With WA recognised internationally as home to some of the most spectacular rock-art in the world, a new Centre for Rock-Art Studies was opened at The University of Western Australia today.
The centre will ensure WA is recognised as a global leader in rock-art research and provide a focal point for advice and research-related activities into WA and Australian rock-art, including tourism and conservation.
Acting Centre Director Professor Jane Balme said few landscapes offered as much tangible evidence of human history as the Pilbara and Kimberley regions.
"Researchers and the wider community have an extraordinary opportunity to learn more about the rich human histories associated with rock-art," Professor Balme said.
Centre researcher Assistant Professor Martin Porr said the analysis of rock-art could give insights into the relationships between people and their environment, their ideas and attitudes.
"It is fascinating that these relations can be unravelled for images and objects that are more than 30,000 years old," he said.
The interdisciplinary centre will involve staff from UWA's School of Indigenous Studies, the Berndt Museum of Anthropology, the WA Supercomputer Project, the Energy and Minerals Institute, and the disciplines of archaeology, chemistry and fine arts.
WA business and community leader John Rothwell, Executive Chairman of the Austal Group, will be the centre's inaugural chairperson.