New Post - 29 September 2021

Annual ASWA Wilson-Locke Lecture

ASWA is extremely pleased to announce that the Annual Wilson-Locke Lecture will be given by Associate Professor Crystal Abidin, Principal Research Fellow & ARC DECRA Fellow, Internet Studies and Programme Lead of Social Media Pop Cultures, Centre for Culture and Technology, Curtin University.

This Lecture promises to be thought provoking and absolutely current. Find out more about the work of Professor Abidin.

Lecture Title: Internet celebrity, Refracted publics, and the Frontiers of social justice cultures

Abstract: Reflecting on a decade of research on internet celebrity and social media pop cultures in Singapore, the Asia Pacific, and beyond, this talk considers the potential of 'below the radar' studies for understanding the fast evolving and growing potentials of subversive, risky, and hidden practices on social media, especially in the realm of social justice pursuits. The talk offers the framework of 'refracted publics' to consider how influencers and internet celebrities on various platforms are involved in circuits of (mis)information ecologies, and their innovative strategies of communication, amplification, and suppression of youth movements. Refracted publics are vernacular cultures of circumvention strategies on social media in response to both analogue and algorithmic vision and access. They have been mobilized to avoid detection, promote deflection, and facilitate the dissemination of specific messages away from or toward target audiences. They are a product of the landscape of platform data leaks, political protests, fake news, and (most recently) COVID-19, and are creative vernacular strategies to accommodate for perpetual content saturation, hyper-competitive attention economies, gamified and datafied metric cultures, and information distrust. The key conditions (transience, discoverability, decodability, and silosociality) and dynamics (impactful audiences, weaponized contexts, and alternating publics and privates) of refracted publics allow cultures, communities, and contents to avoid being registered on a radar, register in misplaced pockets while appearing on the radar, or register on the radar but parsed as something else altogether.

Full details as follows and in the Wilson-Locke flyer:

Date: Wednesday 10 November 2021
Time: 6.30pm
Where: The Left Bank, 15 Riverside Road, East Fremantle - upstairs at The River Bar
Cost: $10 members, $15 non-members - book tickets via the Register Now link below. A selection of food from the Left Bank menu will be provided. You can buy drinks from the bar.

RegisterNow Logo


New Post - 6 September 2021

Sundowner Talk

The Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc. (AACAI) WA Chapter and the Anthropological Society of WA (ASWA) are pleased to present a sundowner talk by anthropologists Gareth Lewis and Naomi Howells, who will discuss the heritage legislative regime in the Northern Territory. Details as follows and in the Event flyer:

Date: Tuesday 21 September 2021
Time: 6pm
Where: The Left Bank, 15 Riverside Road, East Fremantle - upstairs at The River Bar

Entry Fees (includes food):
  • ASWA / AACAI Member: Free
  • Student: $5
  • General: $10

Book on-line at Registration Link

Title: ‘Never Again?’ How the Northern Territory’s best practice heritage protection legislation could have prevented the destruction of Juukan Gorge in Western Australia

Abstract: The State-sanctioned destruction of the Juukan Gorge site by Rio Tinto in May 2020 has highlighted the failings of WA’s antiquated 1972 Aboriginal Heritage Act (AHA). Yet the McGowan Government’s current Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill (ACHB) is facing an uphill battle in the teeth of opposition from professional bodies and Aboriginal groups. Anthropologists Gareth Lewis and Naomi Howells are veterans of the Northern Territory’s Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA), responsible for administering the NT Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act 1979. By affording Aboriginal custodians the right of free, prior and informed consent to determine whether works may occur on or within the vicinity of sacred sites, they argue that Northern Territory legislation provides a far superior model for Aboriginal sacred site protection than WA’s proposed ACHB and they will highlight the fundamental contrasts between both. They also argue that the AAPA Authority Certificate system actually provides far greater clarity and certainty for industry than either the current AHA or the clunky approvals mechanism outlined in the proposed ACHB.
Why, ask Lewis and Howells, is the McGowan Government offering Aboriginal people in WA a heritage regime which falls so far short of the system which has so long operated successfully in the Northern Territory?

Gareth Lewis is an NT-based anthropological consultant who has worked on heritage protection, land rights and native title issues as a consultant and staff anthropologist for the AAPA, Northern Land Council and Central Land Council since 1991. He has provided expert anthropological reports for the successful Pine Creek native title consent determination, as well as for the Kakadu Repeat, Peron Islands and Cobourg land claims. Gareth gave evidence in AAPA’s successful 2013 prosecution of OM Manganese for site desecration and has worked on other site damage investigations and on AAPA’s current prosecution of the Commonwealth Government for site damage in Kakadu National Park. He was recently awarded a guided writing placement at the ANU’s Centre for Native Title Anthropology.

Naomi Howells worked as a staff anthropologist for AAPA from 1993-1998 and then as a native title anthropologist in Central and Northern Queensland. Working most recently under the WA cultural heritage regime, she is currently campaigning for improved cultural heritage protection under the proposed Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill.

New Post - 17 July 2021

ASWA Objects to UWA proposal to discontinue Anthropology and Sociology

For over 50 years, ASWA has furthered the interests of anthropology and anthropologists in Western Australia. As a collective of the voices of anthropologists in the State, ASWA expresses its serious objection to the proposal by the University of Western Australia to discontinue courses in the Anthropology and Sociology major and associated units.

After consulting with its membership, ASWA submitted its response to Professor Amanda Davies, Head of UWA's School of Social Sciences.

ASWA response to UWA proposal to discontinue Anthropology and Sociology

Updated Post - 21 July 2021

Reaction to the proposal by UWA to discontinue Anthropology and Sociology

The following links provide acces to responses to the announcement of the proposal to discontinue Anthropology and Sociology at UWA.

New Post - 12 July 2021

ASWA Objects to UWA proposal to discontinue Anthropology and Sociology

ASWA members are alarmed at the proposal by the University of Western Australia to discontinue the discipline of Anthropology and Sociology and to cease offering these courses from Semester 1, 2022. The University has issued a press release rationalising its decision. ASWA member and former head of Discipline, Dr Greg Acciaolli, personally wrote to the Media Manager at the University urging it to correct significant errors of fact in its press release. ASWA supports and endorses the views expressed in the following letter about what ASWA understands to be the press release below. At this time, the press release does not appear on the UWA media releases webpage.

Dear Ms Hewett

It has come to my attention that UWA issued this press release below over the weekend. As a former staff member (and for three years head of discipline) of Anthropology and Sociology, I would like to offer some corrections to counter the misinformation it contains.

The Department of Anthropology (as it was formerly called before reorganisation of the university) moved to change its name after discussions in 1996 in order to, firstly, acknowledge that sociology had been taught in the department for some decades with such staff as Charles Waddell, Dorothy Parker, Beverly McNamara, Loretta Baldassar and others and, secondly, to give more options for our graduating students both in the job market and for postgraduate programs down the track (i.e. the opportunity to apply for PhDs in postgraduate sociology programs internationally, as well as anthropology programs). This was our initiative, not a replacement initiated by the university.

Our program was not discontinued and then replaced. Just about every discipline and major at UWA has changed its name in the last few decades, often in response to administrative recommendations or even demands to use names that would attract more students. Phrasing our name change as a discontinuance and then replacement by the university with another program would mean that the university would have to consider most every discipline and major at UWA as having been discontinued and replaced, some of them multiple times. Singling out Anthropology with this phrasing is a misleading interpretation of both the facts of the name transition for Anthropology and Sociology and the general procedure for all disciplines and majors in the university.

Our student enrolments at that time were not low, and our name change was thus not a response to that. We have on record the minutes of the full day strategy meeting at which the name change was discussed. The high level of student satisfaction with our program (third highest in the nation across Anthropology programs at the time according to the Course Experience Questionnaire then being used nationally). Stating that our program was discontinued and replaced due to low student enrolments is a gross misrepresentation, as is the attribution of continuing low student enrolments relative to other social science disciplines.

It is also a misrepresentation to assert that other programs provide equivalent learning and skills development opportunities. No other discipline analyses social phenomena in a cross-cultural context in the way Anthropology and Sociology do, nor do other disciplines analyse such phenomena in terms of the interplay of local conceptualisations and analytic frameworks. Certainly, the major in Indigenous knowledge, history and heritage does not cover the space we occupy in those forms of analysis. Its focus is Indigenous Australia, not global Indigeneity, and it does not teach the range of subjects beyond Indigeneity that were core to the Anthropology and Sociology, including global migration, environmental anthropology and sociology, and many others. The program in Forensic Anthropology does not cover any of the concepts and methods taught in Social Anthropology and Sociology, as it is guided by biological disciplines in its analysis of human and other remains. The reason International Development covered similar concepts and methods was because members of Anthropology and Sociology taught in it. If there are no anthropologists and sociologists teaching in it because they have retired or been released, it will no longer cover those concepts and methods. Research training in Anthropology and Sociology will not be able to continue, especially at the postgraduate level, if there are no anthropologist and sociologists continuing to supervise and teach. If there are no longer members of an Anthropology and Sociology discipline supervising and teaching at UWA, the study of anthropology and sociology is being discontinued.

Please issue a press release correcting these errors of fact and interpretation in your previous press release. Many thanks for your attention.

Sincerely yours,

Greg Acciaioli

UWA Press Release

The Discipline of Anthropology and an associated major in Anthropology were discontinued at UWA some time ago, as a result of very low student enrolments. In response, UWA developed a major in Anthropology and Sociology as part of the BA and this has been managed by the School of Social Sciences. This major is now proposed to be discontinued, as a result of continuing poor enrolments. It is important to note, however, that although it is proposed to discontinue the Anthropology and Sociology major, the study of anthropology itself is not being discontinued.

As UWA has continued to develop its scope of offerings within the BA, we offer a number of programs that have proven much more attractive to students and which provide equivalent learning and skills development opportunities.

UWA has also established a major in Indigenous knowledge, history and heritage that draws directly on the experience and knowledge of staff from the School of Indigenous Studies. This major covers much of the space that our more traditional Anthropology major used to occupy but also enables our students to learn directly from indigenous scholars.

The School of Social Sciences is also proposing to continue to offer a Master in Forensic Anthropology and a Master in International Development, in which students engage with concepts and methods in anthropology with a focus on international development. We are confident there are many options available to students to engage in studies of humanity and human cultures.

Research training in Anthropology and Sociology is proposed to continue.

The School of Social Sciences has a separate discipline of Archaeology which has a developed program in Australian Archaeology, with particular specialisms in Indigenous heritage and rock art. The current proposal makes clear that the School is, in fact, proposing to further develop Australian Archaeology into a flagship research area for the School and University, ensuring the existing strong relationships with Indigenous partners can be further developed.


The University of Western Australia last year moved to address its ongoing financial sustainability and ensure its capacity to invest in providing the best campus environment, research and teaching facilities for students and staff.

The University’s structural reform is being managed in a phased, strategic manner by leaders in each academic and professional service area – as such there will be no overarching announcement of university-wide redundancies.

Regrettably, as has occurred across the university sector, some job losses will be inevitable. These will be managed fairly and respectfully, in accordance with our obligations under our enterprise agreements and with the NTEU.

Proposed changes are being considered area-by-area and being assessed on strategic merit against the University’s student-centric and broader priorities.

The University is targeting a sustainable 15% cash margin from our core operations; the plan to achieve this is through removing both our structural deficit of $70M and growing our operational income by $80M. This will enable funds to be reinvested in our future, providing the best campus environment, including technology systems, as well as research and teaching facilities for our students and staff, who are our key priorities.

The University’s structural deficit represents the operational efficiency the University is required to make to ensure we continue to spend within our means. Throughout 2021, the University is undertaking a structural reform program, which seeks to remove the remaining $40M structural deficit (of the original $70M) from our core operating funds across 2021/2022.

It is important to note that while UWA’s 2020 audited financial statements showed a consolidated operating result of $55M, much of that surplus came from restricted-use funds and investments, which meant it could not be used for operational purposes. The actual underlying result was an operational deficit of $2.4M.


New Post - 21 July 2021

Women in Native Title Anthropology - Forum

About WiNTA: Women in Native Title Anthropology (WiNTA) is a project designed to target issues related to the retention of women in the sector, led by Dr. Cameo Dalley with Diana Romano of the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University. Throughout 2020-21 we conducted qualitative interviews focusing on the experiences of women anthropologists who have worked in native title in Australia. The findings and recommendations are in the process of being compiled in a report, to be complimented with presentations and professional development opportunities targeting key areas of concern. The focus on women and skill development aims to benefit women anthropologists, employers (including Native Title Representative Bodies (NTRBs) and Native Title Service Providers (NTSPs)), and the sector as a whole by promoting gender equity and more inclusive workplace practices. WiNTA is funded by the Attorney-General’s Department Native Title Anthropologists’ Grant Scheme.

The WiNTA Forum: We welcome women anthropologists working in native title to attend our first forum to discuss issues relating to gender in the workplace, held over two days in September 2021. Hosted in person in Melbourne and online via Zoom, the forum aims to promote a collegial and supportive environment for sharing experience, networking, and for professional development, and is free to attend. The forum will blend informative content with practical skills and techniques that women can use in their work as anthropologists. Sessions will blend a generalised approach to women in Australian workplaces with presentation of the WiNTA research findings, include panels featuring consultant and NTRB/NTSP anthropologists, and sessions highlighting practical skills, such as addressing workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, negotiating salary and contracts, and establishing a consultancy business.

Where & How: In person in Melbourne, and online via Zoom (details provided upon registration)
When: Thursday 16th & Friday 17th September 2021, Sessions run from 10:00am - 3:30pm AEST
Attendance is free but places are limited.
Please register using this link.


New Post - 22 June 2021 & 15 July 2021

ASWA Seminar Series 2021: Social Surroundings (Part II)

Due to a number of ASWA members not being able to attend the first Social Surroundings Presentation, Robin Stevens has agreed to a second presentation on this topic, to a restricted audience, aimed at the professional development of ASWA members.

When: Wednesday 4th August -
Time: 6.00pm
Where: Left Bank, East Fremantle
Title: Social Surroundings (Part II)


In the past two years the Environmental Protection Authority (WA) has been telling mining companies that in order for them to meet all their environmental approvals the ‘Social Surroundings’ element within environmental impact assessments needs to ensure greater engagement with Traditional Owner groups above and beyond the standard heritage process. PBCs are increasingly engaging anthropologists to assist them with what is expected to be a substantially increased area of work / consultations. Social Surroundings is essentially about Social Impact Assessment, as part of the overall Environmental Impact Assessment, in relation to large-scale developments. Though there is an element of cultural heritage within this framework, it is more to do with the social impacts upon a community as a consequence of altering the physical and biological environment. The aim of the ASWA Social Surroundings Workshop is to go through how anthropologists (in working for PBCs) might understand and approach Social Surroundings within the context of Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act (WA). Like so many matters in Aboriginal affairs and the social sciences, Social Surroundings has a long history of being contested by key players in the mining lobby. I believe we have a limited timeframe to develop a workable process with Aboriginal PBCs, post-Juukan Gorge, before there is another backlash.

This is the second session on the topic, and while the content is mostly the same as the first, it is a little more focussed on Anthropologists & how they might engage with the process.

Cost: ASWA/AACAI Member or student: $10, Non-member: $15. On-line bookings via Register Now icon below.

RegisterNow Logo

Entry fee covers food after the presentation

There will be a licensed cash bar available (make sure you come early)

See you all there.


New Post - 5 May 2021

AACAI WA and ASWA National Archaeology Week Trivia Night

Get your thinking caps on and assemble your cohort of eggheads. After a break last year, the National Archaeology Week (NAW) Trivia Night returns, and the prizes will be even better this year!

The Western Australian Chapter of the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc. (AACAI WA) and the Anthropological Society of Western Australia (ASWA) are together hosting this year's event at the Left Bank in East Fremantle.

Details are as follows and in the Flyer:

  • Date: Weds 19 May
  • Time: 6pm to 9pm
  • Venue: The Left Bank, (River Bar upstairs), 15 Riverside Road, East Fremantle
  • Price: $25 for AACAI and ASWA Members (current) and Students (valid student email address) / $30 for everyone else (booking fees also apply)
  • Food Provided and Upstairs Bar Available

Book in here: Book Tickets


  • Please make sure to book in prior to Fri 14 May (there are limited numbers available and no door payments will be accepted).
  • Teams are to be a minimum of 4 and a max of 8 (if you have less than 4, let us know and we will sort you out).
  • You can book in individually or select as many tickets as you want.
  • Please let the organisers know your team details prior to the night (team name, team list).
  • Food will be provided during the break (advise of any dietary requirements on the booking).
  • Cash bar will be available upstairs until 9pm.
  • Prizes for winners and runner-up tables.
  • Each booking receives a raffle ticket on arrival - draw for spot prizes will be made after the Trivia.

Come along for what promises to be a fun-filled night with a chance to score some awesome prizes. If you have any queries, do not hesitate to contact JJ McDermott or Tania Philips.

Further links:

Left Bank Menus
National Archaeology Week or try Archaeology Week Facebook
AACAI or try AACAI Facebook

Thanks to our sponsors: Ethnosciences; Sticks and Stones Cultural Resource Management; Thomson Cultural Heritage Management; Dortch Cuthbert Heritage Futures; Heritage WA and Wildrock Productions; and the Centre for Rock Art Research and Management at University of Western Australia.

New Post - 12 April 2021

Women in Fieldwork - About this Event

Join us for this FREE conversation covering the particularities of fieldwork for women. Share your insights, ask questions or just come along to hear from experienced women practitioners in a safe and respectful environment.

This session is open to women working in or anticipating working in fieldwork in archaeology and anthropology through academia, private consulting, Native Title and other similar entities.

Full details of the Women in Fieldwork seminar are available on the Event Flyer. This is a free event hosted by the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc and the Anthropological Socidety of Western Australia with support from the School of Social Sciences at the University of Western Australia.

Registrations are essential at Eventbrite.

New Post - 30 March 2021

AACAI WA/ASWA Sundowner on cultural landscapes

The Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc. (AACAI) WA Chapter and the Anthropological Society of WA (ASWA) are pleased to present a sundowner talk on cultural landscapes by Nerdia Moredoundt. Details below and on the Flyer:

When: Tuesday 13 April 2021

Time: 6pm sharp

Where: The Left Bank, 15 Riverside Road, East Fremantle - upstairs at The River Bar

Title: Imprints of the past: the role of archaeology in cultural landscape management

Biography: Nerida Moredoundt is an architect, author and artist with over 25 years’ experience in heritage, conservation and interpretation. She is the Principal Architect at element, a multidisciplinary consultancy in the fields of planning, heritage, arts and culture, engagement, place and design. She is also a member of the Heritage Council of WA and a heritage specialist on the State Design Review Panel. Nerida has been instrumental in the application of the World Heritage cultural landscapes framework in Western Australia.

Abstract: This presentation looks at the World Heritage framework for identifying and managing cultural landscapes. It includes a discussion of how Australian practitioners have influenced the theory and practice of cultural landscape management and why this framework has been introduced into the management of heritage places in Western Australia. The role of archaeology in the assessment and management of cultural landscapes is an important one that extends beyond understanding values to embedding opportunities for cultural activities on country. Nerida will explore the methodology and outcomes of cultural landscape management plans through a series of case studies. She will introduce the Rottnest Island/Wadjemup cultural landscape management plan, which was the first plan in WA to be underpinned by the provisions of the UNESCO Operational Guidelines for cultural landscapes. This plan has played a pivotal role in advancing reconciliation on the Island and has been followed by a number of similar plans in urban and regional settings.

You will need to book online here: TryBooking.

Cost: ASWA/AACAI Member or student: $5, General: $10

Entry fee covers food after the talk - please let me know if you have dietary requirements

There will be a licensed cash bar available (make sure you come early and grab a drink!

Please contact myself or Tania Philips if you require any further information.

See you all there.

New Post - 27 March 2021

Pictures from the BBQ

The AACAI and ASWA BBQ at the Matilda Bay Forshore was a great occasion. Here are a some of JJ's photos of the event.


New Post - 08 March 2021

A Social BBQ

The WA chapter of the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Incorporated (AACAI WA) and the Anthropological Society of Western Australia (ASWA) invite you to join us for a family-friendly social barbecue at the Swan River Foreshore, Matilda Bay Reserve opposite UWA in Crawley.

The event will take place on Saturday, 20th March from 3pm. Please download the flyer for more details.

We hope you can come along, have a bite to eat, relax by the beautiful foreshore and have a casual chat with friends and colleagues. AACAI and ASWA will provide burgers, sausages and salad at the BBQ facilities near the Matilda Bay Gazebo. If you wish to bring drinks, dessert or anything special for the BBQ, you are most welcome to do so. There are benches and chairs at the reserve (and we will try and secure the gazebo on the day) but please consider bringing picnic rugs and camping chairs if you wish.

This event is free but in order to better manage the numbers for food (and any dietary requirements), can you please book in here.

Bookings will close on Wednesday 17th March.

For any further information, do not hesitate to get in contact with JJ McDermott or Mobile: 0458608786 or Richard Riordan, ASWA Secretary.

We look forward to seeing you there.

New Post - 22 February 2021

Upcoming Seminars

Please see the Schedule for the UWA Anthropology & Sociology Seminar Series for Semister 1, 2021. Fridays, 2.30 to 3.30pm.

For those interested in the Anthropology of Religion, Convenors Richard Vokes and Cristina Rocha invite you to join them in the Seminar Series: Religion, Crisis and Disaster. Full details of this Global, via Zoom Seminar Series available in the download.

New Post - 21 January 2021

ASWA Annual General Meeting

ASWA will hold its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, 16th February 2021 at the Paddington Alehouse, 141 Scarborough Beach Road, Mt Hawthorn.

6.30pm – pre-meeting drinks

7.00pm – meeting and Committee nomination

8.00pm – food to be provided and drinks can be purchased at the bar

There are a number of items on the Agenda which are important to the future of ASWA and the wider WA anthropological community. Please don’t miss your opportunity to contribute to the shaping of the anthropological voice in Western Australia.

Call for Office Bearer Nominations

The AGM is the opportunity for you to express your interest in becoming a member of the ASWA Committee. New Committee members are needed to ensure that ASWA continues to be able to host Anthropological events throughout the year. Please consider this post as a formal invitation for you to nominate to be a Committee member. Please download the attached Nomination Form and email it to the ASWA Secretary. Alternatively, you can nominate yourself or others at the meeting.


Please note, to be a Committee member you must be a current financial member of ASWA. Please check the ASWA membership list to verify your membership. The date on the ASWA membership page is the date of your last membership invoice. Memberships are annual from that date. If your name is not on the list, you are not a current member. If your name is on the list and the membership date is prior to 2020, you are not a current financial member. The ASWA website, provides an on-line facility (through Register Now) to enable you to renew your membership or become a first time member. Please follow the links on that page. Alternatively, you can pay your membership fees in person prior to the commencement of the meeting.

The Agenda for the AGM will be as follows:

  • Welcome
  • President’s Report
    • Presidential review of ASWA’s 2020
    • Presidential proposal for ASWA’s 2021
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Secretary’s Report
  • Nomination and Election of ASWA Executive and Committee for 2021
  • Matters for Consideration
    • Review of ASWA’s Constitution
    • Review of ASWA Banking arrangements
    • Review of ASWA Membership arrangements and fee structure
    • ASWA’s Professional Development activities for 2021
    • Review of ASWA’s Website and Social Media opportunities
    • Proposed Calendar of Events and Theme
  • General Business
  • Close of AGM and date for next Committee Meeting

New Post - 2 February 2021

ASWA Committee Meeting - 30 January 2021

The ASWA Committee met on 30 January 2020. The purpose was to discuss the calendar of events for 2021 and to plan the Annual General Meeting. You are welcome to read the Minutes of the Meeting.

New Post - 21 January 2021

Early Notice - ASWA Annual General Meeting

ASWA will hold its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, 16th February 2021 at the Paddington Alehouse, 141 Scarborough Beach Road, Mt Hawthorn. Full details to be posted soon.

New Post - 1 November 2020

Early Notice - ASWA Annual Dinner and Prize Night

ASWA Annual Dinner 2020 - Flyer

When: Friday 4 December 2020

Where: University Club of Western Australia

Time: 6.30pm for pre-dinner drinks

Cost: $90.00 Members. $100.00 Non-members. Three course meal and drinks. After dinner speaker. Annual Prize Awards

Due to COVID 19, please note that there is a limit of 36 persons allowable at this event. ASWA would appreciate you booking on-line via the link below now later than 27 November 2020.

The link below provides the opportunity to reserve your tickets, sponsor a prize or make a sponsored contribution to the ASWA Annual Dinner. ASWA would appreciate your feedback via the questions in the link below, which, upon payment, will send an invoice to your email address.

RegisterNow Logo


Entrée: choice of two:

  • Prawn, snapper and smoked salmon with French bean and olive salad and tartare sauce
  • Prosciutto rolled chicken breast with saffron risotto and parmesan cream

Main Course: choice of two:

  • Grilled barramundi fillet with a mussel ragout and yellow coconut curry sauce
  • Charred beef sirloin steak with creamy mushrooms and Chinese wine jus

Desert: choice of two:

  • Warm Christmas pudding with sticky date sauce and vanilla ice cream
  • Star anise and cinnamon pannacotta with port poached stone fruit

Further details and catering for other dietary requirements are available through aswa.committee1@anthropologywa.org.


New Post - 29 September 2020

ASWA's Seminar Series 2020 - Presidential Address

Dr. Edward McDonald, the President of ASWA, will deliver his Presidential Address, the inaugural Wilson Locke Lecture, on 10 November 2020. Dr. McDonald will present a paper co-written with Bryn Coldrick, an ASWA member, formerly WA based, now based in Ireland, who has been participating in ASWA's on-line seminars.

Seminar Title: "Out amonst the natives": Daisy Bates' ethnography and the invention of ethnographic fieldwork

Date: Tuesday 10 November 2020

Time: 6.30pm (AWST)

Where: The Left Bank, 15 Riverside Road, East Fremantle - upstairs at The River Bar

Costs: $10 members, $15 non-members - book tickets via the Register Now link below

RegisterNow Logo


Daisy Bates (1859-1951) has long been denied the status of a 'real' anthropologist; at best she is considered an 'enthusiastic amateur'. Her work is often discredited because of moralistic views about her personal life: a 'spoilt' moral character, evidence that her writings cannot be trusted. Examining her correspondence, published and unpublished papers, we argue that much of her work is "seriously anthropological" and her 'invention' of ethnographic fieldwork compares favourably with Malinowski's developments a decade later.

We suggest that Bates was ahead of her time, avoiding many of the shortcomings of 'modern' anthropology with its focus on Aboriginal 'cultures' as discrete and fixed. She understood the interaction of local and regional systems, of the movement of people, objects and intangible phenomena within and between regions. However, in other ways she remained a pre-modern anthropologist focusing on ethnology and endeavouring to create an encyclopedic compendium of 'facts' about all aspects of Aboriginal culture. But then, so did many of her contemporaries. We argue that much of the criticism of Bates and her work is moralist and 'presentist' in the extreme and fails to acknowledge the complex history of the development of anthropology and ethnographic fieldwork. We contend that Bates is an "excluded ancestor" who needs to be "reclaimed". Her corpus of ethnographic material needs to be examined not for "useable bits of lore" but in such a way as to provide a more critical understanding of the development of ethnographic fieldwork in Aboriginal Australia.


New Post - 20 October 2020

Review of Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage released the Consultation Draft of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2020 in September with responses due by 9 October 2020. The ASWA Committee drafted and referred to members a suggested response. A number of suggestions and additional comments were added and incorporated into the Committee's draft. The Committee appreciates the suggestions from members. Please read ASWA's formal submission in response to the Consultation Draft.


New Post - 28 September 2020

Future Forum 2020: Visions for the future of Aboriginal Heritage in Western Australia

The Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists (AACAI), the Anthropological Society of Western Australia (ASWA), and the Australia International Council on Monuments and Sites (A.ICOMOS) are hosting a one-day symposium on Visions for the future of Aboriginal Heritage in Western Australia. It will be held at the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle on Friday, 16 October 2020.

The forum will bring together First Nations people, Traditional Owners and custodians, representative bodies, industry, consultants, researchers and other interested parties to explore and discuss what the future of Aboriginal heritage management could look like in Western Australia. There will be a number of speakers showcasing current achievements and future plans for enhancing Aboriginal heritage management, including community-led research, innovations and collaborative projects.

The Future Forum will be a remarkable opportunity to connect, share and discuss visions, aspirations, innovations and anticipated challenges as a collective of people working and engaging with Aboriginal cultural heritage within the state.

Speakers include Professor Len Collard, Professor Peter Veth, Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation & Professor Jo McDonald, PKKP Traditional Owners, Robin Stevens & Sharyn Dershow, Yindjibarndi Traditional Owners, Dr Caroline Bird, Professor David Trigger, Clint Shaw, Dr Joe Dortch & Yinhawangka Traditional Owners, Rachel Perkins & Matt Storey, and Wajarri Yamaji Traditional Owners. There will also be a presentation on the draft WA Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2020 from the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs or the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage. A panel session with First Nations people from across the state will conclude the forum.


Venue: Esplanade Hotel Fremantle
Address: 46-54 Marine Terrace, Fremantle WA
Date: 16 October 2020
Forum: 8am to 5pm
Canapes: 5.30pm to 7.30pm
Expected participants: Up to 200 people


Participants can register through the booking portal on the Humanitix website.

Registration Fees

$160 General Admission
$120 for First Nations People (travel subsidy available)
$120 for AACAI/ASWA/AICOMOS Members (current membership)
$120 for Students (with valid student email)

Registration includes morning tea, lunch & afternoon tea during the forum, and canapes & drinks in evening.

A small booking fee by Humanitix will apply. 100% of profits from booking fees will be directed to Indigenous Scholarships.

Numbers are limited to 230 people (due to current Government restrictions for events/gatherings) and are currently just over 200. Registrations will close on Friday 2 October (unless capacity is reached before then).

First Nations Travel Subsidies

First Nations people who live outside the Perth metropolitan area qualify for a travel subsidy to partially offset the cost of getting to Fremantle. Amounts will vary depending on distance travelled and the total number of applicants. Travel subsidies can be requested through the Humanitix registration page, or contact JJ directly.


If you are unable to attend the Forum in person but are still interested in participating, the forum will be live-streamed over Zoom – please RSVP with your email address to JJ McDermott (0458608786 or jagemcdermott2@gmail.com) and a link will be sent to you before the Forum.