Two of our anthropologists were lucky to visit and record a series of sites for registration on the WA
Department of Planning, Lands, and Heritage’s Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Inquiry System database.
In accordance with best practice, this recording involved interviews, analysis of site material against
archaeological frameworks, archival research, and drone documentation. It is partly through
recording of such sites that allow demonstrations of Traditional Owner’s ongoing connection to their
country. This demonstration is required by native title legislation and is often a focal point of court
proceedings. By documenting traditional owners’ knowledge and custodianship of these sites, Trace
was able to help strengthen their documented connection to country.
In addition to performing these site registrations, Trace also conducted broader historical and
genealogical research. The anthropologists created genealogies providing the traditional owners
with proof of their familial ties to their country. Archival research and literature reviews also enabled
Trace to verify contemporary cultural knowledge against historic anthropological sources, and in
some instances, provide lost information back to community.
The Trace team’s endeavours, as a small part of a larger community effort, were ultimately
successful in the eyes of the traditional owners. For us, this standard of measure is the most
important. With experience spreading from Western Australia to Queensland, the Northern
Territory, and New South Wales, the Trace anthropology team is well versed in working alongside
traditional owners to achieve positive outcomes. Above all, the Trace team listens, and is guided by
the opinions and knowledge of the Traditional Owners. We see ourselves as a tool for their use –
wholly collaborative, whilst retaining the utmost standards of heritage.