Flinders University in Adelaide

Organizing a Student Run Archaeology Conference – NASC 2014

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.

The logo for the National Archaeology Student Conference to be held at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia 2014

The logo for the National Archaeology Student Conference to be held at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia 2014

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!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NASC2014

Website: TBA

Twitter: twitter.com/NASC2014

E-mail: nasc2014@gmail.com

Learning, Laughing and Living: An Archaeology Student Group from Down Under

In an average week, members of the Flinders Archaeological Society (ArchSoc) committee spend hours organising events and opportunities for the professional development and social interaction of archaeology students from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. Today is different, however, because we are taking time out for the exam period and end of semester assessments, and although we are not doing an incredible amount today, ArchSoc wanted to support this fantastic project nonetheless.

Semester one, 2012 has been a particularly busy semester for ArchSoc as we have organised an unprecedented number of events, and we have witnessed unprecedented high membership rates. For the most part, we assist the Department of Archaeology in hosting visiting archaeologists by making their time at Flinders an enjoyable experience. In many ways we are the life and energy of Flinders archaeology.

This semester began with a field trip. We sent a group of eight students to the Port Arthur Heritage Site in Tasmania to assist the local archaeologists in cleaning and cataloging artefacts from a recent excavation. The students that attended this trip had no previous archaeological experience and ArchSoc is proud to have given them this opportunity.

Site survey at Port Arthur

Next we ran a pub crawl. This event saw around one hundred archaeology students hitting the town in our bright blue t-shirts. How do you like the design? 🙂

ArchSoc conducted a site survey and a ‘Meet the Archaeologists! ‘ night to coincide with National Archaeology Week and ‘About Time: South Australia’s History Festival’. These events saw many members of the public actively engaging with archaeologists and students (out of over 500 events, ours were consistently listed as the first and second most popular throughout the festival!).

Our final event for semester one was a quiz night among the cells and gallows at the heritage listed Adelaide Gaol. The table of lecturers lost to a student table by only 0.5 points!!

Without a doubt, this semester has been fantastic and beneficial to Flinders archaeology students, not only in their professional development, but in social interactions as well (arguably the greatest aspect of this semester has been our new item of merchandise: Flinders ArchSocks!).

Here’s to another great semester! What have other archaeology student groups been up to this year?

Flinders Archaeological Society


Stronger Futures: An Archaeology of Contemporary Indigenous Graffiti in the Northern Territory, Australia

I am an archaeology Honours student with Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. For the last year I have been undertaking research into contemporary Indigenous graffiti in an Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory. I am due to submit my thesis next Monday.

I am taking time out of my research to post this blog for the Day of Archaeology. Today I have been sitting at my computer, writing about some of the issues I discuss in my thesis, so I will relay them to you here.

To begin, I just wanted to draw your attention to two recent events that are of significance to Australia and will soon find their place in Australian history:

  • Australian racehorse, Black Caviar won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the Royal Ascot; and
  • the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill 2012 passed through the Australian Senate with bipartisan support and is now legislation.

Black Caviar’s recent win is significant because with 22 races undefeated (including Royal Ascot), it is the current living racehorse with the most undefeated wins (and it’s Australian).

The passing of the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill 2012 into legislation is significant because it extends the Howard government’s controversial Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act 2007 (NTER) for a further ten years. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights condemned the NTER in 2010, claiming that it stigmatises already stigmatised communities.

Have a guess which of these stories featured more prominently in the Australian media?