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On the Rocks - Symposium

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Event description

On the Rocks

Managing the cultural and natural heritage of Western Australia's granite outcrops

We are back for another year to celebrate the unique heritage of Western Australia’s granite outcrops. This year we are combining cultural and natural heritage, with environmental practitioners, Indigenous knowledge holders and land managers coming together to share and learn about the flora, fauna and geology of granite, as well as ancient and recent human histories.

Mr Desmond Blurton and Professor Stephen Hopper will present keynote presentations on the cultural and natural heritage of these significant landscape features.

The Symposium aims are:

  • To recognise and promote the cultural and natural heritage of granite outcrops.
  • To manage granite outcrops in the face of changing legislation and multiple stakeholder expectations.
  • To create a network of stakeholders to progress the holistic management of granite outcrops.

Open to all interested parties with free registration for Noongar participants and reduced rates for students, unwaged and pensioners. The symposium will be held in the historic York Town Hall with a pre-symposium excursion to Wandoo National Park to experience this heritage first hand (on Tuesday 19 September - information and registrations coming soon).

Symposium details

Date: Wednesday 20 September 2023

Location: York Town Hall, 81 Avon Tce, York

Time: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm  


  • General admission: $110.00
  • Students / unwaged / pensioners: $45.00
  • Noongar participants: free

Symposium draft program 

8:30am - Registration and Morning Tea
9:00am - Welcome to Country and Welcome to York
9:30am - Session One

  • Symposium Overview + Cultural Heritage - Chair: Sven Ouzman, UWA
  • Keynote Address: First Nations Australians perspectives on granite outcrops - Des Blurton, Ballardong Aboriginal Corporation
  • Risks to Cultural heritage sites in the Wandoo National Park: a summary of findings of a UWA honours thesis - Jarrod van der Weide, UWA
  • Special places – Special experiences – Special stories: creating a legacy for future generations - Rebecca Palumbo, Shire of York and Jermaine Davis, Wheatbelt NRM
  • Close encounters of the granite kind: engagement, tourism, and recreation - Lorna Charlton, DBCA
  • Overview of Aboriginal heritage legislation - Aidan Ash, DPLH
  • Session 1 Wrap Up - Sven Ouzman, UWA

11:30am - Lunch, and Photo Exhibition by Jean and Fred Hort
12:30pm - Session 2

  • Natural Heritage - Chair: Natasha Lebas, UWA
  • Keynote Address - Granite outcrops: hotspots of natural and cultural heritage - Stephen D. Hopper AC, UWA and Susie Cramp, UWA
  • Granites: their upward journey from the deep crust - Annette George, WA
  • Herpetofauna of granite outcrops - Paul Doherty, WAM and Natasha Lebas, UWA
  • Surface water update: people and climate risks in the Helena River catchment - Graeme Blake, DWER
  • Fire and granite outcrops - Troy Granville, Shire of York/DFES and David Windsor, DFES Bushfire Centre of Excellence
  • Overview of Granite Field Trip
  • Session 2 - Wrap Up - Natasha Lebas, UWA

2:10pm - Afternoon Tea
2:40pm - Panel Discussion - Chair: Ingrid Sieler, Perth NRM
3:30pm - Concluding Remarks and Future Actions - Sven Ouzman, UWA
4:00pm - Finish

General information

We acknowledge this symposium and associated field trip are being held on Ballardong and Whadjuk Country and pay our respects to the traditional custodians and their Elders past and present.

The ‘On the Rocks’ Symposium and Field Excursion are an initiative of Perth NRM and UWA and supported by the Shire of York.

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