George Chaloupka Fellowship and Scholarship

In honour of Rock Art Historian, the late Emeritus Curator Dr. George Chaloupka OAM FAHA, MAGNT, the Foundation,  established the George Chaloupka Fellowship and subsequently the George Chaloupka Scholarship

The Fellowship aims to promote and support research and conservation of Aboriginal rock art located in Arnhem Land Plateau region in the Northern Territory of Australia and enhance the research holdings and stature of MAGNT in this important field.  Energy Resources of Australia Pty Ltd has provided funding for 6 years.  2012 is the fourth year this Fellowship will be awarded.

The Fellowship is awarded to undertake scholarly work in one or more of the following areas, with a view to publication:

·    Pursuing the recording / data collection of rock art sites in Arnhem Land Plateau region in areas not yet surveyed

·    Interpretation of sites by custodians / traditional owners;

·    Preservation of rock art;

·    Dating of rock art;

·    Researching and documenting the work of the late George Chaloupka OAM FAHA.

2009/10  Fellow:   Robert 'Ben' Gunn

Ben's research was focussed on the extraordinary Nawarla Gabarnmung Aboriginal art site in the centre of the Arnhem Land plateau.  He used cutting edge photography with computer technology as well as carbon dating of beeswax motifs help unravel the mysteries of hundreds and possibly thousands of years of artistic and cultural history at Nawarla Gabarnmung. 

2010/11  Fellow:   Darryl Wesley

Darryl's research was focussed on the Urrmarning (Red Lily Billabong) site, which had been damaged by fire and road dust.  The research, in collaboration with students at ANU focused on the development of a conservation plan for this site.

2012/13 Fellow:  Daniel James

Daniel's research was directed at telling the story of the Little Barra rock-shelter in Jawoyn country through its rock art; an archaeological story of how the Jawoyn people utilised a place in the landscape over thousands of years 

2013/14 Fellow: Tristen Jones

Tristen's research explored sites in the Red Lily Lagoon and Mikinj Valley regions of West Arnhem Land first located by the late George Chaloupka in 1974/5.  Using a range of imaging techniques Tristen uncovered numerous new panels.  She also pieced together oral and field recordings made over the years featuring senior Traditional Owners telling the stories of the country in which the shelters are located and added to these with contemporary recordings

2014/15 Fellow:  Dr Ian Moffat 

Ian's research assessed the use of a range of new digital technologies and geophysical techniques to study rock art in the Red Lilly Lagoon area of Western Arnhem Land with the assistance of the Njanjma Rangers.  The methods, including 3D photogrammetry, static GPS, total station, magnetic susceptibility and ground penetrating radar, were used to research 5 sites in detail and to undertake landscape scale investigations of approximately 300 hectares.  Drone based photogrammetry was shown to be an outstanding tool for identifying new areas for rock art survey. 

Photogrammetry from ground-based photos was used to make interactive 3D models of four rock art sites.  These models facilitate the digital study and dissemination of rock art sites, which has important implications for their management.  They will facilitate public engagement without causing disturbance to sensitive locations and will potentially make visualization of shelters available to visitors at MAGNT in Darwin as well as in other institutions, thereby facilitating a deeper understanding of Indigenous culture.

2016 Scholar:  Ms Emily Miller

Fibre objects have been depicted in the rock art of Arnhem Land for arguably 20,000 years yet, aside from the work of George Chaloupka (1993), they are to-date little studied and understood. Emily's project aims to focus directly on the fibre objects (dilly bags, biting bags, string bags etc.) that are painted in Mirarr Country, western Arnhem Land.