A team of students from The University of Western Australia has won the inaugural national Australian Archaeological Association's (AAA) Student Ethics Debate.
Five UWA students crossed the country to compete against teams from three other Australian universities; the University of Wollongong, Flinders University, and the University of Queensland.
The debates took place in Coffs Harbour, NSW, during the first week of December.
Ethical practice is a highly important issue in archaeology because of subject matter sensitivities that involve local traditions and cultures, the excavation of remains, protection of sites, and the dissemination of information.
The team consisted of Natasha Busher, honours student working on faunal assemblages; Alyce Haast, Master of Professional Archaeology candidate conducting historical archaeological research at Fremantle Prison; Megan Berry, PhD candidate researching Indigenous lifeways on the Dampier Archipelago through archaeology and rock art; Sam Harper, PhD Candidate investigating the mythological narratives, linguistics and rock art of the Port Hedland area; and Andrew Cooper, PhD candidate researching human behavioural modelling in the east Hamersley. Their mentors were PhD candidate Jane Fyfe and Assistant Professor Tom Whitley.
The debate was a fantastic opportunity to engage with the archaeological community and showcase the UWA students' comprehensive knowledge and understanding of ethical issues in archaeology, Assistant Professor Whitley said.
The debate was part of the AAA's 36th annual conference.
Photo: All smiles as the UWA team celebrates its victory in the inaugural AAA Student Ethics Debate. Back L-R: Megan Berry, Natasha Busher, Alyce Haast, Sam Harper, Andrew Cooper; Front: Jane Fyfe