In a first-of-its kind collaboration, Griffith University researchers alongside 42 scholars from 22 universities and partner organisations from around the world, have set an ambitious task to weave together interdisciplinary scientific research, local community and Indigenous knowledges to truly understand our human story.

Local and international researchers gathered for the workshops.

Hosted by Griffith University at a four-day workshop in Brisbane, Queensland, nine Australian universities connected with international guests from:

  • The Smithsonian Institution
  • The Saudi Heritage Commission
  • The National Museums of Kenya
  • The Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • The Max Planck Institute of Geoanthropology
  • The University of Cape Town
  • The Bandung Institute of Technology
  • The Spanish National Research Centre for Human Evolution
  • The University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

ARCHE Director Prof Michael Petraglia.

The workshop also provided participants with exclusive access to the Queensland Museum‘s collections, offering a rare behind-the-scenes look at its First Nations Collection.

The event fostered deeper connections between human evolution specialists from around the globe, and promoted the work of public museums in supporting scientific and cultural knowledge.

Kabi Kabi/Waradjuri artist Dr Bianca Beetson gives insights into the Queensland Museum collections.

“To be able to explore the role of our museums, like the Queensland Museum, in their commitment to scientific excellence and celebration of culture with so many bright minds in international archaeology and anthropology research in the one place is a real honour and a very unique opportunity,” Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution Director Professor Michael Petraglia said.

“These workshops represent the first step in our ambitious Griffith-led Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence bid to develop this first-of its-kind collaboration, titled ‘Human Origins and Our Future’.

Researchers learn about the museum’s insect collection.

“Central to the vision, we seek to decolonise human origins research by integrating Indigenous, Global South, and other diverse perspectives, thereby enriching the study of our species.

“By integrating cutting-edge scientific methodologies with innovative questions and historical frameworks, the Centre seeks to unearth fundamental discoveries about our species’ environmental, biological, and cultural history.

“The Human Origins and Our Future bid is a testament to research excellence at Griffith and is a significant step towards fostering a deeper understanding of our origins, our global spread, and our place in an increasingly fragile world.”