Snappy Gum Heritage is a firm that specialises in supplying archaeological and ethnographic heritage services to Western Australian corporations. Whether you work in mining, construction, as part of a native title group, government, environmental consultancy, property development or in cultural tourism, Snappy Gum Heritage has the experience to help you.
- Site Identification Surveys
- Site Avoidance & Work/Program Area Clearance
- Desktop Surveys & Historical Research
- GIS Solutions
- Aboriginal Heritage Management Plans
- Archaeological Excavation, Site Salvage & Mitigation
- Cultural Heritage Interpretation & Marketing
- Community Education
Site Identification Surveys
Site Identification surveys are designed to meet the requirements of the government approvals process, particularly with respect to Section 18 notices under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972.
To undertake such as survey, Snappy Gum Heritage undertake a process to clearly identify archaeological values and concerns in a selected area. This process is comprised of desktop reviews and on-the-ground investigations with members of the relevant Aboriginal group. All stakeholders are involved in the investigation as required.
Where Aboriginal heritage values are identified, the survey team record them to a level that allows Snappy Gum to assess the archaeological significance of the finds. The input of Aboriginal representatives is encouraged and reported accordingly. This assessment is then used to make recommendations should the area require development.
Where practicable, the survey team consult with the proponent’s representatives to identify alternate areas where work can proceed as required.
Site Avoidance & Work Program/Area Clearance
Site avoidance surveys are the most common survey type used in heritage in WA. These surveys are ideal for minimising time and costs, where the focus is on identifying the nature and boundaries of any heritage places in the area. The recording level is cursory and is not intended for making significance assessments for any applications under Section 18 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972. It does, however, allow proponents to identify Aboriginal heritage values in an area so they can design their programs around them. This protects the heritage values within a defined area while allowing the proponent to progress with planned works.
Work program/area clearance, though less common, has similar results as a site avoidance program. These surveys are undertaken within a more restricted area, based on a proponent's strictly defined land-use expectations.
Desktop Survey & Historical Research
At its core, a Desktop Survey involves an inspection of the Register of Aboriginal Sites, which is managed by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (formerly the Department of Aboriginal Affairs). We do this to determine the presence or absence of previously documented Aboriginal sites or values within a given area.
Desktop surveys can be conducted in two ways:
- As a precursor to a heritage survey. This identifies any potential Aboriginal heritage issues that may affect a development and informs what level of additional consultation is required.
- As part of a heritage survey. This allows for meaningful comparisons of site types and archaeological features. It also assists in the formulation of site significance assessments.
Spatial data management is vital to all parts of business, especially in the mining and construction industries. Clear demarcation of the survey area and site locations is critical to protecting both identified and unidentified heritage sites and allows effective management through all stages of development.
Snappy Gum ensures that its data meets the needs of all stakeholders. All project reports, including preliminary advice, are supported by clear maps, boundary coordinates and shapefiles to ensure that all parties understand where we surveyed and what we found. We believe that reports are meaningless unless the results are conveyed clearly.
Snappy Gum can also assist you with your GIS needs as required.
Aboriginal Heritage Management Plans
For larger projects, Snappy Gum advises that Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plans are undertaken to ensure that all Aboriginal heritage places are managed consistently. There are four advantages to undertaking a management plan:
- it shows commitment from the highest levels of an organisation towards developing an ongoing and reciprocal relationship in good faith with the traditional owners
- all stakeholders agree to the methods and strategies used to protect, promote and manage Aboriginal heritage values
- it allows the proponents to clearly communicate the Aboriginal heritage standards towards its contractors and
- inform and educate staff and contractors about Aboriginal heritage in the area.
Snappy Gum can assist you with the development of an Aboriginal Heritage Plan.
Archaeological Excavation, Site Salvage & Mitigation
Snappy Gum undertakes archaeological excavations throughout WA. Excavations are often completed as part of the mitigation process to either assess the archaeological significance of a site or to mitigate against its loss during development. Excavations are mostly undertaken under the auspices of either Section 16 or Section 18 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972.
Snappy Gum actively encourages traditional owners to participate in all parts of the excavation process, including excavation, artefact analysis and data interpretation.
Site salvage is undertaken in areas where necessary development intersects with Aboriginal archaeological heritage values. These can include scar trees, grindstones, and artefact scatters. Salvage allows for detailed recording, collection and storage of these materials in a respectful way, directed by strict approvals and ongoing stakeholder discussions. Snappy Gum is highly experienced in these matters and can assist in all aspects of site salvage works.
Other forms of mitigation we can assist with includes:
- Use of PXRF (Portable X-Ray Fluorescence)
- Residue Analysis
- Community Engagement
Cultural Heritage Interpretation & Marketing
Archaeological research is most beneficial when it is used to inform and educate the public. Managing Director Ryan Hovingh has over eight years’ experience in the marketing sector and uses this to design marketing materials to:
- inform mining personnel and tourists about Aboriginal people, their culture and their sites
- communicate archaeological findings and interpret the results into a form understandable by the general public
- assist native title groups in their internal and external branding
- assist native title groups with sending health messages to community members.
We can assist with visual media, print media, social media and digital marketing needs for a range of clients, including mining companies and native title groups.
Most of our clients use us to develop signage and brochures (and we have won awards for them), but we can develop everything from booklets, magazines, publications, direct mail and promotional products.
Our capacity to educate the community ranges from:
- Working with Aboriginal communities
- to empower themselves to take control of their own heritage
- informal training such as teaching courses to explain the wider issues around heritage, using tools and basic fieldwork techniques
- training native title groups to promote self-managed archaeological monitoring.
- Educating companies, contractors and sub-contractors to understand the heritage values that exist within their project and how this impacts their work
- Tool-box talks
- Information booklets
- School talks to promote local heritage issues
We have always found Snappy Gum easy to deal with, both on the phone and in the field. Their reports and recommendations are straight forward and well considered. Snappy Gum were down-to-earth in their approach and considered our Company's requirements at every stage. We would be pleased to work with Snappy Gum again in the future.
Land Access Manager
Want to learn more about Snappy Gum services and how we can help you? Get in touch with one of our friendly team to get started!