Dr Sven Ouzman

Started at UWA: 2013

Archaeologist and activist studying forgotten worlds all around us

We need to know what we have done as a species, in order to imagine where we might be going. Dr Sven Ouzman

Dr Sven Ouzman is an archaeologist, heritage specialist and activist at UWA’s School of Social Sciences.

He studies the forgotten worlds beneath our feet and all around us. He is currently working with Aboriginal partners to date and interpret the rock art of Australia’s Kimberley; as well as investigating the Archaeology of Boorloo (Perth) rock art in the North Kimberley and the South African colonial circuits of knowledge and heritage. Other projects include researching African object ion Australian museums, the role of fire in heritage management, Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property, graffiti and homelessness.

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 then undertook postgraduate study the University of California, Berkeley before returning to South Africa at The University of Pretoria and thereafter was Curator of Archaeology at Iziko South African Museum. In 2013 he joined UWA’s Centre for Rock Art Research + Management.

He moved to Australia to take up a position at the Centre for Rock Art Research and Management at UWA.


  • BA, BA (Hons) - University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • MA and PhD - UC Berkeley, California
  • Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching, The University of Western Australia
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2022
  • Lead Chief Investigator: Kimberley Visions: Rock Art Style Provinces of North Australia, ARC Linkage Project 150100490, 2016-2022
  • Chief Investigator: Dating the Aboriginal Rock Art Sequence of the Kimberley in North West Australia, ARC Linkage Project 170100155, 2019-2024
  • Director of Learning, Teaching and Student Matters, UWA School of Social Sciences, 2020-2022

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Leadership in Learning, Teaching and Student Matters (Social Sciences, UWA), 2021

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UWA Guild Education Council Student’s Choice Award for Teaching , 2019

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UWA Faculty Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, 2019



Kimberley Visions: rock art style provinces of North Australia

Kimberley Visions is a University of Western Australia research project working to connect different art periods and map Australia’s earliest human footfall across the northern landscape.








Dating the aboriginal rock art sequence of the Kimberley in North West Australia

This project aims to develop a robust time scale for the known aboriginal rock art sequence in the Kimberley, Western Australia. The project will use new knowledge of complex processes on sandstone surfaces across the north Kimberley, and an innovative combination of four scientific dating methods developed through earlier work.

Centre for Rock Art Research + Management


The Centre for Rock Art Research + Management is committed to continuing research on projects within The University of Western Australia as well as in collaboration with national and international universities. Western Australia features some of Australia’s most spectacular rock art galleries.

Few landscapes offer as much tangible evidence of human history as the Pilbara, Kimberley and Western Desert regions. This situation presents archaeologists and rock art researchers with an extraordinary opportunity to learn more about the rich visual histories associated with rock art.


Find out more



I like teaching that flows directly to hands-on hard and soft skills. Seminars where everyone participates and where students push boundaries and give me a hard time, and teach me things. Dr Sven Ouzman

Supervisor opportunities

Dr Sven Ouzman has been supervising PhD students for 10 years, covering topics such as heritage and museums, landscape archaeology, rock art and stone tools.

He welcomes expressions of interest via email from prospective postgraduate students interested in:

  • contemporary archaeology
  • heritage law and management
  • rock art
  • museums
  • archaeological theory
  • politics

Contact Dr Sven Ouzman

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Research repository

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