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Rock Art Australia has appointed Samantha Hamilton as its new Chief Executive Officer and Liz Vaughan takes on the new role of Director, Partnerships and Research.

New CEO Samantha Hamilton brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of leadership, philanthropic engagement and grant funding, business development and planning, and higher education research and training.  Samantha comes to RAA from the Arts Centre Melbourne (ACM) where she has been Acting Director Collections, Research and Exhibitions. Previously she worked in numerous international and national cultural organisations. She has extensive experience in the preservation of cultural heritage and engaging and partnering with Aboriginal stakeholders and communities across Australia. Samantha has worked with remote arts centres including in the Kimberley and led the conservation program for Museum Victoria’s First Peoples exhibition. She is currently completing a PhD about the preservation of remote community cultural collections. Samantha commences on 18 September 2023.

We are delighted to welcome Samantha as our new CEO”, said Chairman John Morrison. “Her experience in business planning, program development, remote arts communities and philanthropy will be a terrific contribution to RAA. Samantha is well equipped to lead Rock Art Australia into its next phase of growth”, he said.

The role of Director, Partnerships and Research is a new position developed by Rock Art Australia to extend and deepen its relationships with Aboriginal people and communities in the Kimberley and the Northern Territory and other rock art provinces.

Liz Vaughan has been appointed to this role. She has been working with Aboriginal people on cultural resource management for the mining sector since 2021, as well as working with Aboriginal communities in marine park management, cultural tourism and heritage advocacy since 2014. She is an archaeologist and brings a wealth of experience building relationships with traditional owner groups in the Kimberley and managing programs and agreements. Liz has a passion for the protection and promotion of Aboriginal rock art and heritage.

Liz is based in her hometown of Broome, Western Australia, and will assist Samantha and RAA’s Science Advisory Council to extend partnerships in remote communities and strengthen RAA’s research program, working with both Aboriginal communities, universities and researchers across Australia. Liz joined RAA on 4 September.

It’s an exciting time for Rock Art Australia”, said Chairman John Morrison. “RAA would like to fund more scientific research in partnership with traditional owners across the Kimberley, the Northern Territory and other parts of Australia, and develop more collaborative programs with the Aboriginal Corporations and traditional owners. We are dedicating more resources to drive that agenda”, he said.

RAA is also pleased to announce the appointment of The Hon Ken Wyatt AM to its board. Ken was the first Indigenous Australian elected to the House of Representatives, the first to serve as a government minister, and the first appointed to cabinet. Before entering politics he had an extensive career in health, education, Aboriginal Affairs and Aboriginal Land issues. “Ken brings great experience and a unique perspective to the board of Rock Art Australia and we are delighted to welcome him“, said Chairman John Morrison.

The vacancy on the RAA board was created by retiring member The Hon Laurie Brereton. “Laurie Brereton served on RAA’s board for 17 years with distinction,” said Morrison. “He was a dedicated director and served as chairman for four years and has made a lasting impact on RAA’s activities and direction“, he said.


John Morrison  I  Chairman
Rock Art Australia

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