Session 7

Bill Kruse (Moderator), Tessa Herrmann, Glen Kelly, Eddie McDonald, Jodi Neale, Kathryn Pryzwolnik and Philip Vincent (Speakers)

Documenting valuable heritage or documenting heritage values? Native title, anthropology and heritage surveys

The session will be a "Q & A" style panel discussion exploring the relationship between native title, industry, and the practice of heritage anthropology in Western Australia.

Anthropologists have been conducting ethnographic heritage surveys to identify Aboriginal sites under the Western Australian Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (AHA) since shortly after it was enacted forty years ago. Since the mid-1990s, the growing mining boom and native title future act processes have seen the number of ethnographic heritage surveys increase to the extent that there are now not enough qualified and experienced anthropologists to meet demand. There is also much live debate amongst anthropologists, Aboriginal people, industry, NGOs and government about the lasting value of the surveys being conducted, including the question of why anthropologists are required for surveys at all.

Moderated by Dr Bill Kruse, members of the panel will explore the particular brand of anthropology that is now firmly part of the Aboriginal heritage industry and inextricably linked to mining and native title future act processes in Western Australia. Key issues for discussion will include whether heritage anthropology is documenting heritage values for Aboriginal people or creating value for a heritage industry focussed on mining and development, and the likely legacy the thousands of ethnographic reports the process has produced.

Dr William "Bill" Kruse is an anthropologist who has worked in native title and Aboriginal heritage since 1997, and he has worked as a senior staff member for native title representative bodies in Western Australia. Bill has had professional involvement in most aspects of native title claims including anthropological research, heritage surveys, cultural mapping, land management and land access negotiations for exploration and mining. Bill is also an associate with Banarra, a Sydney-based community relations company, where he has worked with the mining sector on community relations projects in Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Ghana. Bill is currently a visiting fellow with the Centre for Native Title Anthropology at the ANU, which he help establish in 2010. He completed a PhD in 2003 on Iban longhouse tourism in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo.

Tessa Herrmann has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in History and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Australia. During her degree, she also undertook a semester studying International Law and First Nations legal issues at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Tessa completed her articled clerkship at Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation in 2007, where she was subsequently employed as a lawyer until 2010. During her time at Yamatji, Tessa was involved with a number of claims and negotiations, and assisted the Thudgari People to obtain a positive determination of native title in 2009. Since December 2010, Tessa has been employed as a lawyer at Central Desert Native Title Services, where she handles a range of matters, including future acts negotiations, claim mediations and Prescribed Bodies Corporate assistance and support.

Glen Kelly is a Noongar man, and in his role as CEO of SWALSC brings 18 years of experience in Indigenous Affairs, much of it in native title and Indigenous land related issues. Glen has held a number of senior positions in Indigenous organisations, both as a manager and as an advocate of Indigenous interests, as well as positions within government agencies. Glen sits on a number of high level committees and statutory authorities at a State and Commonwealth level that relate to Indigenous land interests. Glen is a keen advocate of Noongar interests, and in his role as CEO he seeks to ensure that SWALSC is able to provide an efficient and effective service to Noongar people and their native title claims.

Dr Edward "Eddie" McDonald is the principal of Ethnosciences (2003-present) and formerly Managing Director and principal anthropologist of McDonald, Hales and Associates (1988-2003). Since 1988 he worked in Aboriginal heritage assessment and has undertaken or managed over 1400 heritage assessments primarily in the Metropolitan Area, the South West and the Pilbara though he also has experience in other regions such as the Goldfields, Kimberley and Mid West. He is also an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow on a project which focuses on the ethnography of consulting/ applied anthropology in the School of Social Sciences and Asian Languages at Curtin University.

Dr Kathryn Pryzwolnik has worked in Aboriginal heritage management for more than 15 years, in both Western Australia and New South Wales. Before commencing working in Aboriginal heritage management in the public sector, Kathryn completed her PhD at the University of Western Australia studying Aboriginal occupation of the northwest arid coastline over the last 35 000 years. As Registrar of Aboriginal Sites, Kathryn is responsible for the day to day administration of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 in Western Australia. She is an officer of DIA, with a statutory function to maintain the Register of Aboriginal place and objects, administer the operations of the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee and provide advice and approvals where required.

Philip Vincent is a Western Australian lawyer with over 35 years experience. His legal practice has included extensive involvement with native title, land and heritage matters. Since the introduction of the Native Title Act, Philip has worked as counsel on native title claims in most regions of WA, and has been involved in agreement-making processes in relation to land access and heritage. Philip is also a director of Limina Consulting, which provides corporate development and governance advice and mentoring to Aboriginal organizations including pastoral stations and medical services in Western Australia.