A Visiting Professor at the University of Newcastle has been re-elected to lead the world's largest archaeological organisation.
Professor Claire Smith was re-elected for a second term as President of the World Archaeological Congress following a meeting in Ireland of more than 1,800 archaeologists, international scholars and Indigenous peoples from 74 nations.
Professor Smith, who is visiting the University of Newcastle from Flinders University, said she would use the new term to reinforce the organisation's commitment to redressing global inequality in archaeology.
"Archaeologists in different parts of the world work in dramatically different circumstances," Professor Smith said.
"For example, in Nigeria there are strong cultural heritage laws, but these are rarely enforced. In some cases, people loot sites, then lead tours of them and offer tourists the looted artefacts for purchase.
"Japan is a world leader in conservation and restoration, but a number of its key museums are under threat of closure due to severe budget slashes.
"As an international body, it's our aim to level the playing field as much as we can. We would like governments to develop shared values and ethical standards for archaeology so that the world's history is protected."
In Australia, Professor Smith continues to campaign the Australian Government for the development of a national curriculum which is socially inclusive of Indigenous and archaeological knowledge.
"Archaeology is a scientific means for understanding the past. It allows us to develop a deeper knowledge of the global firsts in human evolution and the unique accomplishments of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
"We have some of the oldest and most beautiful rock art in the world in Arnhem Land. This is of real global importance and our children should be learning about it."
Currently visiting the University of Newcastle's Institute of Advanced Study for Humanity, Professor Smith is internationally recognised for work in the field of Indigenous archaeology.
Her work in the Northern Territory's Katherine East region regularly takes her into the isolated settlements. She is currently involved in assessing the impact of the Federal Intervention on the identity of Indigenous Australians.
The World Archaeological Congress is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation and is the only elected international body for practising archaeologists. The Congress meets every four years to promote archaeological research.