Project Officer - Aboriginal Partnerships

University of Wollongong

Aara Welz is a Project Officer – Aboriginal Partnerships, based at the UOW. She has worked in the field of heritage for more than 10 years, mostly as an archaeologist working for environmental companies, and as a heritage advisor for UNESCO in Bangladesh. More recently she worked for an International Indigenous NGO based in Cape Town, where she was mandated the task of articulating communities with climate science, governments and bodies such as the UN, writing policy documents and position statements resulting from these articulations.

Aara is interested in the current paradigm shift in Australian heritage. In the past, communities were typically informed of, and tokenistically included in research that either occurs on country and/or that impacts Aboriginal understanding of heritage. The current trend recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination, placing Aboriginal people in the driving seat of the heritage decision-making process. This shift results in more meaningful partnerships between communities and researchers looking at the past.


An essential item in Aara’s toolkit

“Patience and an ability to acknowledge that there are always multiple sides to a die. The side that you are most familiar with doesn’t always produce the best results.”