Burrup rock art research to go on

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Rock art on the Burrup Peninsula.
Camera IconRock art on the Burrup Peninsula. Credit: Alicia Perera

Rock art on the Burrup Peninsula will undergo further research after major partners signed a new five-year agreement last week.

The University of Western Australia, Rio Tinto and Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation have had a partnership to monitor the art for the past five years, with that now being extended further into the future.

Rio Tinto rock art studies chair-woman Professor Jo McDonald said the partnership had been extended because it had proven to be a success.

“We have built a really good collaborative relationship between the Aboriginal community and industry,” she said.

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“This funding agreement will allow us to expand our knowledge about rock art but more importantly it will ensure ongoing collaboration with host Aboriginal communities too.”

The agreement will also help MAC and the State Government in their quest to gain World Heritage Listing of the Dampier Archipelago.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said that process had commenced and was going well.

“We’re anticipating the finalisation of it in 2022, so still a couple of years away,” he said.

“It’s disappointing that it will take so long, but that’s out of our control because of the Federal Government’s involvement in the UNESCO committee.”

Professor McDonald, who is also the director of the Centre for Rock Art Research and Management at UWA, said her aim in the next five years was to make sure the rangers had the type of information they needed to manage the rock art.

“It’s an extraordinary cultural estate for anyone to look after, let alone an indigenous group who hasn’t had to do this sort of thing before,” she said.

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