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 a Professor of Geology and former Head of the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne. 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 after the retirement of Dr Jim Ross AM.
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.
Kim Akerman, Adjunct Professor of Archaeology and member of the Advisory Board for CRARM at The University of Western Australia (UWA). He is an anthropologist with wide experience in the Kimberley, an Honorary Research Fellow at the Western Australian Museum and an Honorary Curator in indigenous studies at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, and has consulted to indigenous and other organisations. Kim has served on the research advisory committee of AIATSIS from 1996 to 2007, and has performed many curatorial and advisory roles. He is also a prolific author.
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. He has published hundreds of papers and numerous books, including for the World Archaeological Congress the Handbook of Landscape Archaeology with Julian Thomas. He currently has 3 books on rock art in press, including Cave Art for Thames and Hudson (in their World of Art series), and editor of the Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Rock Art (Oxford University Press)
Simon completed his PhD at Australian National University 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 in Atmospheric Sciences at The University of Queensland, studied at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand (BSc, MSc, Hons, PhD). Hamish’s research interests are in Earth surface – atmosphere interactions, palaeoclimate and climate variability. He has developed palaeoclimate 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.
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.
Peter Veth is the inaugural Kimberley Foundation Ian Potter Chair of Rock Art at University of Western Australia, an Honourary Professor at the University of Sydney and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities. Peter has carried out ground breaking work in north-west Australia for 30 years having returned dates for Aboriginal occupation greater than 50,000 years. He has carried out collaborative archaeological and anthropological research throughout most of Australia working closely with numerous Traditional Owner and Custodian groups on their cultural heritage. Over the last 15 years his work has focused on projects which contextualise rock art in its archaeological and cultural contexts, including National and World Heritage Listings.
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.
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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