Ancient rock art from Western Australia wins prestigious international congress

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Scheduled for mid-late 2024, the IFRAO and AURA congresses will attract more than 1,000 rock art research experts to Western Australia, where they will meet for five days at the University of Western Australia. (UWA).

The ancient Aboriginal rock art of Western Australia and its academic strengths in this area led the state to be chosen as the host destination for the Congress of the International rock art organizations (IFRAO) and the 4th Congress of the Australian Rock Art Research Association (AURA) 2024.

Scheduled for mid-late 2024, the IFRAO and AURA congresses will attract more than 1,000 rock art research experts to Western Australia, where they will meet for five days at the University of Western Australia ( UWA), home to the world’s largest university rock art research and management center, as well as venturing into parts of Western Australia to study rock art sites for eight weeks.

Prime Minister of Western Australia The Hon. Mark McGowan The MP said hosting the congress would foster global awareness of ancient rock art in Western Australia while strategically enhancing the state’s Aboriginal tourism experiences that are being developed as part of the Action Plan for the $ 20 million 2021-2025 Jina Western Australian Aboriginal tourism, which was a key contributor to WA’s selection as the host destination for the IFRAO and AURA 2024 conferences.

Western Australia is home to some of the most important examples of rock art in Australia and around the world and is rich in culture and history. we look forward to showing the scale of this importance on a global platform when the IFRAO and AURA congress is held here in 2024”Said Premier McGowan.

Hosting this congress means that we will attract over a thousand experts to Perth and the region of Western Australia to world famous rock art sites, where they will engage with local indigenous communities. and tourism operators, improving the objectives of the Jina plan and further supporting the development of our cultural tourism industry. “

Founder and organizer of the IFRAO and AURA congresses, professor Robert G. Bednarik, said the International Federation and AURA were delighted to have chosen Western Australia as the host destination for their 2024 event.

We enthusiastically chose Western Australia and UWA as the best venue for this conference; the university has the largest university rock art department in the world, just as Western Australia has the largest repository of rock art in the Pilbara and the Kimberley.“said Professor Bednarik.

We are delighted to host the World Congress of Rock Art Research at the University and in Western Australia, especially in the context of the State Government’s Jina Initiative.

Of the 100,000 currently known rock art sites in Australia, the most significant examples exist in Western Australia, including the world’s oldest rock art in the Kimberley region, where samples from 60 years old can be found. 000 years old, and the largest known collection. in Murujuga in the Pilbara region of WA.

President and CEO of the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation Peter Jeffries said the rock art found at Murujuga, also known as the Burrup Peninsula, was among the most significant in Australia.

It is estimated that there are over a million individual engravings at Murujuga in an area of ​​approximately 37,000 hectares, some of which are estimated to be 50,000 years old.“said Jeffries.

This rich concentration of rock carvings and stone arrangements led to the recent addition of Murujuga to the UNESCO World Heritage List (provisional) in recognition of its cultural significance, and I welcome delegates attending IFRAO and AURA congresses to come and see this incredible cultural story in person in 2024. “

Western Australia undertakes cutting-edge archaeological research in rock art which is supported by the Center for Rock Art Research and Management at the University of Western Australia (CRAR + M), which focuses on Australian rock art and produces important research results of international importance.

In collaboration with Rock Art Australia, the Government of Western Australia, traditional owners and national and international universities, the Kimberley Visions Project is led by CRAR + M to investigate some of the world’s most complex figurative rock art in the northwest region of the state.

Business Events Perth Chairman and CEO Gareth Martin said the business events provide a platform for collaboration, innovation, economic development and positive societal change, and that the convention alone is expected to generate more than $ 4.8 million in direct delegate spending for Western Australia with associated field trips generating additional economic and social benefits for areas around the state.

In addition to the direct tourism impact of over 1,000 delegates traveling to Perth and across Western Australia for eight weeks, attracting this congress supports our world-renowned research institutes and is a catalyst for increased international research collaboration with local indigenous communities.“said Mr. Martin.

“This is important for communicating Aboriginal cultural heritage to a global audience, alongside developing diverse Aboriginal tourism experiences and supporting the Western Australian Government’s Jina Plan, while showcasing our state to the world.. “

The Jina: Western Australian Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan 2021-2025 (Jina Plan) was developed by Tourism Western Australia, together with other government agencies from WA and the Council of Indigenous Tourism Operators of Western Australia.

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