22 June 2017

ARC Centre of Excellence to examine Australia’s unique biodiversity and heritage

A new Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence to examine and better understand Australian biodiversity and heritage has been launched today.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, based at the University of Wollongong, is receiving $33.75 million over seven years through the ARC Centres of Excellence scheme, to undertake important research to address our natural and human history. Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, representing Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training, officially launched the Centre at Parliament House today.

ARC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Leanne Harvey, said the new Centre of Excellence will support revolutionary transdisciplinary research collaboration across diverse fields including earth sciences, ecology, genetics, archaeology and Indigenous studies.

“The Centre’s main aims are to transform our understanding of Australia’s ancient Indigenous heritage and environmental past, and improve our understanding in order to help future-proof Australia’s unique biodiversity and cultural heritage,” said Ms Harvey.

“The ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage will also equip a new generation of researchers with the range of skills needed to traverse the interface between STEM and humanities, arts and social sciences.”

Researchers based at the University of Wollongong will work closely with 21 partner organisations including: Queensland Museum; Australian Museum; Scarp Archaeology Pty Ltd; South Australian Museum; State Library of New South Wales; Bioplatforms Australia Ltd.

University of Savoy; University of Papua New Guinea; University of Colorado, Boulder; Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History; Natural History Museum of Denmark; Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery; and Indonesian National Centre for Archaeology.

The University of Wollongong will also work collaboratively with The Australian National University; James Cook University; The University of New South Wales; The University of Adelaide; Monash University; University of Tasmania; and The Flinders University of South Australia.

The ARC Centres of Excellence scheme fosters significant collaborations between universities, publicly funded research organisations, other research bodies, governments and businesses in Australia and overseas, all to support outstanding research.

For more information about this Centre, please visit the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage website. 
For more information about the ARC and its grant schemes, visit the ARC website.
Media contact:
ARC Stakeholder Relations              
0412 623 056 or communications@arc.gov.au