From the AACAI President
State Chapter AGMs 2017
AACAI Student Fund Recipient of 2015 – Rodina Goranitis
New members at AACAI
From the AACAI President – Andrew Costello
President, Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc
AACAI Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2017
Wednesday 2 December 2014, 6.00–7.30pm, AAA Conference, Ball Room 1: Pullman Melbourne on the Park, 192 Wellington Parade, Melbourne
1. Presidents Welcome
The meeting was opened at 6.12 pm and President Diana Neuweger welcomed all members to the AGM.
2. Present and Apologies
Apologies: Jim Rhoads, Alice Gorman, Jodie Mitchell, Shaun Canning, Jim Wheeler and Petra Schell In attendance: Diana Neuweger (Chair), Matthew Barber, Jo Thompson, Lyndon Patterson, Andrew Costello, Harry Webber, Colin Pardoe, Caroline Bird, Lynley Wallis, Annie Ross, Michael Strong, Paul Greenfield, Nigel Bruer, Michelle Richards, William Truscott, Kasey Robb, JJ McDermott, Jordan Ralph, Richard Fullagar, Jo McDonald, Emma Beckett, Peter Veth, Martin Lawlor, Sean Ulm, Joe Dortch, Fiona Hook
3. Minutes from the Previous AGM
The minutes from the 2016 AGM has been pre-circulated to the membership via email and thus were not read. It was moved from the floor by Fiona Hook that they be accepted as circulated, seconded by Colin Pardoe. A vote was taken and all were in favour; as such, the motion was passed.
4. NEC Reports
- Presidents Report
- Secretary’s Report
- Secretariats Report
- Treasurers Report
- Returning Officers Report
The reports had been pre-circulated via email to the membership and thus were not read. No questions were raised regarding any of the content in them. It was moved by the Chair (DN) to accept the reports as circulated. A vote was taken and all were in favour; as such, the motion was passed.
It was then moved by Lynley Wallis that special thanks be granted to Diana Neuweger for taking on the role of Treasurer while the position was vacant, seconded by Colin Pardoe. A vote was taken and all were in favour; as such, the motion was passed.
5. State Chapter Reports
- New South Wales Chapter State Report
- West Australian Chapter State Report
The above two reports were pre-circulated via email to the membership and thus were not read. No questions were raised regarding any of the content in them. It was moved by the Chair (DN) to accept the reports as circulated. A vote was taken and all were in favour; as such, the motion was passed.
- South Australian Chapter State Report
Jordan Ralph reported that the SA Chapter had met once during 2017, but were unable to hold an AGM. As such, no annual report was provided by the Chapter. The issue of closing the chapter was again discussed. It was agreed that the Chair (DN) would write to the SA Chapter in the New Year to see if they can rectify the situation.
- Victorian Chapter State Report
Kasey Robb reported that the Victorian Chapter had met every six weeks throughout 2017, and they did hold an AGM. The minutes of the AGM are not yet available, but will be circulated to the membership in the New Year.
6. Election of National Executive Committee
We thank the outgoing NEC for their work over the past two years.
There were two nominations for the position of President: Martin Lawlor and Andrew Costello. Each spoke briefly about their vision for the Association, and then left the room while a vote was held. The outcome of the vote was a majority in favour of Andrew Costello, who was declared the incoming President. There were no multiple nominations for any of the remaining NEC positions so the new NEC for 2018/ 2019 is:
President: Andrew Costello
Vice President: Diana Neuweger Secretary: Stephen Muller Treasurer: vacant
Returning Officer: Matthew Barber
Membership Committee Secretary: Lynley Wallis
State Chapter Delegates:
New South Wales: Diana Cowie (alternative Lyndon Patterson) Victoria: to be advised
Western Australia: Emma Beckett (alternative JJ McDermott)
South Australia: Jordan Ralph (alternative to be advised if Chapter continues)
All membership Committee members renominated with the exception of Neale Draper, who we thank for his services. The newest member of the Membership Committee is Lyndon Patterson who we welcome into the committee to join Lynley Wallis, David Nutley, Andrea Murphy, Allan Lance and Paul Greenfield.
7. Voting on Membership Fee increase
It had been proposed as part of the Treasurers’ report presented by Diana Neuweger that the Association consider an increase in fees to combat decreasing membership numbers and increasing costs seen through 2017. This matter was opened for discussion. Lynley Wallis noted
that some of the increased costs associated with additional payments to Cindy Shadiack for taking on the duties associated with the role of Membership Secretary through 2017 would decline in 2018 since that position was now filled. It was also noted that with the backlog of membership applications cleared there would again be a relatively rapid assessment of applications, which would help encourage new members to sign up. Andrew Costello requested that a membership drive be held in 2018 in combination with offering more professional development workshops and investigation of providing further support for members, and that the issue of a potential membership fee increase be investigated at the next AGM. Jo McDonald suggested that the Association consider introduction of a new membership category of ‘Student Member’ to complement supporting the National Archaeology Student Conference each year and discussion followed about what this might entail.
A vote was subsequently held on the motion to increase the membership fees as set out in the pre-circulated AGM Agenda. Three were in favour, and 21 against, and therefore the motion was rejected, though, as per the discussion, the membership had indicated they were willing to reconsider the situation at the 2018 AGM.
Jo McDonald formally moved from the floor that ‘the NEC investigate the introduction of a new student membership committee’, second by Annie Ross. A vote was taken and all were in favour; as such, the motion was passed.
8. Other Business
A query was raised from the floor about whether they could nominate a person for the role of NSW Chapter President who was not yet a member. As this was not in keeping with the Constitution it was advised that the position should remain vacant and should the person subsequently be granted Full Membership, they could then be co-opted into the position until the next State AGM.
Caroline Bird apologized for the absence of a Journal Editors Report, but advised that they had published one article in 2017 and had another that they hoped would be out before 31 December 2017. They are also planning to revamp the journal landing page on the AACAI website, though no further details about this were as yet available.
Harry Webber also noted that the first two volumes of the journal when it was titled Archaeological Heritage were still not available on the AACAI website (only their covers were) and requested that this be addressed.
9. Close of Meeting
The meeting was closed at 7.02 pm.
AACAI (WA CHAPTER) ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING MINUTES
Thursday 9 November 2017, Sail and Anchor pub, Fremantle.
Phil Czerwinski, Jim Rhodes, Caroline Bird, Jo Thomson, JJ McDermott, Emma Beckett, Joe Dortch, Jade Pervan, Peter Veth, Jo McDonald, Aidan Ash, Gavin Jackson, Di Neuweger
The meeting opened at 6.45 pm.
1. Chairperson’s report
2017 was a year where cyclic highs and lows of activity was the norm. Highlights include our inaugural Quiz Night in association with UWA, and the release of our Position Statement, which provides some guiding principles about where we want to get to as an organisation. Coupled with this release, we undertook an information drive to stakeholder organisations, and met with MPs, senior government officials at DAA, and AMEC. AACAI WA, in association with BHP, also ran a stone tool workshop for Aboriginal people in the Pilbara, and our members continue to be involved in surveys and other fieldwork initiatives. We are still looking for more members to become actively involved in AACAI WA, and look forward to a busy 2018.
2. Treasurer’s report
I present the accounts of the WA Chapter of the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Incorporated for the calendar year 2017.
AACAI WA has been more financially active this year than previous years, due mainly to the AACAI WA Quiz Night. Total income for this year was $1,718.28, resulting mainly from Quiz Night ticket sales and the generous donations from consulting companies including Extent Heritage, Heritage WA, Gavin Jackson CRM and Archae-Aus Pty Ltd as well as several other companies and individuals that donated prizes. Our expenditure for this year was $1,731.51, again mainly relating to Quiz Night expenses. In summary we made a loss of $13.23 on the Quiz Night, and therefore total proceeds for the year were –
$13.23. The closing balance as of 7 November 2017 is $1,146.50. A detailed summary of income and expenditure for the year is included in the table below.
|Bank balance as brought forward (as at 01 January 2017)||$1,159.73|
|Gavin Jackson CRM||$100.00||$1,459.73|
|Archae-Aus Pty Ltd||$100.00||$1,559.73|
|Archae-Aus Pty Ltd||$180.00||$2,878.01|
|John Lewis Live||$300.00||$2,578.01|
|Archae-aus Pty Ltd||$180.00||$1,146.50|
|Total proceeds for 2017||$-13.23|
Jo-Anne Thomson Treasurer
AACAI WA Chapter 7 November 2017
3. Secretary’s report
There was little correspondence to report. The NEC called for state reports, which the chairperson responded to.
AACAI WA held meetings on 1 March and 27 June 2017. These meetings were well attended. AACAI WA also organised the quiz night with ArchSoc WA. Thanks to efforts of Jo and Fiona, AACAI WA was able to meet with representatives of the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and discuss heritage policy and future directions.
After two years as secretary for AACAI WA I am stepping down due to multiple professional commitments making it hard to give this role the attention it deserves. AACAI WA is getting busier and more noticed – there are real opportunities here to strengthen the position and role of archaeology in WA heritage. I wish the best of luck to my successor.
4. Election of officers
All WA Chapter positions (Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, State Delegate and Alternate State Delegate) were put up for re-election.
All incumbents were returned in their current positions, except for Secretary and Alternate State Delegate. JJ McDermott was voted in as Secretary. Alternate State Delegate was unfilled (Di offered but cannot serve in this role as a member of the NEC). Congratulations were offered to JJ and Joe was thanked for his service.
The officers for 2018 are:
- Chairperson – Phil Czerwinski
- Treasurer – Jo Thomson
- Secretary – JJ McDermott
- State Delegate – Emma Beckett
- Alternate State Delegate – Di Neuweger
Jo Thomson suggested a Public Officer is needed to help organise events, run social media and other public relations. It was agreed that a volunteer should be sought from the membership.
An Alternate State Delegate is required: this role is only to attend NEC meeting when the State Delegate is unavailable.
Any AACAI WA members interested in helping with public relations or acting as Alternate State Delegate for AACAI WA should approach the WA committee.
5. Aboriginal Heritage
As well as the positive meeting at the Aboriginal Affairs Minister’s office on 23 August (see notes previously circulated after that meeting and with the AGM agenda), members have had various contacts with staff from the new Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage:
- Peter Veth and Jo McDonald reported another positive discussion in October with Graham Gammy (CEO, Heritage) and Cesar Rodriguez (Heritage). They noted the past sidelining of peak bodies (AAA, AACAI), and encouraged the department to engage with consultants. This was agreed by DPLH
- Phil Czerwinski reported a DPLH presentation to the mining industry in which the Director General (Gail McGowan) appeared to be still somewhat unfamiliar with heritage
- The department has called for comment on a draft strategy for the Burrup. A Burrup advisory group is recommended: Jo suggested this group needs to have more strength. Comments are due on 1 December – 2 days after a Senate inquiry on the Burrup is
A large and diverse meeting in August (involving AAA, Australia ICOMOS, AAS and AACAI WA) was meant to help develop heritage policy, but this initiative has somewhat fallen apart partly because AAS has pulled out due to concerns about lack of Aboriginal representation and partly because some participants are not very familiar with WA heritage issues. The meeting agreed that AACAI WA should take the lead on archaeological policy as it is the most familiar and qualified to do so. AACAI WA already has developed principles – see our position statement. These can be improved and communicated better in 2018. It was acknowledged the new government and Aboriginal Affairs Minister should be much more receptive to our suggestions than the previous office holders.
Peter Veth noted that the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commissions have Aboriginal policies and advisory boards – these may be useful starting points for reaching out to Aboriginal representatives. International and national guidelines should also help form policy.
- AACAI WA (Committee) should contact DPLH (as has been planned) and secure a meeting to brief executive and senior staff there on what we offer and how we can help achieve better heritage outcomes through better regulations or
- Call on DPLH and the Ministers office to include AACAI WA in consultations on any new Aboriginal heritage amendment bill or change to the
- Call for an extension on comments on the Burrup plan so that the findings of the Senate inquiry can be considered
- Identify Aboriginal representative bodies and advisory boards that AACAI WA might work with on heritage
6. European heritage
There were no updates in this area.
Some members noted that bullying by a certain individual had become a problem on some NSW projects and could be a general concern elsewhere. It is uncertain if WA members experience much unprofessional behaviour although it was agreed that most of us probably have at one time or another. Strategies to help could include training and links to OH&S policy and assistance (e.g. Worksafe).
- Investigate level of interest in training for AACAI members, and appropriate response, e.g. training, advice or guidelines on AACAI website,
8. Strategic plan
Strategic issues were already discussed under item 5. Action: Progress development in first meeting of 2018.
9. National Executive Committee
The NEC is interested in forming a heritage MOU (with several peak bodies in heritage) to delineate areas of interest and avoid duplication of effort.
- Interested people should catch up at AAA 2017 with NEC members and Sharon Sullivan, who is in contact with ICOMOS and other peak
10. AACAI AGM – at the Australian Archaeological Association Conference
The national AGM will be on the evening of Wednesday December 6th at the AAA conference, Pullman Melbourne on the Park, 192 Wellington Parade, Melbourne. State reports will be tabled.
Nominations are being sought for National Executive Committee (NEC) Treasurer, Returning Officer and a Membership Committee member.
- Anyone interested in the above roles should contact Di
11. Any other business
Last week The West Australian published an article about ‘Joan Howard, tomb raider’ in which various illegal and unethical activities were promoted. A letter from AAA to the media has been shared on social media and members should feel free to use it if they wish to comment.
Members agreed that AACAI WA should meet and communicate more often in 2018.
- To keep information flowing better between members, AAACAI WA should aim to have more meetings in 2018, including more committee meetings, and more social
There being no other business the meeting closed at 8.30 pm.
AACAI NSW/ACT 2017 Annual General Meeting
An annual general meeting of the NSW/ACT State Chapter of AACAI was scheduled for Thursday 26 October 2017, at The Flynn (2A Bligh Street, Sydney CBD, NSW) at 6pm. Four members were present, not constituting quorum.
The annual general meeting was rescheduled and held on Monday 13 November 2017 at The Flynn (2A Blight Street, Sydney).
The meeting commenced at 6:21pm
Present: Michael Lever, Vanessa Edmonds, Michelle Richards, Diana Cowie, Megan Gigacz and Andrew Costello. Lyndon Patterson was available (but not dialed in) by phone.
Absent: Laura Dafter, Jillian Comber, David Nutley and Oliver Brown.
1. Minutes of the 2016 Annual General Meeting
The minutes of the 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM) were familiar to those in attendance.
Resolution: The Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc NSW/ACT State Executive Committee and members in attendance accept the minutes of the 2016 Annual General Meeting as a true and accurate record of that meeting.
Moved by: Andrew Costello
Seconded by: Megan Gigacz
2. Matters arising from the minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting
Brief discussion was had on the business raised at the 2016 AGM, noting that most matters had been addressed or remain in-train since the 2016 AGM.
3. Reports from the State Chapter Executive
- Chairperson’s Report
Andrew Costello, AACAI NSW/ACT State Chapter Chair, presented noting:
- It has been a great year with the running of the Sydney Historical Archaeology Practitioner’s Workshop (SHAP) and the wine cheese chats being very successful.
- He hopes that the new committee will be able to maintain these
- Regarding the legal matter on bullying and harassment of consultants,
- The Chair has a log of the number of reports and incidents of individuals harassing consultants.
- Andrew has prepared a report that is to be tabled at the next National Executive Committee meeting to gain their written and financial support for legal advice on this matter. A quote for legal services has been obtained from HWL Ebsworth for $7,650.00.
- There is an expectation that as the representative body for consultants we take responsibility in issues affecting our
- On a positive note, the Chair has been informed by members and prospective members that such a direction from AACAI would result in an influx of new financial member in 2017-2018.
Resolution: The Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc NSW/ACT State Executive Committee note and accept the Chair’s report for 2017.
Moved by: Michelle Richards
Seconded by: Megan Gigacz
2. Secretary’s Report
Diana Cowie, AACAI NSW/ACT State Chapter Secretary:
- Referred to the prepared Secretary’s report tabled at the meeting (Attachment A).
The members discussed the opportunity to work on podcasting wine cheese chat evenings and/or providing skype-in options, for example from the office of the outgoing Chair.
Resolution: The Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc NSW/ACT State Executive Committee note and accept the Secretary’s report for 2017.
Moved by: Michelle Richards
Seconded by: Megan Gigacz
3. Treasurer’s Report
Ms Michelle Richards, AACAI NSW/ACT State Chapter Treasurer:
- Referred to the prepared Treasurer’s report tabled at the meeting (Attachment B).
- The NSW/ACT State Chapter is in a good financial position:
- Current total assets as at 24 October 2017 (not 24/10/2014 as incorrectly printed in the tabled report) is $9,238.08.
- The SHAP workshop was achieved on a cost recovery
- AACAI NSW/ACT State Chapter spent modest funds providing the wine cheese chat nights this year.
Resolution: The Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc NSW/ACT State Executive Committee note and accept the Treasurer’s report for 2017.
Moved by: Diana Cowie
Seconded by: Vanessa Edmonds
The members discussed the importance of the bullying and harassment issues and the role AACAI has in representing its members and promoting a safe and collaborative environment for our members and fellow consultants, being the peak body for consultant archaeologists in the nation. Given the importance of this issue and the role of AACAI, the committee considers the matter urgent and proposed a motion:
Resolution: The NSW/ACT State Chapter Executive Committee commits a portion of its existing funds to a maximum of $3,000, towards the legal fee as quoted by HWL Ebsworth for legal research and advice. The additional funds required for the work will be sought from the National Executive Committee and concerned consulting firms. It is hoped by collaborating on this issue we will achieve an important and robust outcome.
Moved by: Andrew Costello
Seconded by: Diana Cowie
4. Election of New Office Bearers
All terms of all current office bearers of the AACAI NSW/ACT State Chapter Executive Committee expire at the end of 2018.
The NSW/ACT State Chapter Office Bearers and Committee Members in 2017 were:
|Chairperson||Andrew Costello||Committee Member||Annie Bickford|
|Vice-Chairperson||Lyndon Patterson||Committee Member||Jenna Weston|
|Secretary||Diana Cowie||Committee Member||Megan Gigacz|
|State Delegate||Diana Cowie|
AACAI NSW/ACT members were nominated and elected for Office Bearer and Committee Member positions as follows:
Member nominated as Vice-Chairperson – Andrew Costello Nominated by: Vanessa Edmonds
Seconded by: Diana Cowie
Member nominated as Secretary – Megan Gigacz Nominated by: Diana Cowie
Seconded by: Vanessa Edmonds
Member nominated as Treasurer – Diana Cowie Nominated by: Andrew Costello
Seconded by: Megan Gigacz
Member nominated as State Delegate – Vanessa Edmonds Nominated by: Diana Cowie
Seconded by: Megan Gigacz
Member nominated as Alternate State Delegate – this will be filled when required on a rotating basis between members of the NSW/ACT State chapter committee.
Member nominated as Committee Member – Michael Lever Nominated by: Vanessa Edmonds
Seconded by: Diana Cowie
Of the other 2017 office bearers and committee members Lyndon Patterson will remain as a member of the AACAI NSW/ACT State Chapter Executive Committee until such time that he advises he will be permanently based in Victoria or resigns from the committee.
As there has been no member nominated or elected for President/ Chair, the NSW/ACT State Chapter discussed recruitment and ways to engage and encourage members to become more involved. The NSW/ACT State Chapter will run as best it can without a President until one is nominated. Members are encouraged to nominate either themselves or another member for the position. The committee is very supportive and operates as a team in a collaborative manner.
5. National Executive Committee Report
The NSW/ACT State Delegate, Diana Cowie, was unable to attend the last scheduled National Executive Committee because of confusion on start time in the meeting invitations sent by the National Executive Committee due to daylight savings. It is unclear if a meeting was or was not held. Therefore, the last update is as per the previous NSW/ACT State Chapter Executive meeting.
6. Issues/ feedback from NSW/ACT members to be raised at National Annual General Meeting
Andrew Costello and Michelle Richards (AACAI NSW/ACT Executive Committee members) informed the meetings they would be in attendance at the National Annual General Meeting.
Matters to be raised include:
- The opportunity to bring the National Executive Committee back to a base in Eastern
- Encouraging more involvement by the National Executive Committee with the election of a new National
- Funding of the legal advice NSW/ACT Executive Committee is seeking to secure regarding bullying and harassment (see discussion earlier).
- The NSW/ACT and other State Chapter committees find it hard to achieve quorum at meetings. This means that there are long delays in getting things done and means that less can be achieved in a year than might otherwise be actioned due to the inability to vote on
The NSW/ACT Chapter requests that the National Executive Committee investigates and considers options for making quorum more attainable including for example:
- Rather than it being about numbers it is more about notice, so that as long as the requisite written notice is provided to all State members of a meeting, for example 2 weeks/ 14 days before the meeting, then whatever numbers show up on the day is the quorum.
This would be much easier to achieve. However, to still ensure meetings are representative, the following could also be considered:
- The quorum could be reduced to
- The quorum could be a portion of committee members and state members, for example at least 1 committee member and 2 either committee members and/or state
- Alternatively, the combination of the above notice requirements and a quorum number of 2 or
- Clarification of the membership rules:
- The by-laws and membership criteria are not clear about what constitutes ‘full time’ and also whether public servants, academics and others not currently working as ‘consultant archaeologists’ can retain full membership.
- This has caused some debate about membership eligibility amongst the NSW/ACT committee and
- The NSW/ACT State Chapter Executive Committee notes that any verbal advice, assumptions or ‘unwritten rules’ in these matters are not helpful or binding as they are not within the association’s by-laws and membership criteria, thus if clarifications or additional criteria are to be proposed, they must be voted into the by-laws.
- In considering this, the NSW/ACT State Chapter notes that this may affect some of our most active members delivering services on behalf of the organisation to members, so careful consideration for the viability of the State Chapter and the association as a whole is
Resolution: The NSW/ACT State Chapter Executive Committee will raise via the committee members attending, the aforementioned issues at the National Executive Committee Annual General Meeting.
Moved by: Diana Cowie
Seconded by: Michelle Richards
7. Business Brainstorm for 2018
The following ideas were raised for the Ideas Board during the meeting:
- Advertising the wine cheese chats as professional development and therefore tax deductible to encourage more
- Prioritising and investing in delivering a photogrammetry workshop in 2018 due to its rising usage in consulting archaeology and the lack of clear guidance around it from a permits and compliance point of view. The second priority workshop would be on
- Investigating providing AACAI members with membership cards that provide member benefits. This would involve:
- Preparing a report for the National Executive Committee to enquire if they have any
- Negotiating discounts with relevant other organisations for example museums, field gear supply shops,
- Getting the cards printed for all members and holding an event/ meeting where they can be handed out in person as a way of touching base with members, rather than expending the postage
8. Other Business
- In lieu of an AACAI NSW/ACT Christmas Drinks event,
- AACAI NSW/ACT members are encouraged to attend the 12th Annual Archaeologists Picnic arranged by Fenella Atkinson in Sydney: 1pm Sunday 17 December 2017 at Enmore Park, bounded by Enmore & Victoria Rds & Llewellyn & Black Sts,
- AACAI NSW/ACT Executive Committee will arrange a new year function with a tentative date of Friday 2 February 2018. The purpose will be to bring archaeologists together, celebrate the commencement of 2018, welcome new members and congratulate life members. Members, new members, colleagues and friends are
The meeting closed at: 7:23pm
Attachment A – AACAI NSW/ACT 2017 Secretary’s Report
Secretary 2017: Diana Cowie Workshops and Events
In 2017 the AACAI NSW/ACT State Chapter Executive Committee undertook and delivered the following successful events:
- Sydney Historical Archaeology Practitioner’s Workshop – 19 May 2017
- This annual industry workshop held as part of National Archaeology Week has a long tradition in NSW and 2017 marks the first year AACAI NSW/ACT has hosted the
- A theme in several heritage conferences in Australia this year has been ‘interpretation’. In keeping the thread going and to offer some inspiration for papers, we used the theme ‘views and interpretations – historical archaeology in ’
- The one-day workshop brought practitioners, students and those interested in historical archaeology together to explore best practice, innovations and technology as well as learn about recent historical archaeology projects in NSW focused around the
- We had a record crowd of 94 in attendance, filling the venue to
- Feedback from workshop attendees reflected on the engaging and diverse presentations on the
- Wine Cheese Chat Night – Digital Archaeology – 9 June 2017
- Continuing from our Wine Cheese Chat Night events run in 2015 and 2016, we started the year with a bang – a long night chewing over digital archaeology and
- Our speakers were:
- Diana Cowie who introduced digital archaeology in the context of field recording and provided insights into use of the Federated Archaeological Information Management System and its
- Dr James Flexner followed with a presentation on digital archiving, repositories, data management and the pros and cons of having and maintaining digital records. James introduced members to:
- Murkurtu CMS and Murkurtu Archive, with his Southern Vanuatu Mission Archaeology Project as a project example (https://svmap.mukurtu.net/)
- Geocities; and
- Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (http://au.caa-international.org/),
- among other things.
- Wine Cheese Chat Night – Archaebotany – 21 September 2017
- AACAI NSW/ACT hosted two eminent experts, Dr Andy Fairbairn from the University of Queensland and Dr Emilie Dotte-Sarout from the Australian National
- Dr Fairbairn introduction, honestly appraised and made clear recommendations around archaeobotany sampling methods, techniques and interpretation in the Australian consulting archaeological context. Dr Fairbairn focused on the constraints and opportunities with plant seed materials.
- Dr Dotte-Sarout’s provocatively titled presentation ‘Fifty shades of black, or what can charcoal tell us?’ delved into applying anthracology in Australian archaeology, again with a focus on consulting
The Wine Cheese Chat nights have always been thought provoking, stimulated engaging conversations and debates and AACAI NSW/ACT Executive Committee members are working on further outputs from these evenings particularly in the context of the NSW Aboriginal Cultural Heritage law reform and the future operations of new legislation and regulations.
All events were held in the Big Dig Centre, The Rocks, Sydney.
Executive Committee Meetings
The NSW/ACT Executive Committee met three times during 2017:
- 31 January 2017
- 8 March 2017
- 18 July 2017
The Chair of AACAI NSW/ACT has also actively participated with representatives from ICOMOS and the Australian Archaeological Association in consultations with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage on the NSW Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Law Reform.
NSW/ACT was represented by the State Delegate or the Chair at all meetings of the National Executive Committee in 2017.
In 2017 the AACAI NSW/ACT State Chapter Executive Committee received the following correspondence for which action has been taken and/or is still underway:
- Complaints from NSW/ACT AACAI members regarding harassment and bullying in the
- Requests for distribution of event notifications and invitations from other organisations through our
The AACAI NSW/ACT State Chapter Executive Committee have corresponded with the following on behalf of members:
- The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) regarding:
- electronic only submission of Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit Applications based on the Electronic Transactions Act 2000 No 8; and
- working with OEH on the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Law
- ICOMOS Australia regarding collaborating on their young professionals mentoring
- ICOMOS Australia, Australian Archaeology Association, Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology and the NSW National Archaeology Week Committee to reduced barriers and promote collaboration by seeking and providing opportunities for these organisations in association with the Sydney Historical Archaeology Practitioner’s Workshop in
- National Executive Committee regarding:
- false claims of membership by former or expelled members of AACAI;
- complaints from NSW/ACT AACAI members regarding harassment and bullying in the workplace;
- membership processing delays; and
- lifetime memberships policy and proposed
In addition, the committee has also provided updates, invitations and information to members, affiliates and the AACAI NSW/ACT network throughout the year.
The Secretary thanks the committee, affiliates and the AACAI NSW/ACT network for its support throughout the year.
Attachment B – AACAI NSW/ACT 2017 Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer 2017: Michelle Richards
National Bank of Australia (NAB) BSB: 082-372 ACC: 02574-2537 Details of all transactions provided in Appendix A
Funds earned SHAP Workshop $6040.77 AACAI W&C Event June $50.00
Interest earned $86.28
AACAI End of year drinks 2016 $152.65
Sydney Historical Archaeology Practitioners Workshop $9840.25 AACAI W&C Event June ‘Digitial’ $271.33
AACAI W&C Event Nov ‘Archaeobotany’ $1613.61
SUM $11572.54 ANNUAL SUMMARY INCOME $6177.05 EXPENSES $11572.54
Deficit for the year $5700.79
Balance brought forward from (20/10/2016) $14938.87
CURRENT TOTAL ASSETS (24/10/2014 2017) $9238.08
AACAI Student Fund recipient of 2017 – Rodina Goranitis
Rodina Goranitis, The University of Queensland
DOING IT RIGHT: An evaluation of scientific significance assessments in New South Wales Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management
Significance assessment in Australia is critical to heritage place management as the primary way to distinguish between what archaeology to conserve, and what archaeology it is appropriate to destroy. However, consultants are often criticised by academics for failing to use rigorous scientific methods to evaluate scientific significance. Scientific (or archaeological) significance is the primary measure of value used to evaluate material sites, based primarily on criteria of rarity, representativeness, and research potential. The aim was therefore to assess how reliable the current methodologies for assessing scientific significance are, and to establish whether the current significance criteria allow consultants to make adequate assessments of identified sites. In addressing this aim, two suggestions are proposed for whether the current guideline requirements are adequate. Firstly, that the legislation and/or Aboriginal parties are requiring archaeological work that is expensive but scientifically of little value, and secondly, that consultants are under-valuing the research potential of disturbed sites.
Within this study, a meta-analysis of 25 New South Wales (NSW) Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment Reports and 9 Stone Artefact Reports from Environmental Impact Statements was conducted. State significant development (SSD) projects from NSW were chosen as the database, as these developments tend to be high profile cases, subject to rigorous scrutiny by government agencies. Consequently, they are expected to be detailed and comprehensive, and to convey enough information that independent assessments of sites are possible (Bowdler 1981:126). Focus is on the NSW system in relation to Aboriginal archaeological sites, and includes a consideration of the NSW government guidelines. These are entitled Guide to investigating, assessing and reporting on Aboriginal cultural heritage in NSW (OEH 2011) and the Code of Practice for Archaeological Investigation of Aboriginal Objects in New South Wales (DECCW 2010). These documents reflect Part 6 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. Scientific significance is assessed with acknowledgement that it is part of wider value assessments, including cultural significance. It is recognised that Indigenous Australians value their heritage differently, and while sites may not have scientific significance, they may still have cultural significance.
Results and conclusions
Despite their limitations, the current NSW legislative methodologies adequately assist consulting archaeologists in identifying sites and producing management outcomes. Predictive modelling has been shown to consistently identify areas of potential archaeological significance. Archaeological survey, although hindered by ground surface visibility, adequately enables consultants to identify sites. However, within the sample most “sites” identified by predictive modelling and archaeological survey are artefact scatters or isolated finds (total = 67.31%). These were typically assessed as having low scientific significance (open artefact scatters = 90.81%, isolated finds = 98.24%). High representativeness and low research potential, affected by level of disturbance, are the most common predictors that will lead to assessments of low significance. It is suggested that representativeness has outlived its usefulness (Brown 2008; Harrington et al. 2004:15), and that consultants are undervaluing the scientific significance of sites by failing to ask research questions of surface scatters. A landscape archaeological approach creates a framework for consultants to shape their predictive models and realise the research potential of artefact scatters.
The results further indicate that subsurface deposits are more likely to be evaluated as having high research potential, and thus higher scientific significance. Again, level of disturbance contributes to this. It is demonstrated that test excavations are being underutilised within cultural heritage management. The relationship between surface and subsurface sites is still largely unknown, but test excavations have revealed rich, highly significant archaeological deposits.
I would like to acknowledge the contribution from AACAI to this thesis, and the work of Dr Andrew Sneddon and Associate Professor Chris Clarkson.
Bowdler, S. 1981 Unconsidered trifles? Cultural resource management, Environmental Impact Statements and archaeological research in New South Wales. Australian Archaeology (12):123-133.
Brown, S. 2008 Mute or mutable? Archaeological significance, research and cultural heritage management in Australia. Australian Archaeology (67):19-30.
Harrington, J., J. McDonald and P. Veth 2004 ‘Representativeness’ in the Conservation of Aboriginal Heritage in NSW. Unpublished report to Cultural Heritage Division, Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW), Hurstville.
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