Connecting archaeologists and heritage specialists with bushfire affected communities

Bushfire affected communities will face many challenges. The immediate danger to life and property are of course the primary urgent concerns. As communities start recovering and rebuilding there will be other issues that emerge, including how to document, assess, and manage cultural heritage that has been impacted by fire events.

Cultural heritage is a crucial element of community identities and resilience throughout Australia, including Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and the Colonial Heritage that post-dates 1788 (sometimes also called ‘Historical Heritage’).

We are a group of concerned and dedicated archaeologists and heritage specialists willing to volunteer our time to document archaeological and cultural heritage places that are recovering from bushfires in collaboration with community groups and individuals.

The bushfire archaeologists group exists so that communities, local councils, Traditional Owners, and other individuals and organisations can receive immediate short-term assistance and input between the time that an area becomes safe to enter, and the longer timeframes that it can take to arrange more formal heritage work in these spaces.

General inquiries may be directed to bushfirearchaeologists@gmail.com

ARCHAEOLOGISTS: You can enter your information here if you want to help out with this initiative
LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS? Please enter your organisation’s details in this form and we will be in touch as soon as possible

DISCLAIMERS: We do not arrange projects or send volunteers into active fire areas. If you are concerned about a fire in your area dial 000 or contact your local Rural Fire Service Department. Any work carried out with the bushfire archaeologists must comply with the relevant State and Federal heritage legislation, and all work involving Indigenous cultural heritage must also involve the relevant Traditional Owners. If unsure, contact your State Heritage Office and/or Local Aboriginal Land Council or other relevant body. This is a group of independent volunteers, the Australian Archaeological Association is not directly liable or responsible for communications or actions carried out by the group. Because we are volunteers we cannot always guarantee immediate availability but we will always do our best to be there for you!  

NOTE TO VOLUNTEERS: Bushfire archaeologists cannot currently offer funding or liability insurance. Volunteers will need to arrange their own transport, equipment and supplies, and accommodation (if needed). Volunteers will be expected to maintain their own detailed safety protocols during fieldwork (templates available upon request), and will need to arrange personal injury and liability insurance as individuals, or through their organisation.

Photo credit: Burnt rock art in New England, Australia. Photographs by Mark Moore.

Editorial Subcommittee

Co Chair: Sandra Bowdler, Kate Morse and Vicky Winton

The Editorial Committee is responsible for production and distribution of the Association’s flagship journal, Australian Archaeology. Subcommittee members include Sandra Bowdler, Kate Morse, Vicky Winton, Jane Balme and Joe Dortch.

Annual Conference Subcommittee

Chair: Fiona Hook

The Annual Conference Subcommittee is responsible for organising the Association’s annual national conference. Contact information for the current conference organisers can be found on our Conference Contacts page.

National Archaeology Week Subcommittee

Chair: Fenella Atkinson

The Archaeology Week Subcommittee is responsible for organising the Association’s major sponsorship of National Archaeology Week third week of May.

Code of Ethics Review Subcommittee

Chair: Lara Lamb

The role of this subcommittee is to undertake ongoing review of the AAA Code of Ethics, and to advise the President and NEC on ethical issues.