to develop the archaeological literary collections of low income institutions. By supporting these libraries, the program hopes to assist students and professionals of archaeology and cultural heritage management, by providing academic resources to help their study or work. There are currently 45 libraries across the globe.
My task as part of the practicum was to conduct a mailout of over one thousand books and journals to 43 countries. I did this mail out independently but surprisingly, it didn’t take that long to do. Ashley Sands provided me with a list that described which books had to be sent to each country, so from there I began organising the books. My methods were quite simple, organise the books, stuff them in an envelope, attach the neccessary documentation, seal, stamp etc. Any remaining books were sent back to Ashley Sands in Los Angeles.
Two main issues arose whilst completing this mail out. Firstly, where could I store the books and the envelopes during the prac? And how were we going to pay for postage? I stored most of the books in the Map Room and in Hum 112. I also used these spaces to organise the books and prepare the packages. The issue of postage is yet to be resolved. I was allocated a postage budget but the total cost of postage far exceeded what I was allocated. I guess I’ll have to keep to posted on what happens with that.
Hope you’re all well and good luck with exams and assignments!
by Alex van Wessem
For the second phase of my involvement as a practicum and directed studies student on the Ngaut Ngaut Interpretive Project I attended a consultation meeting with members of the Mannum Aboriginal Community Association Inc. (MACAI) together with the principal researcher and project coordinator, Dr Amy Roberts, and tourism advisor, Lyn Leader-Elliott.
All the way back in February this year, I accompanied Alice Gorman on her field work at the former Orroral Valley Tracking Station in Namadgi National Park, Canberra. Also along for the ride was Rob Koch (Tafe SA) and Ian Moffat (ANU).
Of course, we happened to make the 15 hour car trip to Canberra on one of its wettest weekends since 2002. The average rainfall for February is 55.4mm – that weekend they received 104mm. The rain did not however curb our enthusiasm, we donned our rain coats and went about recording and mapping the site using differential GPS and geophysical techniques.
The Orroral Valley Tracking Station, operational from 1965, was established as part of NASA’s Spacecraft Tracking and Date Acquisition Network (STADAN). The station closed in 1985, and today is visible only through the foundations of the buildings, a ‘footprint’ left as a reminder of the past.
Over the past few months I have been partaking in a Practicum as part of my Masters in CHM. This has involved looking into the history and use of Microlock networks, Minitrack stations and Baker Nunn cameras (all used in the tracking of satellites) at Orroral Valley and within Australia. Hopefully, this will assist Alice in her attempts to record and document the site so that an in-depth understanding of its contribution to Australia’s space history can be established.
Stay tuned for my results…
Thought I should update you on how my directed study is going so far. Well with two weeks until it’s time to hand it up, I’ve been very busy. My last blog was huge so I promise this one will be smaller.
For those who have been hanging around the labs lately, I’m sure you would have noticed me floating around. Yesterday I took all my photographs for the report, with the help of John.
Well folks this is my third blog and have only another thirty hours to go before I end my practicum at the Department of Indigenous Affairs. Recently I have been doing Program of Works, which I will be able to do for the next few days. This will involve using Arch Maps to see whether sites are in the mining tenements that are being submitted. Then drafting letters of advice to the mining proponents
The Department of Mines and Resources requires that there is DIA consent to excavate before they will deliver permission to a mining operator to operate in an area. This however can only be done after the Department of Environment delivers its approval.
I am interested in seeing how Arch Map works as it will be a tool I have yet to use. I have recently delivered my Section 18 appraisal that I worked on with Simon, I found this challenging but rewarding to see how much detail needs to be delivered to make sure Indigenous heritage has been given enough consideration across all stake holders, whether they are native title holders, males or females.
The DIA have asked me to deliver this assessment to the ACMC meeting to deliver ministerial recommendation on the site.
At the end of this practicum I will feel satisfied that I know what a Senior Heritage Officer should do and the varying conflicts of interests and time constraints that a career in the public service entertains.