Now is the time to tell a culturally inclusive, globally significant human and environmental history of Australia. We like to call it, Australia’s Epic Story.

Australia has been shaped as a nation by its natural, historic and Indigenous heritage. To adapt successfully to future changes, we must dramatically improve our understanding of Australia’s past.

We are undertaking research that will safeguard our national heritage, transform research culture, connect with communities and inform policy.

This rainforest was once a grassland savanna maintained by Aboriginal people

If you go to the Surrey Hills of northwest Tasmania, you’ll see a temperate rainforest dominated by sprawling trees with genetic links going back millions of years. It’s a forest type many consider to be ancient “wilderness”. But this landscape once looked very different. The only hints are a handful […]

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We were what we ate — clues to the survival of our earliest ancestors in teeth fossils

Analysis of ancient teeth has unlocked surprising new insights into the ability of early humans to adapt to new and extreme environments. The breakthrough came from a study of fossil teeth found during archaeological excavations of caves and rock shelters on two islands in a region known as Wallacea. Analysis […]

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Why we need to care about a 2℃ change in temperature

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that without a substantial decrease in our use of fossil fuels, we are on track for a global average increase of 2℃ in the next few decades, with extremes of between 3 to 6℃ at higher latitudes. But […]

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Looking at past climates to understand the present — and predict the future

As we grapple with the reality of climate change and imagine what it will be like to live in a warmer world, CABAH researchers are looking for answers to some big questions in some surprising places. For the past hundred thousand years or so, the continent has been much cooler […]

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65,000-year-old plant remains show the earliest Australians spent plenty of time cooking

Australia’s first people ate a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and other plant foods, many of which would have taken considerable time and knowledge to prepare, according to our analysis of charred plant remains from a site dating back to 65,000 years ago.

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Ancient Antarctic ice melt increased sea levels by 3+ metres – and it could happen again

Rising ocean temperatures drove the melting of Antarctic ice sheets and caused extreme sea level rise more than 100,000 years ago, a new international study shows. Mass melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was a major cause of high sea levels during a period known as the Last Interglacial […]

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On Country with the Rosny mob — creating gateways between the past and the future

Spending time on Country on Tasmania’s rugged east coast gave a group of young Indigenous students the opportunity to reconnect to culture and share knowledge of science. The senior students from Rosny College, in Hobart, forged deep and lasting connections during the recent three-day camp aimed at creating a fusion […]

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People, climate, and water supply all played a role in the extinction of Australia’s megafauna

Imagine trying to solve a mystery that is tens of thousands of years old. There are no witnesses still alive, clues are scarce, and even the evidence that does exist is sometimes of questionable reliability. This has been a challenge facing scientists trying to piece together the factors that led […]

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Retracing our ancient routes

The size of the first population of people needed to arrive, survive and thrive in what is now Australia has been revealed in two studies by CABAH researchers. We know that people have been in Australia for a very long time — at least for the past 50,000 years, and […]

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ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage

Now is the time to tell a culturally inclusive, globally significant environmental history of Australia We like to call it Australia’s Epic Story. Australia has been shaped as a nation by its natural, historic and Indigenous heritage. To adapt successfully to future changes, we must dramatically improve our understanding of Australia’s past. The ARC Centre of Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) will undertake research that will safeguard our national heritage, transform research culture, connect with communities and inform policy. By tracking the natural and human history of Australia, Papua New Guinea and eastern Indonesia, we will be able to fill vast gulfs of knowledge to help us protect our national assets. Opened at Parliament House, Canberra, on 22 June 2017, the centre is funded by a $33.75 million grant from the Australian Research Council, $1 million from the NSW Government, and $11 million from participating universities, museums, and organisations. The funding will support around 40 new research positions and more than 50 new research students over the 7-year life of the Centre. CABAH will be at the forefront of discovery and education, inspiring Australian children to engage in science and connecting with the broader Australian and global community through a comprehensive outreach program. We will help build Australia’s research capacity by equipping future generations of researchers with a range of interdisciplinary skills, and implement initiatives to nurture the careers of Indigenous and female researchers. We’re building a impressive online resource to tell Australia’s Epic Story. Want to be kept up to date with our blockbuster discoveries? Like our page!
ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
Wondering how to bring Indigenous perspectives into the classroom?
ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
Take a look at the love and passion that goes into creating these stunning classroom resources in Murrinh-patha language.
ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
ABC Education
Our Lady Of The Sacred Heart Thamarrurr School creates all its own learning material in the Indigenous Murrinh-patha language to teach students in 2 languages! #WalkingTogether #ReconciliationWeek
ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
Aboriginal people have been using fire as a tool for managing the land for countless generations.

And there's growing mainstream interest in it following the devastating 2019/2020 fire season.
ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
Academics — including CABAH's Michael-Shawn Fletcher — reflect on the role that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) can play in bringing about change.
Reconciliation Australia
Unimelb Science Student News
go.unimelb.edu.au/6pnj

Twitter


Papuan DNA sequences help solve the mystery of the settlement and dispersal of the earliest people in Sahul more than 55,000 years ago.

https://t.co/DGl75Wo2aa
@NatureComms
@clarchaeology https://t.co/kl57WgxCza

Universities will never be the same after the coronavirus crisis https://t.co/e2j9LatEOE

This pandemic is not an extended sabbatical.

Jokes about productivity hide the toxicity of academic ‘always on’ culture, says Daphne S. Ling.

https://t.co/xcaYS1O4ki

Australia, you have unfinished business. It's time to let our 'fire people' care for this land https://t.co/T9sunATBQu via @ConversationEDU

BROWSE

WILDLIFE

How has Australia’s wildlife responded to climate, landscape change and human impact over thousands of years?

[Image by Georgia Steytler]

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TIME

Time is fundamental to understanding the story of Australia’s natural and Indigenous history and heritage.

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People

Human history is written in the land. Delve into the lives of the first Australians, by looking back 60,000+ years, and ponder how our past informs our future.

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Landscapes

Australia is a land of ragged mountains and sweeping plains, shaped by droughts and flooding rains. How did the landscapes we see around us come to be and how have they changed?

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Climate

Reconstructing climate to better understand the drivers and impacts of past and future change.

[Image: Sonia Leber and David Chesworth]

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Models

Combining the diverse results from other themes, using statistical and computational methods to quantify uncertainty and model complex interactions.

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