Indigenous archaeologist

Maddison Miller

Deciding to become an archaeologist was a no-brainer for young Darug woman, Maddison Miller. As a child she was lucky enough to have a close relationship with her local parks office in King Lake.  She often found herself tagging along to go out on country and monitor endangered species.

“As a kid I always liked going around outside with my dad on country so I kind of always knew that archaeology was something I wanted to do.”

Her childhood interests eventually led to a Bachelor in Archaeology at La Trobe University and she’s on her way to completing her Masters in Archaeology. Her path to a STEM field was forged by taking risks and trying new things, and she wants others to do the same.

“I encourage everybody to get involved and to go and try different things, especially when things may sound a bit scary.”

Maddison at work.

Through archaeology she found that she was able to connect Aboriginal archaeology to the landscape and truly understand how people have lived. Maddison is currently using her archaeology knowledge to help an Indigenous town planner formulate a plan that will be presented at a symposium at the end of the year.

The goal of their project is to “use town planning and Indigenous knowledge to create sustainable cities.” They’re doing this by combining information gathered through archeology and current town planning practices.

She wants to emphasise that archaeology has many practical uses. It isn’t all about digging up dinosaurs. “When you meet people and find out what they do it kind of takes away the stigma.” Maddison hopes that she’s able to continue doing research on how we’ve used our landscapes in the past and compare it to how we continue to use it today.

“Studying the past to help inform the future is an important takeaway.”

While archaeology focuses on studying the path, the field itself is constantly evolving with new technologies that can encourage different ways of understanding our past.

– Blaine Woolfson-Jarvis

“Studying the past to help inform the future is an important takeaway.”

Eliza Brockwell

Author: Eliza Brockwell

Eliza is the Digital Producer for Careers with STEM. Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.

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