The Kimberley Foundation Australia is underpinned by a Science Advisory Council (SAC) made up of a diverse group of eminent scientists from tertiary institutions across Australia. The SAC guide and shape KFA’s long term research program.
Andrew Gleadow is an Emeritus Professor of Geology and former Head of the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne. In 2017 he was awarded an AO for distinguished service to the earth sciences and to education, as an academic and researcher in the field of thermo- chronology and landscape evolution, and to professional geological and scientific societies.
Andy has researched and published widely on the development and application of radiometric dating techniques, particularly in fission track analysis and thermochronology. His work has included dating of hominin fossil sites in East Africa and he is currently coordinating a major program to date the rock art succession in the Kimberley. Andy has received numerous awards for his research, is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences, and a former President of the Geological Society of Australia. Andy was appointed as Chair of the SAC in November 2013.
John Dodson headed the Institute for Environmental Research at The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), and has a distinguished record in palaeoecological research. He has a PhD from Australian National University, and has researched and taught at universities and institutes in Australia and overseas. John has led numerous projects investigating climate change and its effects on flora, fauna and landscape. He has published widely. He is currently a professor in the Institute of Earth Environments of The Chinese Academy of Sciences (Xi’an) and is a member of the Leeuwin Group of concerned scientists.
Jane Balme, Professor in Archaeology at The University of Western Australia (UWA), obtained her PhD at Australian National University. Jane has lectured, researched and consulted widely, with a primary focus on indigenous hunter-gatherer societies and Aboriginal subsistence economies. She has undertaken extensive fieldwork in northern Australia.
Bruno David is an archaeologist based at the Monash Indigenous Centre, Monash University (Melbourne). Bruno’s research specialises on the archaeology of Indigenous Australia and Melanesia, with current research projects in Arnhem Land and the southern lowlands of Papua New Guinea. He is interested in the entire span of Indigenous occupation of those regions, with active research interests on the antiquity of occupation, rock art and symbolism, oral traditions, and historicising ethnographically-documented cultural expressions through archaeological methods. His most recent books are: Cave Art (Thames and Hudson, 2017); Hiri: Archaeology of Long-distance Maritime Trade along the South Coast of Papua New Guinea (University of Hawaii Press, 2017, co-authored with Robert Skelly); The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Rock Art (Oxford University Press, 2018, co-edited with Ian J. McNiven); and The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Indigenous Australia and New Guinea (Oxford University Press, in press, co-edited with Ian J. McNiven).
Mike is a geologist who worked in mineral exploration and related research throughout Australia and much of the world for over 40 years. He has an honours degree in geology from Macquarie University in Sydney, and a PhD from University of Western Australia in Perth. Mike is also an accomplished photographer and a keen bushwalker, and has been documenting rock art in the remotest parts of the country, but especially the Kimberley, for over 25 years. He has published four high-quality, large format books on rock art – one on Burrup Peninsula and three on the Kimberley – that present the rock art as ‘Art’. Mike is President of the Kimberley Society and was a founding member of that society. He brings a geological eye to rock art questions relating to techniques, materials, and the age of the art.
Professor Joakim Goldhahn holds the Kimberley Foundation Ian Potter Chair in Rock Art at the University of Western Australia. His research investigates rock art as a meaning-creating phenomenon with ongoing community-engaged fieldwork in Australia, northern Europe, and Kenya. Recent research outcomes explore known rock art artists, as well as rock art as a media transmitting cultural knowledge and identities across generations, including children’s (Australia) and warriors’ (Kenya, Scandinavia) relations to rock art. His research interests also encompass the European Bronze, Theoretical Archaeology in Practice, as well as the History of Archaeology. Joakim is the author of over 190 research publications, including the recent monographs Birds in the Bronze Age: A north European perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2019). He is the guest-editor of two special issues on Rock Art Worldings for the journal Time and Mind (2019), and together with Dr. Sally K. May (Griffith University) he co-edited a special issue on Contact Rock Art for the journal Australian Archaeology (2019).
Dr Helen Green is a Research Fellow in the School of Earth Sciences at The University of Melbourne holding the Kimberley Foundation Australia’s 5 year Fellowship in Rock Art Dating from The Ian Potter Foundation. Helen was employed as a Post Doctorate Researcher on the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project with the Kimberley Foundation Australia, focussed on dating the Aboriginal rock art of the Kimberley region (2014-2018) and is a Chief Investigator on the Rock Art Dating Project-2 (2018-2022). Helen is also an Associate Investigator on the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH). Helen’s research over the last five years has focused on analysing mineral accretions using a range of geochemical techniques to characterise and understand the formation processes occurring in relation to rock art pigments in north west Australia’s Kimberley region. These techniques include uranium-thorium dating, radiocarbon dating, stable isotope analysis along with analytical techniques such as X-ray diffraction analysis, scanning electron microscopy, electron microprobe analysis and others. Using this knowledge Helen is adapting both radiocarbon and uranium-series dating techniques to oxalate and phosphate bearing layered mineral accretions, with an aim of generating bracketing ages for different rock art styles comprising the established rock art sequence in the Kimberley region.
Simon completed his PhD at ANU on the Late Quaternary Environmental History of the Tari Basin, Papua New Guinea, in 1994. While holding postdoctoral positions at the Smithsonian(STRI, Panama) and at the University of Cambridge he continued to pursue his interest in the role of past climate change and human activity on tropical and temperate ecosystems through work in the Amazon Basin and southern South America. His research is currently focussed on the application of high-resolution palaeoecological analysis to our understanding of the impact of climate variability and human activity on terrestrial ecosystems of the Pacific and Indian Oceans during the Holocene. He is also developing e-Research tools in palaeoecology such as the Australasian Pollen and Spore Atlas and the PalaeoWorks website and is using his knowledge of Australian pollen to explore the impact of atmospheric pollen and spores on respiratory health. He is currently Director of the School of Culture, History and Language and is a strong advocate for interdisciplinary collaboration as a means to achieve novel and exciting research outcomes.
Janet Hergt is a geochemist in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She obtained her PhD at the Australian National University and undertook post-doctoral research in the United Kingdom before taking up a teaching and research position at the University of Melbourne in 1994. The main focus of her research has been in the application of radiogenic isotope analysis, in combination with other geochemical data, to explore the record of Earth processes preserved in geological materials. Much of this has involved the investigation of rocks and minerals, but similar techniques have been successfully applied to interdisciplinary projects in areas of archaeological and biological science. Janet is a co-investigator in the ambitious project to date the Aboriginal rock art of the Kimberley region of WA. She has held a range of leadership positions including Head of the School of Earth Sciences and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Science.
Professor Hamish McGowan is Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at The University of Queensland.He studied at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand (BSc, MSc, Hons, PhD). His research interests are: Earth surface – atmosphere interactions, paleoclimate and climate variability and severe weather. Hamish has developed paleoclimate records for southeast Australia that use novel geochemical fingerprinting of dusts to construct past weather patterns which he’s now applying to research in the Kimberley. He has been awarded an Australian Research Council grant for a project co-funded by the Kimberley Foundation Australia to provide new understanding of the causes of environmental change on impacts on Australia’s Kimberley region, called Unlocking the environmental archives of the Kimberley’s past which will commence in 2019.
Cecilia holds a BA and BSc in Archaeology and Zoology and a MA in Biological Anthropology. She was introduced to the Kimberley and its rock art by the late Dr Grahame Walsh and provided assistance to him in his field work for several years. Since his death she has continued to document and protect rock art in the north Kimberley. Cecilia was instrumental in developing the rock art recording course with Kimberley TAFE that KFA takes to the remote communities. Cecilia is a Director of Dunkeld Pastoral Company, a family business, and chairs its Conservation and Environment Committee. DPC has properties in western Victoria, the north Kimberley and in the Northern Territory.
Dr Sven Ouzman is an archaeologist, lecturer and activist at UWA’s School of Social Sciences. Dr Ouzman is studying the forgotten worlds beneath and all around us, and is currently exploring areas such as Indigenous rock art in the North Kimberley and the South African colonial circuits of knowledge and heritage. After studying at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, Dr Ouzman worked as Head of the Rock Art Department at the National Museum in Bloemfontein.He undertook further postgraduate study in the United States before returning to South Africa as a Senior Lecturer at The University of Pretoria in the department of anthropology and archaeology. He moved to Australia to take up a position at the Centre for Rock Art Research and Management at UWA. Dr Ouzman’s research has launched projects in the Kimberley, collaborating with Aboriginal partners, as well as smaller projects in Perth.
Professor Rachel Popelka-Filcoff (FRACI) is the Inaugural Kimberley Foundation Minderoo Chair in Archaeological Science at the University of Melbourne. Her laboratory integrates advanced nuclear and spectroscopic approaches into multidisciplinary projects, including cultural heritage chemistry and archaeological science. Her research is to the first comprehensive integrative characterisation of Australian natural mineral pigments on cultural heritage materials by several analytical methods to answer questions about provenance and composition. Rachel holds a BA from Washington University in St Louis, a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Missouri as a National Science Foundation Research Fellow, and completed a National Research Council postdoc at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. From 2009-2020, she was at Flinders University, including 2010-2016 where she was an AINSE Senior Research Fellow. Rachel is the Past President of the Society for Archaeological Sciences, and on the editorial board of Journal of Archaeological Science.
Richard ‘Bert’ Roberts is Distinguished Professor in the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences at the University of Wollongong and Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH). He has degrees in physical geography from Wales, Canada and Australia, and has published across the fields of Quaternary geochronology, archaeological science, human evolution and past environments. Much of his career has been spent investigating past interactions between people and terrestrial ecosystems in Africa, Asia and Australia, reconstructing the timing, causes and ecological consequences of archaic and modern human dispersals. In CABAH, Bert leads a team of researchers, educators and communicators from universities, museums and other organisations across Australia and overseas, working in partnership with Indigenous communities to transform our understanding of the environmental and human history of Australia, Papua New Guinea and eastern Indonesia from 130,000 years ago until European arrival, to communicate this epic story to the public, and to help inform the management of Australia’s present and future biodiversity and cultural heritage.
Jo McDonald is the Director of the Centre for Rock Art Research + Management at University of Western Australia. She holds the Rio Tinto Chair in Rock Art Studies and is an ARC Future Fellow. Her four year research project is studying rock art, social and environmental change in two of the great deserts of the world: the Western Desert in Australia and the Great Basin in the USA.
Jo has more than 30 years’ experience in managing Indigenous archaeology and has been researching rock art throughout this time.
Dr Moya Smith is Head of the Western Australian Museum’s Anthropology & Archaeology Department.
Like most Museum curators, Moya’s job involves research, fieldwork, exhibition development, collection care and study, communication with communities about collections, and engaging with members of the public.
She started her career with the WA Museum working as a salvage archaeologist with the Dept of Aboriginal Sites – a wonderful chance to travel to most places in the state. Moya has continued to be involved in archaeological research and fieldwork programs in the Kimberley, Desert and South-west.
For 10 years until 2005, Moya was the Museum representative on the Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee, constituted under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972, an opportunity to read an extraordinary unpublished literature concerning Aboriginal heritage of WA.
She has focussed most intensely on research in two coastal areas of Western Australia. She worked on the south coast with Aboriginal community members on what was then the first major consideration of the archaeology of the Esperance area, the subject of her PhD at the University of WA. Moya has also undertaken long term work with Bardi community members considering the differences between the rich knowledge of traditional Kimberley maritime activities that community members continue to value and the archaeological record.
Over the last 20 years much of Moya’s work has revolved around exhibitions, ranging from two incarnations of the Museum’s permanent exhibition of Aboriginal cultures Katta Djinoong – First Peoples of WA; to temporary or touring exhibitions on Chinese celadon ware, ancient Egypt; and Mediterranean rim cultures, and other short term exhibitions revealing the wonderful collections of the WA Museum.
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