Author Archives: chimmadikemoore

My Ethnographic Experience in the South East.

Chidi Moore Mmadike


Since completing my work experience (placement or practicum) with the Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation (SA), I have had time to reflect on the learnings I have gained. My understanding of Aboriginal heritage has vastly improved and every member of the Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation heritage team contributed to my knowledge in this regard, for which I am extremely grateful.

My final trip with the team was to the south east of South Australia. It was a three day trip, from Monday 20th to Thursday 23rd of October, 2014. We stayed in Kingston SE (south east), and from there we visited other places and sites, as far as Bordertown.

Though every aspect of my placement has been a formative learning experience for me, this particular trip was unique in many ways. For example, I had already learned (from secondary sources) whilst studying at the university about how, in some places, Indigenous peoples were removed from their land and placed in reserves by the missionaries. This trip, however, has enabled me to learn more about this aspect of history within a primary context, as we visited one of the affected places. It has also increased my interest in local history and Aboriginal anthropology (and of course archaeology).

My practicum experiences have also caused me to consider the role of gender issues in the protection of Aboriginal heritage. Indeed, many of the primary Aboriginal custodians/spokespersons I have encountered on my journey have been Aboriginal women. This observation led me to explore the issue relating to the position of women in traditional society and the impacts of colonialism. In this regard I note that Poiner (1984:208-209) argued that Europeans did not understand the position of women in traditional Aboriginal society and such misunderstandings influenced the often negative ways in which gender roles were reported in colonial writings.

The greatest outcomes of the field trips I was able to participate in during my placement with the Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation team (SA) has been my increased my knowledge of  Aboriginal cultures. Further my experiences have stimulated my interest to learn more about the impacts of colonialism on Aboriginal societies.


Bronwyn, F. 2010 Re-empowering ourselves: Australian Aboriginal Women. Chicago Journals 35(3):549-550.

Poiner, G. 1984 We Are Bosses Ourselves: The Status and Role of Aboriginal Women Today. Aboriginal History 8(1):208-209.

My placement experience


My name is Chidi Moore Mmadike. Before enrolling in the Graduate Program in Archaeology and Heritage Management at Flinders I had completed an undergraduate degree in history and anthropology at the university of Adelaide. I decided to enrol in the Graduate Program because of my interest in pre-history and material culture.

As part of my Graduate studies I am undertaking a practicum or placement with the Heritage Conservation Team of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation.

Working with the Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation has been a formative learning experience for me. Indeed, whilst I have lived in Australia I had not yet seen beyond the city. As such the opportunity to travel with members of the Heritage Conservation Team to Innes Park on the Yorke Peninsula of South Australia enabled me to experience a place managed for conservation. In terms of my career, however, the opportunity allowed me to meet and learn from traditional owners of the land and their archaeological heritage, as well as meet with a group of park rangers and get an understanding of their work, particularly in bio-diversity. This experience has also broadened my understanding of conservation.

This trip and the opportunity to undertake a placement has enabled me to learn some valuable lessons. The first is that ‘archaeology is not just about material culture, it is about people’ – and as such my anthropological training can also be of use.

I would say that my placement has availed me the opportunity to practice what learned in the university and equally the opportunity to learn and practice what I have not learned in the university.

Chidi Moore Mmadike