Research Engagement and ImpactDiving in Deep to strengthen links with UNESCO members
Underwater Archaeology is a worldwide discipline regularly interfacing with universities, communities, governments and policy makers. Establishing international partnerships plus the co-operation and trust that leads to research collaboration is integral to further our understanding of cultural heritage.
One of the best ways to develop collaborative research is taking the opportunity to meet face-to-face and develop the rapport. This is exactly what Associate Professor Wendy Van Duivenoorde and Dr Jonathan Benjamin have achieved having become co-Chairs of the UNESCO University Twinning and Networking Programme for Underwater Archaeology (UNITWIN Network) in 2015, and this month they will be submitting an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant as a result.
The UNITWIN Network was established in 1992 with the aim to increase research capacity through international cooperation. It enhances the protection of, and research into underwater cultural heritage by formally connecting universities and professional training institutions working in underwater archaeology.
In April 2018, at their meeting in Paris, France, Wendy and Jonathan tabled a discussion to propose development of a joint ARC Linkage Project to build and capitalise on the links the Network has developed over the past three years. The project, 'Diving for humanity', aims to reveal how the field of underwater archaeology developed on a global scale and has generated new significant knowledge about our shared human past. It intends to capitalise on connecting with pioneers of underwater archaeology, many of whom are approaching the end of their academic careers. It will position the important contributions of Australian Maritime Archaeologists on the world stage, an aspect that is largely missing from the current narrative.
To assist in the proposal development Mr Narmon Tulsi, Senior Research Support Officer, Research Development and Support, for the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, was invited to attend the April meeting.
Narmon advised international partners on the ARC grant funding system, assisted in building relationships and provided an overview on what would be required from the international partners to develop a successful application.
“The experience was extremely valuable, and attending the meeting allowed good relationships to be built with key international academics,” said Narmon. “This has undoubtedly had a positive influence on many of the members…they have a willingness to engage with Flinders.”
It is anticipated that the proposal will be submitted in August.