Number 158 – Jan 2019 – ISSN 1832-1267

AGM 2017

State Chapter AGMs 2017

Etched in Bone

AACAI Student Fund Recipients of 2017 -2018

Liam Norris (2017)

The Late Holocene Occupation of Guerilla Bay: An example of a generalised economy from a littoral deposit on the NSW South Coast (Submitted for the completion of Honours at the ANU).

Helena van der Riet (2018)

Archaeological remains of the Japanese Occupation of Christmas Island during World War I

Christopher Clark (2018)

Handling the Heritage of a Non-Event: The Heritage Management of Brisbane’s WWII Air-raid Shelters

New members at AACAI







AACAI Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2018


Monday 26 November 2018, 5.00-6.30pm,

AACAI Conference, Prince Henry Centre, Little Bay, Sydney, NSW


  1. Presidents Welcome


The meeting was opened at 5.00 pm following completion of the conference papers. President Andrew Costello welcomed all members to the AGM.


  1. Present and Apologies


In attendance: Andrew Costello (Chair), Lynley Wallis, Jo McDonald, Lyndon Patterson (minutes), Jo Thompson, Oliver Brown, Vanessa Hardy, Harry Webber, Jillian Comber, Vanessa Edmonds, Matt Barber.

Apologies: Robyn Jenkins, Fiona Leslie, Michael Lever, Michelle Richards, Diana Cowie, Richard Fullager, Matthew Barber, Emma Beckett, Caroline Bird, Diana Neuweger, Jim Rhoads, Martin Lawler, Andrew Wilkinson, Jordan Ralph, Lara Tooby,


  1. Acceptance of Previous AGM Minutes

The minutes from the 2016 AGM has been pre-circulated to the membership via email and thus were not read.  The minutes were accepted by the Chair and President Andrew Costello.

  1. NEC Reports, JAACA Editor Report and State Chapter Reports


  1. Presidents Report

Read by Andrew Costello. Key points – in 2018 AACAI focussed on advocacy for consultants, a bullying and harassment survey, student membership consideration, timely processing of memberships, invoices paid on time and student awards. Thanks to Diana Neuweger (Vice-president) for being a mentor.  The treasurer role is still open. Cindy in secretariat has done a great job.  The WA chapter has been energised and is active.  SA and Qld would like to see up and running again. Encourage members to join from NT. There have been discussions about having subcommittees. There were five NEC meetings in 2018.  Looking at running a session in 2019 on bullying and harassment. AACAI was audited in 2017, records are in order.  AACAI has distributed over $53,000 to 23 students in student support fund. 2018 student support winners have been announced.  Facebook is the most popular social media format, with some interest about extending to an AACAI twitter account.  Professional development opportunities in 2019 including photogrammetry workshop. There was an average of 54 website visits per day in 2018.

  1. Secretary’s Report – circulated before the meeting and not read.
  2. Financial Report Financial Year 2017-18 Report – circulated before the meeting and read in absentia. Invitation remains open for a member to take on role of Treasurer which has been vacant for two years.
  3. Membership Secretary Report – circulated before the meeting and read. Membership of AACAI is at an all-time high of 148 members.
  4. JAACA Editor Report – circulated before the meeting and not read.
  5. Western Australia State Chapter Report – circulated before the meeting and not read.
  6. NSW/ACT State Chapter Report – read by Vanessa Edmonds

In 2018 the NSW/ACT state chapter ran a successful residue analysis workshop.
Photogrammetry workshop will be postponed to early 2019. Invitation for more members to attend meetings. Net balance of NSW/ACT State Chapter $6810.

  1. Victoria State Chapter Report – not available, will be circulated post meeting.

A motion was passed to accept all reports, this was seconded and voted on and passed.

  1. Other Business


  1. General discussion about legislation reform and AACAI lobbying of state governments.
    Most states had contributed to the principals in legislation group with Anne McConnell, still waiting on Tasmania. Vanessa Hardy will follow up with Anne McConnell to see where the heritage legislation principles group is up to. It was said from the floor that is had been hard to have a collaborative approach with AACAI, AAA and ICOMOS and it is better to have multiple groups lobbying and AACAI to present a statement at each opportunity for legislative reform.  Australian Anthropology Service (AAS) had withdrawn from the WA joint group for legislative reform. AACAI’s point of difference is that we are a professional body. We have a strategic plan for legislative reform we can put on the website. In 2017 in NSW, AACAI, AAA and ICOMOS were invited to send participants to meetings with OEH Policy Team in targeted consultation on legislative reform. Oliver Brown, Andrew Costello and Lyndon Patterson participated in the talks with OEH Policy from AACAI. It was noted all of the AACAI, AAA and ICOMOS representatives were male and this was not representative of the industry. It was raised there should be opportunity for female representation. It was raised AACAI needs to incorporate the Code of Practice and Ethics in a statement.


  1. Lapsed Membership (motion)

Proposal to amend the constitution to allow for past members with lapsed membership to re-join more easily. The current process means they have to start the process from scratch if their membership has lapsed for more than 5 years.


Queries have been raised about amending the Constitution to allow lapsed members outside the currently stated 5 year period to re-apply for AACAI membership without the need to go through the entire re-assessment process again (thereby increasing the workload of the

Membership Committee). After discussion by the Membership Committee and NEC on this matter, it is proposed to amend the constitution as follows:


Clause 19 to remain as currently worded (ie “Any person who applies for membership of the Association within five years of having ceased to be a member (other than by reason of expulsion) and the application is for the same category of membership held within the last five years, the applicant shall not be called upon to provide documentary or other evidence relating to the relevant membership criteria and shall be taken to have satisfied such criteria and thereby on payment becomes a member in that category, unless the Membersh

Committee is on notice that any of such criteria may no longer be satisfied”), and to be renumbered as Clause 19.1, with a new Clause 19.2 to be added that reads:


“Any person who applies for membership of the Association outside five years of having ceased to be a member (other than by reason of expulsion) and the application is for the same category of membership most recently held, the applicant may be called upon by the Membership Secretary to provide documentary or other evidence relating to the relevant membership criteria; the form of the evidence to be provided shall be at the discretion of the Membership Secretary, and may include, but not necessarily be limited to, provision of an up-do-date curriculum vitae of the applicant and a letter addressed to the membership secretary stating the reason as to why their membership lapsed. Should the Membership Secretary be satisfied that the applicant still satisfies the membership criteria, upon payment of the relevant membership fee the lapsed member can therefore become a member in that category.”


All in attendance supported the motion. Motion voted on and passed.


  1. Proposal for AACAI to allow for a company sign up. Motion distributed for vote.


Proposal for AACAI to allow for a company sign up


In order to encourage more engagement with AACAI by both clients and companies alike we suggest that AACAI move to allow companies to sign up to the AACAI code of ethics.

This would have the benefit of allowing companies who adhere to our values to be more easily identified in one central location.


In order for a company to sign up we suggest that at least one director of the company would need to be an AACAI member. The director would sign a one page declaration reading:

We declare that we will undertake to abide by the AACAI Code of Ethics and ensure, to the best of our ability that the code is upheld by employees of our company.


A page entitled Company Signatories would be added to the website and each company that signs up would be added to a list. The list should would include the company name, a very brief summary of services and a hyperlink to the company’s website.


It was mentioned there would be a discussion paper in 2019 on company membership, along the lines of a company director or principal or senior archaeologist signs up to AACAI code of ethics.


Discussion around this issue failed to reach consensus and was not voted on.

  1. Proposal for AACAI to allow student membership.

This motion had not been received by the deadline so could not be voted on.


  1. A question was raised from the floor around how to attract more affiliate memberships. For example there are approx. 40 staff at AV and only 2 are AACAI members. We need to raise the benefits of affiliate membership to attract potential members.


  1. Andrew Costello proposed AACAI draft a reconciliation plan. Moved – Andrew Costello. Seconded – Jo McDonald. All were in agreement.


  1. Close of Meeting

The meeting was closed at 6.20pm




To view the pdf of the minutes and Report please click on these links and select the files.

AACAI Victoria Chapter AGM minutes

VIC Reports


New Film – Etched in Bone


Etched in Bone (a film by Martin Thomas and Beatrice Bijon), Red Lily Productions, 2018 Eight years in the making, Etched in Bone is a feature-length documentary that gives extraordinary insight into the deep and enduring conflict between scientific and traditional forms of knowledge. It tells the story of Jacob Nayinggul, a charismatic elder from Arnhem Land, northern Australia, who is dealing with the theft of his ancestor’s bones by an anthropologist from the Smithsonian Institution in 1948. After years of obstruction from the Smithsonian, the bones were finally repatriated in 2010. At that juncture, Jacob Nayinggul needed to create a new form of ceremony that would restore the bones and the spirits of the stolen ancestors to their homeland. In the Guardian Online, Paul Daley writes that in inviting the film narrator and writer to film the repatriation of the bones and the traditional funerary practices associated with their burial, the elders of Gunbalunya have bequeathed a remarkable transcultural insight into the spiritual imperative of reconnecting ancestral remains with their country. The filmmakers are academics at the Australian National University in Canberra. Distributed by Ronin

For more information:


AACAI Student Fund recipients of 2017 and 2018


Each year, AACAI and generous consultants provide funding to Honours and Masters research students through the AACAI Student Support Fund.   Liam Norris was one of the 2017 Fund recipients, and recently completed his Honours thesis at the Australian National University.  Liam has written us the following summary of his thesis, and is preparing a paper for JAACA.
Christopher Clark and Helena van der Riet were two of the 2018 Fund recipients, and recently completed their theses, at the University of Queensland and the University of Western Australia respectively.  Chris and Helena have written us the following summaries, and are preparing papers for JAACA.
AACAI is extremely grateful to the consultancies who contributed to the 2017 and 2018 Fund:
Archae-aus, Archaeological Management and Consulting Group
Artefact Heritage Services
Comber Consultants
Ochre Imprints 
Wallis Heritage Consulting


AACAI Student Support Fund Recipient of 2017 – Liam Norris

The Late Holocene Occupation of Guerilla Bay: An example of a generalised economy from a littoral deposit on the NSW South Coast (Submitted for the completion of Honours at the ANU).


The Guerrilla Bay study was intended to demonstrate the usefulness of student/consultant partnerships in producing original literature based on salvaged cultural heritage assets. This type of research project lets the student engage with the professional industry that they intend to enter following the completion of their Honours or Masters program, and additionally gives them access to unique materials that facilitate their gaining relevant experience in Australian archaeology. To achieve this aim the author endeavoured to develop research questions based on a salvaged archaeological deposit in order to make an original contribution to the body of literature surrounding Australian Archaeology. With the permission of relevant Aboriginal parties, New South Wales Archaeology Pty Ltd. generously gave the author access to an archaeological deposit excavated from Guerrilla Bay, south of Bateman’s Bay NSW. The material consisted of shell, bone and stone artefacts associated with a past Aboriginal occupation. The author proposed to analyse the remains so as to address any preservation concerns, examine the use of the site by past Aboriginal groups, and to situate the material within broader Aboriginal prehistory on the NSW South Coast.


A combination of Accelorator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating, soil particle size analysis (Laser Diffraction Granulometry), and stratigraphy allowed the author to produce a clear site history. Radiocarbon dating of eight cultural shell samples from the 2ndthrough to the 5thlevel of the excavation provided a window of occupation between around 1800BP and 600BP, with the primary deposition event probably occurring between 1800BP and 1600BP. The deposit was excavated from a residential lot behind an incipient foredune and appeared to have been truncated by earthworks in recent decades. The excavators speculated that the upper 25cm (spits 1, 2 and half of spit 3) were historically disturbed owing to the site stratigraphy and the occurrence of historical objects in these three levels. Bulk soil samples were taken of each stratigraphic layer at the end of the excavation and these were subjected to particle size analysis by the author. The results were consistent with disturbance being confined to the upper 25cm of matrix owing to a greater variation in particle size than in the lower units. The majority of the cultural material was recovered from the 3rdlevel onwards and could be regarded as mostly intact.


An analysis of the cultural shell from the deposit identified 17 individual species from at least one collection event which constituted around six kilograms of edible meat. The author interpreted this as being consistent with a very diverse exploitation of the local shellfish population at Guerrilla Bay. Lower littoral gastropods were dominantly represented and bivalves such as mussels and oysters were only present in minute numbers. Many gastropod species yield more meat per specimen than their bivalve counterparts though they require more effort to procure. If gathering had been the primary focus of the group that discarded the Guerrilla Bay shell then more time would likely have been afforded to the predation of larger mollusc species. The presence of the estuarine species Pyrazus ebeninus(club mud whelk) suggested that food was also imported to the location from the nearby Tomaga River before being consumed. Bowdler noted similar Pyrazusimports in Holocene deposits at Bass Point, where they must have been transported at least 2km from their original source (1970, p. 106). As with the shell, the faunal bone assemblage from Guerrilla Bay demonstrated a large diversity of terrestrial and marine species, including birds, fish, reptiles, and mammals. At least one larger macropod specimen must also have been imported to the site from a nearby topography where the animal would have more likely been encountered. The brief stay-time and broad exploitation strategy evidenced in the Guerrilla Bay faunal assemblage is typical of a the generalised economy suggested by Boot (2002, p. 258) and may have been the nature of Aboriginal occupation in the local area during the Holocene.


In the broader context, a type of scraper implement made from a Pipi shell (Plebidonax deltoids) alludes to a technological link between the Guerrilla Bay site and other Holocene deposits in the NSW South Coast region. Examples of this Pipi tool were noted at the Durras North and Bomaderry Creek rock shelters (Lampert 1966; Lampert & Steele 1993), and at Bass Point ( Bowdler 1970). As there is a dearth of evidence for regular Pipi exploitation at each of these sites as well as at Guerrilla Bay, it is unlikely the species was targeted for food and then utilised for implement manufacture. Rather that they must have been specifically collected as a raw material. This marker links at least four sites over vast distances of the large South Coast region and demonstrates that there were strong enough socioeconomic ties between groups along the landscape that material culture could be diffused. Several regional patterns in material culture and behaviour have now been encountered that allude to these relationships along the NSW South Coast, including the small tool traditions (Lampert 1971), crescent shell fishhook technology (Bowdler 1970), mussel predation (Sullivan 1982; 1984), ground edge axe morphology (Dibden 1996), and Pipi shell implements (Lampert 1966). Further understanding of these patterns and the social processes that produced them is a significant long-term research goal in Australian prehistory. Honours and Masters students might contribute meaningfully to this and other similar goals by engaging with consultants and applying secondary research questions to salvaged archaeological deposits. Ultimately, as development gradually fills in the gaps along the NSW Coastline and elsewhere in Australia, so too should research fill in the gaps in our understanding of the prehistory in these regions.

Reference List

Boot, P. 2002, Didthul, Bhundoo, Gulaga and Wadbilliga: An Archaeological Study

of the Aboriginals of the New South Wales South Coast Hinterland. Unpublished

PhD thesis, Australian National University, Canberra.


Bowdler, S. 1970, Bass Point: The Excavation of a South-East Australian Shell

Midden Showing Cultural and Economic Change. Unpublished BA (Hons) thesis,

University of Sydney, Sydney.


Dibden, J.  1996, Hatchet Hatchment: a study of style in a collection of ground-edge stone hatchet heads from South Eastern NSW, Honours Thesis ANU Department of Archaeology and Anthropology.


Lampert, R.J. 1966, “An Excavation at Durras North, New South

Wales”, Archaeology & Physical Anthropology in Oceania, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 83-118.


Lampert, R. 1971, ‘Burrill Lake and Currarong: Coastal Sites in Southern New

South Wales.’ Terra Australis 1, Department of Prehistory, ANU: Canberra.


Lampert, R.I. & D. Steele, 1993. Archaeological studies at Bomaderry Creek, New

South Wales. Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 17: 55-75.

Sullivan, M.E. 1984, “A Shell Midden Excavation at Pambula Lake on the Far

South Coast of New South Wales”, Archaeology in Oceania, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 1-15.

Sullivan, M.E. 1982, Aboriginal Shell Middens in the Coastal Landscape of New

South Wales. Unpublished PhD Thesis, ANU: Canberra.



Helena van der Riet


Archaeological remains of the Japanese Occupation of Christmas Island during World War I

What Remains? Examining the remains of Japanese occupation on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean during World War II, 1942-1945.

Christmas Island has been an Australian Territory since 1958 but has had a close association with Australia since its establishment as a British Protectorate in 1888 because of its rich phosphate deposits.

There have been a number of reports prepared for Christmas Island addressing various aspects of heritage unfortunately the legacy of its experiences in World War II are not substantially addressed, with mention only in passing of some of the more substantial remains. As one of a number of islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans occupied and/or controlled by the Japanese during the war Christmas Island’s wartime occupation plays an important part both in the life of the Islanders during and after that time, and the view of activities in the Indian and Pacific Oceans around Australia during World War II.

Following desktop and archival research, communications with authors of earlier work on Christmas Island’s heritage a number of sites with remains from the Japanese World War II occupation of Christmas Island were identified. Some survey and exploration had been undertaken at the sites, but anecdotal evidence suggested that there were other sites extant on Christmas Island that had either not been located, or locations for which had not been recorded and therefore the record of the occupation related sites was incomplete. This indicated the need for a survey of the Island to attempt to locate all relevant sites, and document them systematically so that the archaeological and historic records would be complete.

I undertook a ten-day survey of Christmas Island. The fieldwork would not have been possible without the support of the Shire of Christmas Island who funded my flights and provided accommodation and  AACAI who provided funding for car hire and fieldwork.

My survey was limited by the climatic conditions, heavy jungle overgrowth at some sites and difficulty in accessing sites due to road closures, deteriorated cliff faces and lack of precise locational knowledge.

At each site it was possible to record approximate dimensions, sketch and photograph structures and identify materials and building techniques with the assistance of former military engineer Mr James Prout and to make preliminary heritage assessments and recommendations.

During my field survey I meet with Christmas Islanders who had direct or family knowledge of the Japanese Occupation during World War II, and this was helpful in both locating sites and discussing the conversion, destruction and reuse of sites.

17 sites were located in the northern part of Christmas Island, mainly around coastal locations, and in the settlement at Flying Fish Cove. There were sites known of in other parts of the Island that maybe related to the Japanese Occupation during World War II, however road damage meant that these were not accessible during the field work.

As most of the identified Japanese World War II occupation sites stand now, they are neglected and are likely to disappear forever. Resurrecting them and incorporating them into Christmas Island’s rich cultural heritage would be an exciting prospect for the Islanders and visitors building a rich narrative and insight into the lives of both the Islanders and the occupiers. It is not a difficult task, but it is a challenging one because there is limited funding available for investigation, restoration and preservation.

To pursue such an outcome would be an important facet of the work of the recommended position for a Heritage Officer. This work would include identifying funding and partnership opportunities as well as engaging the local community in the work required to restore, preserve and present the sites. The allocation of funding for the appointment of a Heritage Officer to forward the development of the management plan in conjunction with the Shire of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean Territories Administration and other Community organisations is really essential to kick start the process.

This archival and field research has given me a unique opportunity to identify and catalogue sites relating to the Japanese occupation of Christmas Island during World War II; both known sites that have been documented, and those which had been forgotten. Identifying and recording the sites has provided insight into the scope of the Japanese occupation and the impact it had on the Islanders, particularly events such as the post war destruction of the Japanese built Shintō Temple. This is the first stage in fully documenting this important stage in the history of Christmas Island, and it will inform and shape future heritage preservation, restoration and the development of an economicallysustainable heritage tourism industry.


Christopher Clark

Handling the Heritage of a Non-Event: The Heritage Management of Brisbane’s WWII Air-raid Shelters


Although not directly affected by the destructive force of combat, World War Two unequivocally altered Brisbane, both in its urban environment and its community identity. While most tangible remnants have now disappeared, a portion of the 260 air-raid shelters survive now populate the modern urban landscape as public amenity, such as park shelters, bus stops and public toilets. Unlike places of war memorial, Brisbane’s air-raid shelters stand as an unpretentious and uncompromising link to a significant formative period in the city’s recent past. While acknowledged on both Local and State Heritage Registers, their current management is lacklustre. The aim was therefore to document Brisbane’s air-raid shelters in their current condition and to offer suggestions on how to manage the structures for their heritage significance.


This thesis includes objective information regarding the number of surviving air-raid shelters, their locations, current condition and varying levels of legislative protection. Information was collected through physical site visits, archival research and the examination of their respective heritage register entries. The research divided Brisbane’s air-raid shelters into three architectural types (Cantilever, Pillbox and Deep Shelter) and mapping was undertaken to demonstrate the distribution of the remaining structures across Brisbane. Two previous heritage studies had been undertaken on the structures (Brisbane City Council City Design, 2002; Sullivan, 1992) which highlighted persistent issues regarding their condition and management. As all the air-raid shelters are constructed from re-enforced concrete, Heinemann’s (2002) research was utilised to classify deteriorating factors, namely delamination and spalling. Additionally, contemporary archaeological literature was used to illustrate the heritage significance of 20thcentury conflict sites and their impact on post-war community identity construction (Schofield et. al., 2002). Although this research attempts to provide a comprehensive dataset of all surviving WWII air-raid shelters in Brisbane, it is acknowledged that there is a high likelihood that many survive within privately owned property and therefore access to this information is limited.

Results and conclusions:

This research demonstrated a need for review of Brisbane’s air-raid shelters current Conservation Management Plans, particularly regarding maintenance as all the structures suffer from differing degrees of ‘concrete cancer’ leading to structural instability. Current heritage register entries, both local and state, need to be updated as they contain misinformation, incorrect numbers of surviving structures and the exclusion of structures that demonstrate the same heritage values of their listed counterparts (see BCC, 2016). There is also a lack of public recognition for Brisbanes air-raid shelters as their cultural significance is not readily apparent. This is in opposition with Brisbane and Queensland’s legislative instruments which seek to reflect the Burra Charter’s (2013) best practice. Therefore, it is argued that there is a need for on-site interpretation which has been utilised elsewhere to boost public engagement, recognition and appreciation of recent conflict heritage places. The research also highlighted the intrinsic link that Brisbane’s WWII air-raid shelters have to the formative era in the city’s recent past and their profound impact upon contemporary community identity through gender equality, American influence and the creation of a cultural ‘landscape of fear’. This social significance is currently unacknowledged, and this research proposed a social significance statement to be included onto the current heritage register entries for the places.

The recent discovery of multiple Pillbox type air-raid shelters during a modern development demonstrate not only the rich archaeological potential under Brisbane’s streets, but also the magnitude of change that the air-raid shelters constituted within Brisbane’s urban landscape. However, these tangible links to the formative years of modern Brisbane need protection and proper management not only for the present and future population, but to maintain social memory and to ensure that the generation that survived this difficult period is not forgotten in the years to come.


I would like to acknowledge the contribution from AACAI to this thesis, the work of Dr. Martin Wimmer and the supervision of Associate Professor Jon Prangnell.


ABC (2018). Air raid shelters built to protect Brisbane from World War II bombing raids uncovered by the riverside. Retrieved from:

Brisbane City Council City Design (2002). AIR RAID SHELTERS Various Sites: Conservation Management Study.Brisbane: Brisbane City Council.

Brisbane City Council (2016). Heritage Register: Four (4) Air Raid Shelters (former). Retrieved from

Heinemann, H. A. (2013). Historic Concrete: From Concrete Repair to Concrete Conservation. Delft University of Technology.

ICOMOS (2013). The Australia ICOMOS charter for the conservation of places of cultural significance (the Burra charter). Australia: Australia : Australia ICOMOS.

Schofield, A. J., Johnson, W. G., & Beck, C. M. (2002). Matériel culture : the archaeology of 20th century conflict / edited by John Schofield, William Gray Johnson and Colleen M. Beck. London ; New York: London ; New York : Routledge.

Sullivan, D. (1992). Brisbane’s air raid shelters : the palimpsest as war memorial.[St. Lucia, Qld.].


New Members at AACAI

Many New members joined AACAI in 2018


Full Members:

Paul Kucera

Damien Wall

Asher Ford

Dr Ian Ryan

Dr Mary Jean Sutton

Julian Travaglia

Martin Carney

JJ McDermott

Nigel Tonkin

Vanessa Hardy

Erin Finnegan

Matthew Wilson

Dr Christopher Lovell

Deborah Farina

Dr Rebecca Parks


Associate Members

Darren Watton

Edward East

Chelsea Jones

Caroline Seawright

Aaron Della-Vecchia

Joshua Davis

Dr Kane Ditchfield

Dr Elspeth Hayes



Gavin McDevitt


Welcome to you all!