2019 ASHA Conference - Colonial Futures

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ASHA is pleased to advise that the 2019 conference will be held between Sunday 13 October to Wednesday 16th October 2019 in Port Macquarie.

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Call for papers
Workshops and Tours
Conference Registration
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Port Macquarie, NSW Mid North Coast


The Glasshouse, Cnr Clarence and Hay St, Port Macquarie (paper sessions, 15-16 October)


Pre-conference tours and workshops: Sunday 13 and Monday 14 October
Welcome reception: Monday evening 14 October
Conference sessions: Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 October 2019

Conference Theme - Colonial Futures

Historical archaeology in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific is intertwined with the colonial legacies of our countries. From the often coercive and entangled colonialism of the frontier, through to the subtle yet pervasive transfer and transformation of British material culture and technology across society, or the distinctive contribution of non-British migrants – Australasian historical archaeology deals with the physical remains of colonial pasts.

Yet what is the future of these colonial pasts? What new stories can we tell about past lives and places? What new methods can we apply? How do we manage the physical remains of the past for the future? How can the archaeology of the colonial past be interpreted or presented to future audiences? How can we integrate colonial histories with Indigenous histories? What relevance does local archaeology have to our culturally-diverse contemporary societies? How can the archaeology of our colonial past inform broader contemporary debates?

Port Macquarie, on the NSW mid-north coast, provides an ideal venue to discuss these issues – a former convict settlement and place of secondary punishment, it later became an important coastal river port, a family holiday destination, and growing regional centre.


The main call for papers has closed, but you can still submit proposals for short talks and posters.

Call for short talks

The ASHA speed trials are back! Short presentations of three minutes with three slides - you and the countdown clock. This was a great success last year - perfect for work in progress, short reflections, or making colleagues aware of something interesting that you’ve recently found. Submissions due 15 September 2019.

Call for posters

Do you value the visual? Do you want to share something but without the pressure of a spoken presentation? This year posters are making a comeback to the ASHA conference. Submissions due 15 September 2019.


All submissions (speed trial talks and posters) should include:

  • Contact name and affiliation
  • Names and affiliations of other authors (if relevant)

Email submissions to Only submit an abstract if you have permission to present from the relevant stakeholders, such as employers, clients, or traditional owners.


On Sunday 13 and Monday 14 October, the conference organisers have arraged a number of optional workshops and tours. See further information and booking details below:


Mitch McKay has kindly agreed to run a special tour for the ASHA Conference, including a visit to Port Macquarie Historic Cemetery.
Date: Sunday 13 October 2019
Time: 1.30pm – 4.00pm
Meet: Glasshouse, Visitor Information Counter
Cost: $25.00 – to be paid in cash on the day
Book: Book directly with Mitch McKay by emailing him at or by phoning him on 0447 429 016. Please identify yourself as an ASHA Conference delegate wishing to join the special Sunday tour.

This tour is limited to 20 people and bookings must be made by close of business Friday 11 October 2019.

If you are unable to be in Port Macquarie on the Sunday then you may like to book one of Mitch’s regular tours on Thursday 17 October, the day after the conference. These tour can be booked via the Port Macquarie Heritage website:


The conference organisers have arranged a tour of the ruins of Lake Innes House at the Lake Innes Nature Reserve.
Date: Monday 14 October 2019
Time: 9:00am – 1.00pm
Meet: Glasshouse, Visitor Information Counter
Bring:BYO morning tea, Sunscreen + Hat + Insect Repellent, Long pants, sturdy walking shoes, and weather appropriate apparel.
Cost: $12
Book:Book with your registration. Additional bookings available here.


These workshops will be held at the Port Macquarie Museum. These will be run by highly-experienced, Sydney and Armidale-based artefact specialists, with some reference to archaeological material found in Port Macquarie. Similar events have proved popular in the past. Members $80, non-members $120. Lunch not included.
Date: Monday 14 October 2019
Time: 1.45pm – 5.30pm
Meet: Port Macquarie Museum
Cost: $80 ASHA members, $120 non-members
Book:Book with your registration. Additional bookings available here.

Sessions will consist of:

  1. Basic Ceramic Artefact Identification – Jeanne Harris Urban Analysts

    This session aims to introduce historical archaeologists to the identification of ceramic material types, wares and decorative techniques. Information on dating specific wares and decorative techniques will be provided, as well as a list of references for further research. Also presented will be how to recognize visual clues that help distinguishing similar wares and decorations. While examples of various wares and decorative techniques will be available for hands on examination, participants are welcome to bring along any ceramic artefact they wish to share with the group.

  2. Basic Glass Artefact Identification - Jeanne Harris Urban Analysts

    This session is an introduction to the most commonly recovered glass artefacts from archaeological sites. It focuses on bottle, tableware and window pane manufacturing technologies with suggested references for each category. As bottle use is significant to identification, commonly recovered bottle forms will be discussed. Identification of tableware includes dating stylistic trends based on use popularity date ranges and methods to distinguish quality tableware. Examples of various bottle and tableware types will be available for closer inspection, but participants are welcome to bring in items they wish to share with the group.

  3. Miscellaneous or Small Finds – Robyn Stocks, Casey & Lowe Pty Ltd

    This session aims to introduce historical archaeologists to the identification of miscellaneous or small finds. The discussion will concentrate on artefacts commonly found on historic sites, including those in Port Macquarie. Updated information will be given about where many objects were manufactured, their date, and references for further research. Recognising the functions of different categories of miscellaneous artefacts and who may have used them can be an invaluable on-site tool and crucial for the analysis, reporting and presentation of the site to the client and the public. Some strategies on how to tackle difficult identifications will be given and participants are encouraged to bring an artefact that is challenging so all can learn.

  4. Port Macquarie Early Building Materials – Robyn Stocks, Casey & Lowe Pty Ltd

    This session will discuss the main types of building materials found on early to mid-19th century sites in Port Macquarie. These will be compared to better-known examples from contemporary sites in Sydney and Parramatta. Methods of manufacture are also described using objects found at the site of Port Macquarie’s Government House. How the bricks, tiles, mortars and plaster differ from those of later periods will be described so that similar examples can be identified by other archaeologists. Examining these artefacts in detail will show the process of recognising meaningful attributes and how to create a type series that can be a useful aid in the field and during post excavation analysis. It is hoped that the participants will have found similar early building materials during their work and can share their insights with the group.

  5. Locally-Made Pottery from the Brickfields – Mary Casey, Casey & Lowe Pty Ltd

    Brief overview of locally made pottery, with a focus on Thomas Ball and some discussion of Jonathan Leak pottery from his manufacturing site on modern Wentworth Avenue. Leak pottery has been found at Port Macquarie Government House, a large pan. This workshop aims to make archaeologists familiar both Ball and Leak pottery so they can identify it in the field, understand vessel forms and the characteristics of the fabric, glazes and decoration. Samples of both types of pottery will be present for examination and discussion.


Conference registration is now open! The fees are listed below. Please check the website for details as they become available. Register here. Early bird registration is open until August 31.

Conference rates
Event Early bird
(until 31 Aug)
Full rate
(after 31 Aug)
Single day
ASHA member $285 $350 $200
Non-member $350 $420 $250
Student/Concession Member $220 $280 $160
Student/Concession Non-Member $240 $300 $180
Conference Dinner Registration $93
Monday morning Lake Innes Ruins tour $12
Monday afternoon artefact workshop $80 members/$120 non-members

Registration includes:

  • Pre-conference opening reception on the evening of Monday 14th October at the Glasshouse.
  • Conference papers on current research and initiatives in historical archaeology and associated fields on 15th and 16th October.
  • Catering: morning tea, light lunch, afternoon tea.
  • Conference pack: name tag, a programme overview, give-aways and local information. The conference dinner is on the evening of the 16th October at the Zebu Waterfront Restaurant, Rydges Port Macquarie and is $93 per person.
  • Single day registration includes the conference papers and catering for the day selected, but does not include the welcome event.

Book here.


Port Macquarie has a wide range of accommodation options available. Since the conference dinner is being held at Zebu Waterfront Restaurant, Rydges Port Macquarie, you may wish to consider accommodation at this venue. Otherwise, a wide range of other accommodation options are available in Port Macquarie - see Most of the conference activity will be centred on The Glasshouse, 30-42 Clarence Street Port Macquarie.


This conference is supported by the following sponsors: