My name is Chelsea Colwell-Pasch and I am a post-graduate master’s student at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. I am enrolled in the Maritime Archaeology program there and originally hail from New Brunswick, Canada. For the Day of Archaeology, 26 July 2013, I spent the day organizing and brainstorming for the National Archaeology Student Conference (NASC) that will be held at Flinders University next April. While archaeology is a broad field and now encompasses many sub-disciplines (like Maritime Archaeology) it is through conferences where a meeting of the minds can occur. With NASC, all sub-fields will be welcomed and the focus will be on students; a conference FOR students BY students. If you have never experienced a conference before, it is a three to four day event that follows a structure and allows registered attendees to participate in or observe various presentations and happenings. It is a valuable venue for honing your public speaking and presentation skills; for staying up-to-date on the latest research and ideas; and for networking with the best and brightest in your field, creating valuable contacts.
I was accepted onto the organizing committee in late March 2013 after a call for interested students who want to assist at the conference was put out to the archaeology students at Flinders. There was an impressive amount of interest from the archaeology department student body and the organizing committee was formed that day. Now you may be thinking that meeting in May 2013 for an event held in April 2014 is very keen, but being students, all we can hope to do is work on this project in our spare time. It takes a year to organize the necessary components of a great conference, and our committee is set on making this a GREAT conference. In order to make organizing easier and improve our time management we opted to form sub-committees for various aspects of the conference. We have a Chair, secretary and treasurer as well as six working groups or sub-committees, each with a group leader. The six working groups are: 1) Administration, venues and judging, 2) Publicity, stationary and IT, 3) Catering, 4) Sponsorship and fundraising, 5) Scheduling, and 6) Accommodation. I am in the sponsorship and fundraising work group and it has been my task to come up with ideas on how to fund this event. Everything from corporate sponsorships to bake sales and raffle draws. We are students after all.
After an extended absence, a small group of Flinders students decided to restart NASC, hence having Flinders as the venue and having Flinders students run and organize it. With a large campus set in the beautiful Adelaide foothills, we could not have asked for a more accommodating locale. The views of the city and the Southern Ocean from the school are just remarkable and Adelaide is as friendly as any Canadian town. Accommodation ideas are well underway to assist in every budget level represented. In order to be identifiable and professional, the logo was discussed early on as well, as any marketing or branding would require it. We democratically hold every decision to a vote and come to the best decision via majority. The logo (above) was chosen at our second or third meeting, we then decided on a launch date in order to introduce the conference to the public. Social media policies were written (and re-written). E-mail accounts and web pages were created. A launch party was organized and will take place 29th July, 2013 at Flinders University. This blog is to correspond with that launch and also serves as a tactical move, as we can reach a wider audience and take our conference to the world. We have the where, who and what, now for the when. With it almost being August already (time flies when you’re organizing conferences), we have set the dates for NASC and are pleased to reveal them for your calendars:
Friday 11 April 2014 – Welcome BBQ
Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 April 2014 – Presentation dates
Sunday 13 April 2014 – Conference Dinner
Monday 14 April 2014 – Adelaide based Tour
We are well on our way to producing a truly spectacular conference event for both students and archaeology enthusiasts alike. With exciting student presentations and inspiring speakers lined up, the conference will be a must for all archaeology students this coming April, especially those looking for a reason to visit beautiful Adelaide, South Australia. International attendees are more than welcome, in fact they are encouraged. If you are interested in presenting, speaking, or attending NASC, for a unique student-centric experience, please visit our Facebook page, our website, follow us on twitter or email us with any questions. We hope to see you next April 2014!