About FARA (Friends of Australian Rock Art)

Friends of Australian Rock Art or FARA, first came together in November 2005 as the Friends of Pilbara Rock Art, convened by the National Trust WA.

Since then the organisation has grown to become an independent incorporated association that is still focused on raising awareness of the threat to rock art on the Dampier Archipelago.

All of FARA’s activities are undertaken by volunteers who are passionate about the protection, preservation and promotion of rock art, particularly that of the Dampier Archipelago.

There have been some real successes along the way, with many more people now aware of how precious the rock art of the Dampier Archipelago is.

Friends of Australian Rock Art (FARA) works to protect, preserve and promote Australian rock art in general, and in particular the petroglyphs found in the Dampier Archipelago (including Murujuga/Burrup Peninsula) in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Vision

To allow future generations to marvel at the beauty of Australia’s rich rock art cultural heritage.

Mission

Friends of Australian Rock Art’s mission is to protect, preserve and promote the rock art of this very ancient human landscape, forged by numerous generations of Aboriginal people who have continuously lived in the area for millennia.

How we do it:

Protect – we engage with State and Federal government and industry to ensure no further industrial development takes place on the Burrup Peninsula, but rather in more suitable locations. We liaise with those companies which are already established, to look at ways to minimise the impact of their activities (such as direct and indirect emissions, controlled explosions, and land clearance).

Preserve – FARA works in conjunction with local Traditional Owners to ensure that it promotes local knowledge in a culturally appropriate manner.

We also build alliances with Universities and research institutes to further investigate the impacts of large-scale human activities on the rock art and identify possible solutions.

Promote – we run an educational tour once a year, to allow people from all over Australia and beyond to visit and marvel at the beauty and complexity of this landscape. We seek to educate the broader community about the history of Australia prior to European settlement.

Highlights:

  • Original international Stand Up for the Burrup campaign which drew the world’s attention to the plight of the rock art
  • Establishing annual tours to the Burrup Peninsula with 400+ people taking part since 2004
  • Hon Malcolm Turnbull announcing National Heritage Listing of the Burrup in 2007
  • Re-establishment of air monitoring procedures by government after lengthy abeyance and re-analysing of data in 2007 CSIRO study, following persistent and credible criticism

Goals for the protection of the rock art of the Dampier Archipelago (including Murujuga/Burrup Peninsula):

  • To work in collaboration with Traditional Owners, Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation, Rangers and other stakeholders
  • To engage with academia and research institutes to further the understanding of the rock art and people associated with it
  • To meet with policy makers and politicians to evaluate best possible outcomes for the protection of the rock art and the empowerment of the communities
  • To consult with industry about mutually beneficial ways to mitigate impacts on the exceptional heritage
  • To achieve World Heritage listing status by UNESCO as a means to further protect, preserve and promote this rock art for future generations to enjoy