Australian identities across time and space
Exploring what it means to be Australian now, in the past, and in the future
This research area aims to understand Australian identities in the past and the present, from initial settlement 65,000 years ago to today, and how this helps us imagine future forms of Australian identity. Most Australians are unaware of our continent’s deep past that is largely accessible only through archaeology, genetics, oral histories and Indigenous knowledge. As we move through time towards the present and across the continent and its seascapes, many other fields of study such as anthropology, history, politics and languages contribute to telling the story of great human and environmental diversity and innovation.
We help bridge the arts, humanities and sciences in a holistic understanding of how people and places interact over time, producing many different identities; some of which exist for a short time, others which endure. We view Australia through the lens of its connections with the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, a part of a network of people, places and relationships. This work equips us to imagine future forms of ‘Australian-ness’ so that we better understand ourselves and our place in the world.
We aim to:
- understand past human lifeways through material remains and how this knowledge impacts the present
- develop a multifaceted understanding of the past in collaboration with Indigenous people, government, industry and the many publics we serve
- develop an appreciation of the relevance of Australia’s deep human past in relation to humanity’s global history
Our projects centring on Australian Identity Across Time and Space fall into different research topics such as:
- Heritage Studies
- Indigenous Studies
- Marine Science, Museums
- Quaternary Science
- Radiometric Dating Sciences (14C, OSL etc)
- Rock Art
Batavia's mysteries unfold with discovery of mass grave
An international team of archaeologists, including scientists from The University of Western Australia and the Western Australian Museum, has discovered a new communal grave in the Abrolhos Islands, the result of deaths after a shipwreck of the Dutch East India company ship Batavia.Read more
Earliest evidence of Aboriginal occupation of Australian coast discovered
Archaeologists find artefacts in a cave on Western Australia’s Barrow Island dating back more than 50,000 years, providing one of the earliest age brackets for the settlement of Australia.Read more
Rock art expert learns from WA Indigenous students
It is not often that a director of archaeology gets told something he doesn't know about rock art by a bunch of school children. But that is what happened to the University of Western Australia's (UWA) Sven Ouzman when he visited Kalumburu Remote Community School in the northern Kimberley as part of a knowledge exchange programRead more
Project returns Aboriginal photo collections to families
The University of Western Australia’s Returning Photos Project is reuniting Aboriginal photographic collections to their families from overseas museums. The ARC-funded project returned a number of family photos to Indigenous community members at the Kimberley Festival 2017, a three day event facilitated through the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Cultural Centre (KALACC).Read more
School of Humanities
The School of Humanities explores everything there is to know and learn about being human in today's world.
School of Social Sciences
The School of Social Sciences looks at understanding the human experience and exploring how and why society works.
Conservatorium of Music
The University of Western Australia Conservatorium of Music provides classes and activities that support and promote music in the community for everybody.
School of Design
The School of Design embraces studies from a unique place, imagining cities, cultures and communities in a new light. Students are encouraged to explore, experiment and create.