Winner of the 2014 Sharon Sullivan National Heritage award announced

Australian Heritage Council

Media release
19 May 2014

Australian Heritage Council today announced this year’s recipient of the Sharon Sullivan National Heritage Award.

Council Chair, Professor Carmen Lawrence said the award recognises an individual’s outstanding and long term contribution to Australia’s national heritage in the natural, indigenous or historic environment.

"It gives me great pleasure to announce that the 2014 recipient of the Australian Heritage Council's Sharon Sullivan National Heritage award is Archaeologist David Johnston for his outstanding contribution to the Australian Indigenous heritage environment and his continued influence on practice.

"When David graduated with Honours from university in 1989 he was one of the first Indigenous Australians qualified to work as an archaeologist.

"Following a remarkable academic career that took him to the United Kingdom and work with the British Museum, David has made an exceptional contribution to the research, management and protection of our Indigenous heritage," Professor Lawrence said.   

Dave Johnston is the current Director of Aboriginal Archaeologists Australia and Chairman of the Australian Indigenous Archaeologists' Association.

He is a member of the Commonwealth Governments' Indigenous Advisory Committee that deals with advice relating to the EPBC Act and a member of the AIATSIS Research Ethics Committee and the Canberra Museum and Gallery Advisory Committee.

"David has made important contributions to the development of the field Indigenous archaeology and its development at Australian universities as well as working to ensure an Indigenous perspective in the study of Australian archaeology. 

"David's contributions have been internationally recognized. He was actively involved in the development and adoption of a code of ethics for the World Archaeological Congress and also drove the adoption of a code of ethics by the Australian Archaeological Association.  He was instrumental in the development of the Australian Government's guidelines for Indigenous heritage.

"I am delighted that David Johnston is the first Indigenous recipient of the Council's Sharon Sullivan National Heritage Award and I speak for all Council members when I say David is a worthy holder of the award and that we look forward to his future contributions to our Indigenous heritage," Professor Lawrence said.

The Sharon Sullivan National Heritage award

The Sharon Sullivan National Heritage award was created by the Australian Heritage Council to not only recognises individuals’ outstanding and long term contribution to Australia’s national heritage in the natural, indigenous or historic environment but to commemorate the remarkable contribution of retired Australian Heritage Council member Adjunct Professor Sharon Sullivan.