An evening with Dr Lynley Wallis
I recently attended an evening with Dr Lynley Wallis, archaeologist and fieldwork adventurer. Lynley had been invited to speak to Queensland teachers about the Native Police Project that she and her team have been working on for some time. This project is about uncovering the material culture relating to the frontier conflicts in Queensland in the 1800-1990s. This time period is called the Frontier Wars and it is an key unit of study in the Queensland senior history syllabus. As an archaeologist, Lynley has been able to share her findings, experiences and processes with teachers and students, making archaeology more accessible to students in Queensland. For many students in my classes, archaeology is something that happens in Egypt, Greece and Rome. The idea that it happens here is Australia is an eye opening one. The Native Police Project connects students with archaeology and the history of their own state.
The evening was a great opportunity to network with other teachers and discuss how we can assist Lynley and her team to make their resources useable in the classroom. Many of us teach this unit and the historical evidence and material culture that Lynley can make available to us is incredible. The soon to be released database will make searching for historical documents and artefacts much easier than it currently is. In addition, Lynley’s team have been interviewing elders and family members who have access to the stories of their people. These are the stories that we all need to hear so that we are telling the whole story of the history of Queensland.
From an archaeological standpoint, Lynley is one of many archaeologists working throughout Queensland and Australia to uncover the stories of the past. It is fantastic that teachers are able to gain access to these experts through avenues such as Skype a Scientist and also through their websites and social media accounts. Bringing Queensland archaeology into the Queensland classroom is authentic learning.
Interested in learning more about archaeology in Australia? I’ve listed some sites and companies that are doing some awesome stuff. Follow them on twitter to keep up with what’s going on in Australian archaeology. Check out Skype a Scientist to see if any are available to speak to your classes.
I look forward to hearing about your classroom successes
Go forth and conquer!