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2021 -  Oceans of Heritage: The Next Decade

Conference Theme:

For many reasons, we are facing change: change in our climate, change in our oceans, and change in our everyday life in reaction to a global pandemic. However, we are also at the start of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 and its global focus on marine research. It was a perfect time to come together as a community, to embrace the scientific aspects of our research, to strengthen collaborations with other scientists, to empower social science research, and to bring attention to the often-overlooked role of heritage in the environment. The 2021 AIMA conference looked to the difficulties and opportunities that the next decade may bring across the full range of underwater cultural heritage in Australasia.


The 2021 AIMA conference was held in Townsville over the two days of 12th and 13th November. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the conference was held as a hybrid event with both online and on-site attendance for audience and presenters alike.

Conference Paper Awards:

Best overall paper:
Katie Woo - "Middeningly Difficult: Methodological Advances in the Identification and Analysis of Submerged Midden Sites"
Best student paper:
Erika Gress - "Marine biodiversity thriving at the SS Yongala"
Paper best embodying the conference theme:
Cami Plum - "Shiver me timbers - microbes, pollutants and conserving our marine cultural heritage"
Honorable mention:
Emma Webb - "The feasibility of a La Perouse survivor craft wreck in Torres Strait"