Rock art research and research of the Kimberley’s environmental history is central to answering some of the big questions about human migration.
KFA has been funding rock art-centred research in the Kimberley since 2007. The Ian Potter Foundation gave us our first significant grant that year towards a Kimberley Regional Human and Environmental History Program. Since then we have underwritten five major Australian Research Council (ARC) grants, seed-funded a number of other projects and collaborated on projects with five remote Kimberley Aboriginal communities. A new project, Unlocking environmental archives of the Kimberley’s past, will be our sixth ARC linkage project. It is due to commence in 2019.
We have supported more than 35 PhD, Honours and post-graduate students and fostered the work of more than 40 researchers across 10 Australian universities in rock art research in the past decade.
In 2018 we awarded the Kimberley Foundation Australia Fellowship in Rock Art Dating to Dr Helen Green at the University of Melbourne.
KFA promotes scientific evidence of 65,000 years of continuous, unbroken Indigenous occupation.
A decade of achievement in Kimberley rock art research
In November 2018 KFA hosted its thirteenth workshop with the KFA Science Advisory Council. Thirty scientists funded by KFA came together to report on progress and present and share their research findings with each other and with the KFA Board.
In summarising the Foundation’s philanthropic approach to research John Dodson, former head of ANSTO’s Institute for Environmental Research and currently at the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an, said that KFA’s model of a multidisciplinary and multi-organisational approach was extraordinarily successful. The proof of this is in the record number of Honours, Masters and PhD students involved in KFA-funded research; in the funds leveraged and grant successes; in the multiple number of publications and the growing media and public attention.
The body of knowledge gained over the last decade has been both critical and considerable. In particular, a growing palaeoenvironmental framework for the region is being constructed and is a focus of on-going research.