The Value of Heritage with Jo McDonald and Peter Jeffries

Posted on

Aug 3, 2020

Is Australia’s national identity and culture clear enough? Is it weakened by our turbulent economic and social systems, or do changing times present an opportunity for new thinking? What can ancient indigenous culture tell us, and how does its rock art tell stories that can strengthen our society today?

Joining forces in our second online Salon are two experts in their fields: Professor Jo McDonald, Director of the Centre for Rock Art Research, and Peter Jeffries, Chief Executive of the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation.

Successful registrants will be emailed the private Zoom link two days before the Salon occurs. Register here.

TEDxPerth Online Salons are interactive – You’ll join an intimate group of like-minded, fellow participants to unpack Jo and Peter’s ideas and share your own experiences of community. Be ready to activate your webcam, your microphone and your opinions!


Peter Jeffries is a senior Pinikura man on his mother’s side and is Ngarluma on his father’s side. Peter has lived and worked all his life in the Pilbara, and has extensive experience in executive management roles in both Indigenous and mining sectors. Peter is known on lore grounds across the Pilbara for his cultural knowledge and collaborative approach. As Chief Executive Officer of Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation, Peter applies his cultural knowledge and regional experience to steer the community towards better management and protection of the Murujuga cultural estate. He helped organise the World Heritage summit in Karratha in 2018, when the community asserted their interests in pursuing World Heritage status. Since then he has been working tirelessly at the State and National level for this (and other) rock art protection and management issues across the Murujuga heritage estate.

Jo McDonald is the Director of the Centre for Rock Art Research + Management at the University of Western Australia. She holds the Rio Tinto Chair in Rock Art Studies, funded by RioTinto’s Conservation Agreement with the Commonwealth for Murujuga. She has been recording rock art around Australia since the 1980’s. As well as working on scientific values reports for the Dampier Archipelago National Heritage Listing (2006) and the Outstanding Universal Values report to the Heritage Council (2011), Jo was involved in organising the World Heritage summit in Karratha (2018), shortly before the WA State Government announced it would purse World Heritage Listing. Since her TedXPerth talk in 2015, Jo has worked with two big multidisciplinary teams researching the values of Murujuga’s rock art and its diverse cultural landscapes, resulting in lots of exciting new finds across the Archipelago!