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Dr Ben Gunn is the recipient of Monash University’s Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal for best doctoral thesis completed in the Faculty of Arts.

The Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal was established in 1998 and is named after the late pioneering physiologist, Emeritus Professor Mollie Holman AO in honour of her significant contribution to science and education. This medal acknowledges and rewards Ben Gunn for both the quality of his thesis and the quality of his research. The medal is one of the highest academic honours the University bestows and marks the recipient as a researcher of the highest order.

The Kimberley Foundation recently awarded Ben Gunn $40,000 funding for his research project Clarifying Kimberley rock art sequences: presenting the evidence. RAA will be the fortunate beneficiary of the method developed in Ben’s award-winning thesis. Ben will now apply the method developed in his thesis in a pilot study in the Kimberley. He leaves Melbourne on 2nd June with other Kimberley Visions researchers.

The aim of the pilot project is to systematically document, publish, and make available to research teams the patterns of superimposition for Kimberley rock art based on image enhancement and Harris Matrices at 3-4 key sites; and by doing so, demonstrate the value of the methods used in the analysis of current questions about existing style-sequences.

This evidence will allow all researchers to assess for themselves sequence trends in the Kimberley rock art record, and be especially useful to current and future dating teams aiming to obtain direct (e.g., radiocarbon, U-series, OSL) dates for specific rock art styles and conventions.

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