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Personal profile

Research Biography

Jordan Ralph is an adjunct lecturer in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. He obtained a PhD in archaeology from Flinders University in 2020 following his research into the material culture of government interventions in an Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory, Australia.

His doctoral research considered the impact of government policy on concepts of identity and lifeways in Barunga, a remote NT community. To gain archaeological insight into this situation, he recorded how people acquire, use, and discard material culture in the community, as well as how those practices change over time.

Jordan has a long-term interest in applying archaeological methods on the material culture of the recent past in an effort to understand the material barriers and drivers of social justice. For example, the focus of his Honours research was to understand what the contemporary graffiti of Jawoyn Country could reveal about attitudes towards the Howard Government's Northern Territory National Emergency Response (or the Intervention), a suite of legislation deemed overly prescriptive and racist in both its aims and implementation.

Throughout his Honours and PhD research, Jordan has worked alongside people from Jawoyn communities near Katherine, who have hosted him on Country since 2010. Jordan has conducted annual fieldwork in Jawoyn Country since that time, forming life-long relationships.

On top of Jordan's research activities, he is a proficient university teacher, having coordinated and taught a number of undergraduate and postgraduate archaeology topics in CHASS.

Outside academia, Jordan has worked as a heritage consultant in South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia. In this role, he was responsible for ensuring developer compliance with heritage legislation. He is currently employed as a Heritage Advisor in the mining industry.

Research Interests

Archaeology of Indigenous Australia
Archaeology of graffiti
Archaeology of rock art
Archaeology of the contemporary past


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