Understanding the Long-Term Sustainable Use of Australian Small Islands

    Over two days in early December 2022, fourteen researchers from JCU, the University of Western Australia, Flinders University and the Australian National University gathered in Cairns from a range of disciplines including archaeology, sociology, Indigenous studies, palaeoecology and modelling to discuss the long-term sustainable use of Australian small islands. The workshop was organised by Dr Ariana Lambrides and Dr Mirani Litster (JCU) and funded by the Cairns Institute.

    The event acted as an ‘update’ to identify future research agendas across disciplines. Major themes addressed over the four days included contemporary island identity, island environments and landscapes, chronologies of small island occupation, watercraft and connectivity, rock art and stone structures, models of Australian island colonisation and use, contemporary reef restoration and adaptation, marine resource use on small islands, human-animal interactions on islands and submerged sites. The two days closed with a discussion by modeller Dr Frédérik Saltre from Flinders University on how such themes could be drawn together to model small island use.

    It is anticipated that this workshop will act as a launching point from which to engage in broader conversations about Australian islands, including specifically how more voices and perspectives might be engaged in such research and how interdisciplinary approaches might be articulated.

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