27 July, Paul S.C. Taçon lecture: Protecting Australia’s Spirit: Our Unique Rock Art Under Threat

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Hosted by the School of Culture and Communication , School of Historical and Philosophical Studies and the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions

From inner Sydney to the Pilbara, from Tasmania to the Top End of the Territory, Australia has as many as 100,000 individual rock art sites. Exciting new discoveries are made each year. But because Australia has never had a national database or a coordinated approach to rock art documentation, conservation and management we still do not know exactly what we have.

Australian rock art is extremely important for Indigenous Australians but it is also part of national identity, something that should be a source of great pride. By studying it we can learn about ancient Indigenous Australian cultures, their spirituality, history and relationships to land. The art also informs us about past periods of climate change, what long extinct animals looked like, Indigenous reactions to the arrival of Asians and Europeans in the past few hundred years and many other things.  The campaign Protect Australia’s Spirit raises awareness about the importance of and threats to Australia’s rock art and encourages support for Australia’s first national rock art institute in collaboration with Indigenous communities.

Paul S.C. Taçon FAHA FSA is Chair in Rock Art Research and Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology in the School of Humanities, Griffith University, Queensland and a Visiting Fellow, Research School of Humanities and the Arts, ANU, Canberra. He leads the Protect Australia’s Spirit campaign devoted to raising awareness about and threats to Australia’s unique rock art heritage and the establishment of the first national Australian rock art institute, archive and database (for more on this see protectaustraliasspirit.com.au).

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 | 6 – 7.30pm

Theatre A, Elisabeth Murdoch Building

Registration opens on Monday, 4 July and close on Wednesday, 27 July.

Contact Dr Susan Lowish in the School of Culture and Communication at susan.lowish@unimelb.edu.au or 8344 5246.


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