One of the first activities which
AWSANZ organised was a two day conference on whaling archaeology which
was held at and hosted
14th to 15th July 1997
From the 14th - 15th July 1997 the first AWSA conference was held at and hosted by La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria. Individuals attending the conference ranged from major Australian Universities such as La Trobe, Flinders, James Cook, and Sydney, Government affiliated organizations such as the Victorian and South Australian Heritage Branches and the Parks and Wildlife departments of Tasmania and New South Wales to representatives from various archaeological consultancy firms.
The sixteen papers presented in
the two days of the conference were on diverse topics. Papers ranged from
regional overviews from Australian states and from Norfolk Island and New
Zealand to case studies of particular sites, concluding with discussions
of concurrent themes of the archaeology of Whaling. Special mention must
be made of papers from Martin Gibbs, from James Cook University for investigations
into the Nineteenth century whaling in Western Australia and to Nigel Prickett
from the Auckland Museum on sites in New Zealand. These studies proved
to illuminate the diversity of the characteristics of different sites as
The final day workshop was an attempt to integrate work carried out into a broader context. Such a context was represented in the need for a common analytical framework for the recording and management of sites both terrestrial and maritime that were associated with whaling activity. The flirther aim of creating a common direction and heightened communication between academic, governmental and other professional organizations into an integrated body centered on contn'butors from the Southern Pacific will hopefully be one that will heighten our understanding all things whaling.