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New $46M national research centre to explore Australia’s human and environmental history

Australia’s distinctive character is captured in its unique natural and human history. Yet much of this story remains unknown. How did Indigenous Australians and our endemic fauna and flora respond and adapt to periods of climatic stress, and what lessons can be learnt that will help our environment and society in the future?

Today (Thursday June 22) an international research team headquartered at the University of Wollongong (UOW) begins a seven-year, $45.7 million quest to shed light on Australia’s iconic biodiversity and Indigenous heritage.

The Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, will officially launch the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) at Parliament House this morning.

The first continental-scale project of its kind in the world, CABAH will pioneer a new understanding of the natural and human history of Australia, Papua New Guinea and eastern Indonesia from 130,000 years ago until European arrival.

CABAH will take an innovative, transdisciplinary approach, bringing world-leading researchers from science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines (spanning the natural sciences) together with scholars from the humanities and social sciences, such as archaeology and Indigenous studies.

The Centre will be led by Distinguished Professor Richard (Bert) Roberts, an ARC Laureate Fellow and Director of UOW’s Centre for Archaeological Science.

Source: University of Wollongong

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