Education - Vocational training in Australia
AIMA/NAS: Archaeology underwater- an introduction
The Australasian Institute of Maritime Archaeology (AIMA) conducts regular maritime archaeology introductory courses.
The training program is based on a program developed by the Nautical Archaeological Society (NAS) of Britain.
This is an internationally recognised course conducted in a number of countries including the UK, South Africa, Canada, the USA and Sri Lanka. The course provides training in maritime archaeology at an amateur level.
The Nautical Archaeology Society is an international society which is based in the UK. One of the stated aims of the Nautical Archaeology Society is to advance education in maritime archaeology at all levels. The NAS has put this into practice by introducing a structured training scheme open to both divers and non-divers. It was designed and developed by archaeologists and recreational divers working together, and has proved to be an effective way to learn basic archaeological skills for use underwater.
The general aim of the course is to introduce the methods and procedures employed in underwater archaeology, as well as to generate awareness regarding shipwreck preservation in our country.
This course is enjoyed by anyone with an interest in how maritime archaeologists operate underwater - historians, archaeology students, travellers, divers and non-divers. Diving is not a requirement of the course and in many courses are conducted on dry land.
For more information see the schedule of courses on the AIMA web site. You will also find contact details for the AIMA Senior Tutor and a list of the State Tutors organising courses in each Australian State and Territory and New Zealand.
Become a public researcher
Suitably qualified people can apply to become public researcher and if accepted will be able to add information into the Australasian Underwater Cultural Heritage Database.
Education - Academic training
The Department of Archaeology at Flinders University has taught maritime archaeology at undergraduate level since 1996 and at postgraduate level since 2002. The Graduate Program in Maritime Archaeology was established in 2002 and is now the largest and most successful of its kind in Australia. It is rated as one of the top six programs in the world.
The graduate program in maritime archaeology includes a graduate coursework program that offers three awards: Graduate Certificate in Maritime Archaeology (18 units), Graduate Diploma in Maritime Archaeology (36 units) and Master of Maritime Archaeology (72 units). The awards are offered both internally (on-campus) as well as by distance learning (online) and attracts both domestic and overseas students.
Our program has three academic staff, adjunct staff, and a technical officer, as well as PhD students (on scholarships) who also work part-time in the program. The Graduate Program currently has approximately 35 graduate students and has drawn students from many different countries (including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Croatia, Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, South Africa, UK, and the USA). Graduates of the program are now working for underwater cultural heritage management agencies, museums and consultancy companies as well as studying and teaching at universities, both in Australia and overseas.
Flinders University is a full Member of the UNESCO UNITWIN Network for Underwater Archaeology.
Flinders University Field School
Flinders University coordinates an annual Maritime Archaeology Field School that introduces the techniques of coastal, intertidal and underwater survey, position fixing, mapping, photography, recording, excavation and conservation. This year the field school was for example based at Phillip Island (VIC), and run in cooperation with Heritage Victoria. Students investigated a shipwreck site and other maritime infrastructure on land and underwater as part of these training exercises.
The Maritime Archaeology Field School has previously been taught at Port MacDonnell, South Australia (2013), on Phillip Island, Victoria (2012, 2014, 2015, 2017), Magnetic Island (1998 and 1999), at Port Victoria, South Australia (2001 and 2002), Port Arlington, Victoria (2004), Sarah Island and Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania (2005), Mount Dutton Bay on the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia (2006, 2008, 2011 and 2016), Victor Harbor on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia (2007 and 2009).
This field school is open to internal students as well as a few short course students with a suitable background in archaeology or a related field. For more information, see Flinders University Field Schools and Intensives.
You can follow the activities of the Maritime Archaeology Program at Flinders via:
- Facebook: Flinders University Dept. of Archaeology
- Twitter: @FlindersMAP
- Or, our blog where you can read about staff or student experiences in the field: Flinders Archaeology Blog
Education - Museum education programs based on historic shipwrecks
Programs from the Australian National Maritime Museum
Australian National Maritime Museum
The Australian National Maritime Museum is a statutory authority of the Australian Government. Their vision is to be dynamic and innovative in managing and exploring Australia's maritime heritage in ways that inspire, delight and enlighten. Their mission is to bring maritime heritage to life and preserve it for future generations, through:
- exhibitions, programs and events that are creative, inclusive, enjoyable and memorable
- development and management of the National Maritime Collection
- research, acquisition, conservation, interpretation, scholarship, publication, outreach and education
- national leadership and the provision of support and encouragement to local, regional and community museums which value maritime heritage
- national and international cooperation and collaboration with museums and other organisations
- fostering traditional skills and practices
Website: Australian National Maritime Museum
Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology
The Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the preservation of underwater cultural heritage, and promotion of maritime archaeology conducted in accordance with internationally accepted ethical standards. Based in Australia it has sponsored work throughout Australia, Asia and the Indian and Pacific Ocean regions. It publishes a newsletter, bulletins, special reports including artefact catalogues and offers an annual scholarship.
Maritime Archaeology Association of Victoria
Established in 1978, the Maritime Archaeology Association of Victoria (MAAV) is an association of dedicated divers, historians and archaeologists actively involved in recording Victoria's maritime heritage.
The MAAV works closely with Heritage Victoria's Maritime Heritage Unit (MHU) in researching, surveying, cataloguing, conserving and promoting our maritime past.
Maritime Archaeological Association of Queensland
The Maritime Archaeological Association of Queensland, Inc (MAAQ) was established in July 1982 by the Maritime Archaeology Section at the Queensland Museum.
The Association's aims include to foster interest in and undertake the systematic study and interpretation of maritime history. MAAQ is committed to setting an ethical standard regarding the non-disturbance of maritime archaeological sites.
Maritime Archaeological Association of WA
The Maritime Archaeology Association of Western Australia was incorporated in October 1974 with an initial membership of 23. The Association has strongly supported the Western Australian Museum's Maritime Archaeology Department in its numerous projects both local and overseas.
Southern Ocean Exploration
Southern Ocean Exploration is dedicated to exploration, education and preserving our underwater maritime heritage. Unlike other avocational groups that were in part founded by practitioners, this group of dedicated divers formed their own group and are particularly keen on deep water wrecks.
Website: Southern Ocean Exploration
Gathering Information via Recreational and Technical Scientific Divers
The GIRT Scientific Divers Citizen Science program was established in July 2018.
GIRT is a conservation focused no-impact citizen-science project.
It trains members to systematically document physical and natural features of historic shipwrecks, submerged aircraft and other underwater cultural heritage in an open sea water environment. This helps to facilitate the sites ongoing protection and management.
GIRT citizen science enables better understanding of the condition of sites and the factors driving their preservation or deterioration. It also aims to encourage interested people to have an active and positive public archaeology role.
Website: GIRT Scientific Divers
Historical Diving Society
The Historical Diving Society - South East Asia, Pacific aims to promote and preserve the rich diving heritage of our region, most of which is still little known to the rest of the world. They encourage people with similar historical diving interests to join them in this promotion and find enjoyment through educational displays, writing and researching articles for quarterly magazine Classic Diver, historical walks, regional meetings, film nights, photographic collections, bibliophile meetings and the collection and preservation of historical diving equipment and ephemera.
Website: The Historical Diving Society