New Post - 23 March 2020

ASWA Seminar

The ASWA Committee met on Saturday 29th February and resolved to hold a seminar at the Left Bank River Bar and booked the venue for Tuesday 21st April between 6 and 9pm. Our President, Dr Edward McDonald, agreed to present a paper on the central role of consequential talk in the performance of Aboriginal heritage practice.

Since the meeting, seemingly at warp speed, the world has changed. The Committee hope to reschedule the presentation to a later date.

New Post - 18 March 2020

Future Forum 2020 - Symposium - Rescheduled

Due to heightened concerns over the Covid-19 (Coronavirus), the Future Forum 2020 - 'Visions for The Future of Aboriginal Heritage' - at the Esplanade in Fremantle on 20 March has now been postponed until a later date.

This in the interests of everybody's health and well-being.

As the future remains very uncertain, the organising committee has not set a new date just yet. However, we are seeking to postpone it for 6 months.

In the meantime, registrations will be kept on the system with Humanitix, and you will receive updates as we have them. However, if anyone requires a refund, we can make that happen. Just get in touch with me with your request.

We appreciate your understanding on this.

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with JJ McDermott, MAACAI Chair, Future Forum 2020 Organising Committee.

New Post - 17 February 2020

Verifying Heritage Survey Information

The ASWA President has written to DPLH letter in response to a request for advice relating to DPLH's proposed Template Form for Verifying Heritage Survey Information. The request is set out below:

As a significant provider to Government of heritage surveys conducted under the Noongar Standard Heritage Agreement (NSHA) I am seeking your views on a draft proposal for in field verification of heritage information provided by Aboriginal participants during Aboriginal heritage survey fieldwork.

DPLH is considering ways of strengthening existing processes, for example the review of draft survey reports, through an in field verification template to confirm that the information provided by Aboriginal participants has been captured correctly. We are aware that some heritage service providers already use various in field forms and letters of advice. Part of this discussion is to consider how that may be standardised into a concise template that may assist in getting greater feedback.

I welcome your views by cob Friday 31 January 2020 on the proposed in field verification, whether it will add costs, or how the verification process of heritage information may otherwise be improved. I’ve attached a draft of the content of the proposed template below and am happy to discuss further.

DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION - Verification of heritage information provided by Aboriginal participants during Aboriginal heritage survey fieldwork

Aboriginal Heritage Service provider (AHSP) to complete a template in the field at the conclusion of the survey and request that Aboriginal consultants verify the information correct by signing it. Items 1 to 6 could possibly be filled by the AHSP prior to the survey. The remainder of the ‘in-field’ template will need to be brief to allow it to be completed and verified at the end of the survey. However it should include details of:

  • Name of survey
  • Date of survey
  • ILUA area
  • Proponent
  • AHSP
  • Area surveyed
  • If no sites a statement to that effect
  • If there are sites a statement for each site including:
    1. Type (If archaeological include details if ethnographic include brief stories and song lines)
    2. Location and boundaries (including cadastre details and a map if possible)
    3. Significance
  • Any heritage protection recommendations made by the Aboriginal consultants
  • Names of Aboriginal Consultants and signatures

The completed in-field heritage survey verification template can then either be incorporated into the report and/or provided separately with the Draft Report by the AHSP.

New Post - 15 February 2020

UWA Anthropology & Sociology Seminar Series  Semester 1, 2020

FYI - The UWA Anthropology and Sociology Seminar Series is held each week at UWA, Fridays: 2.30-3.30pm, Venue: SS Rm 2203. Take a look at the published presentation schedule for this semester.

ASWA Annual Dinner, Prize Night and AGM 2019

The annual ASWA dinner was held on 22 November 2019 at the University Club, UWA. Prize Winners announced on the night were:

  • Kelsie Prabawa - Ethnosciences
  • Jan Turner - Ethnosciences
  • Melanie Fox (Murdoch University) - ASWA
  • Nadisha Senasinghe (Curtin University) - ASWA
  • Sam Cross (University of Western Australia) - ASWA

The ASWA AGM was held to coincide with the Annual Dinner and recorded in the ASWA AGM 2019 Minutes.


New Post - 14 November 2019

ASWA Annual Dinner and Prize Night

When: Friday 22nd November 2019

Where: University Club of Western Australia

Time: 6.30pm for pre-dinner drinks

Please reserve your tickets through trybooking.com.


Pork hock rillettes with toasted baguette and sauce gribiche
Vegetarian tapas
Gazpacho salad, goats cheese, arancini, olives and asparagus (v)

Main Course:

Roasted beef tenderloin with stuffed mushroom ragout, fried potatoes and red wine jus (gf)
Charred lemon butter glazed chicken confit with chorizo, potato mash and sautéed spinach (gf)


Whipped chocolate crème tulip with cocoa soil (v)
Blueberry pannacotta verrine with gingerbread biscotti

Freshly brewed coffee and tea

Cost: $80.00 Members. $90.00 Non-members. Three course meal and drinks. After dinner speaker. Annual Prize Awards

Please reserve your tickets through trybooking.com.

Download the Poster


New Post - 14 August 2019

Is it from the Dreaming or is it rubbish? The significance and meaning of stone artefacts and their sources to Aboriginal people in the Pilbara region of Western Australia

On Tuesday 10th September at THE LEFT BANK, 15 RIVERSIDE RD, EAST FREMANTLE (upstairs at The River Bar), ASWA's very own Dr Edward McDonald will present a Sundowner Talk entitled: "Is it from the Dreaming or is it rubbish? The significance and meaning of stone artefacts and their sources to Aboriginal people in the Pilbara region of Western Australia".

Eddie is speaking as a guest of the AACAI WA Chapter.

The talk is from a paper written by Dr Edward McDonald and Bryn Coldrick (Ancestral Voices Ltd, Ireland) and examines how meaning and significance are attributed to stone assemblages and their sources.

Download the flyer for more details, which includes what time, where to go and how to book. There is a $5.00 charge for AACAI and ASWA members.

New Posts - 7 March 2019

Review of Aboriginal Heritage Act 1978

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt released a discussion paper on 7 March 2019 about the proposals to reform the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1978.

ASWA members have contributed to the Draft Response which will be submitted to the Department for consideration. Please email the President or Secretary if you would like to offer comment.

In the words of the Minister's Media Statement:

The discussion paper for the review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 sets out proposals to recognise, protect, manage and celebrate the places and objects that are important to Aboriginal culture. Importantly, it also identifies a framework for efficient land use by industry and other land users.

Further information and links to download the discussion paper are available through the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage webpage.

Should you wish to make an independent submission to the Review, all submissions must be received by 31 May 2019 and can be made via email to AHAreview. Alternatively, there is an Online Submission Form available from the Department's website.

Please contact the ASWA President or ASWA Secretary if you are seeking to contribute your response through ASWA.

Heritage Practitioners’ Reference Group

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage has established a Heritage Practitioners’ Reference Group. Please download the Terms of Reference.

Brad Goode and ASWA President, Dr Edward McDonald are representing ASWA on this Group. The

There are also representatives from ICOMOS, archaeological organisations, professional historians, heritage architects and engineers. The inaugural meeting was held last week.

As part of this Reference Group process, the Department is seekiing to enhance professional development and the accreditation of heritage skills.

Please also note that this year’s State Heritage and History conference is being held on April 28-29 in Perth and a key aspect of the program is on ‘dark heritage’ and ‘dark tourism’.

Consultation process on the proclamation regulations for the Heritage Act 2018

The Chair of the Heritage Council wrote to the ASWA President informing about the consultation process on the proclamation regulations for the Heritage Act 2018. The full text of the email letter to the ASWA President is reproduced below.

Dear Dr McDonald

I am pleased to confirm that the consultation process on the proclamation regulations for the Heritage Act 2018 is now open, and submissions are invited until Friday 3 May 2019. Completion of consultation will bring us one step closer to new heritage legislation that meets current needs. I would therefore be grateful for your assistance in distributing this information through the ASWA network.

Issues covered within the draft Heritage Regulations 2019 include:

  • composition of the Heritage Council;
  • conflicts of interest;
  • management of Council and committee meetings;
  • form and content of the State Register;
  • pre-requisites for the issue of repair notices; and
  • standards for notifications, consultation and advertising.

To ensure that the regulations are given due consideration and meet the needs of modern legislation, the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage is seeking submissions from interested persons and organisations. To take part in this process, your members are invited to review the draft regulations on the State Heritage website and follow a link to the online survey hosted on the Department’s consultation hub.

Your members may also be interested in reviewing and contributing to draft guidelines for the creation of local heritage surveys, which replace the current heritage inventories. These guidelines are required under the new Act, and will provide support to local governments undertaking the review or update of their local heritage survey.

The guidelines include standards for consultation and the use of professional heritage advice, so may be of interest to those working in the heritage field. Further information on how to contribute to the development of these guidelines can also be found on the State Heritage website.

Finally, initial consultation is taking place to assist in the development of guidelines for identification and management of state government heritage assets. These will work alongside the Strategic Asset Management Framework to guide agencies in the maintenance, activation, adaptation and disposal of heritage assets.

This is an area that would also benefit from input from those professional bodies whose work relates to heritage management. Further information on how to contribute to the development of these guidelines can also be found on the State Heritage website.

If you would like further information on the draft Heritage Regulations 2019 or the implementation of the Heritage Act 2018 please contact the support team.

I look forward to your involvement in this process.

Yours sincerely

Anne Arnold | Chair - Heritage Council