Aboriginal Heritage Office Staff
David Watts, Aboriginal Heritage Manager
David has been the Aboriginal Heritage Manager since 1999. In that time the Aboriginal Heritage Office has grown from one officer with a laptop working with one Council to a multi-disciplinary team of staff and a museum working for a partnership of seven Councils.
David has extensive experience in managing Aboriginal heritage issues, from archaeological survey, site excavation and assessment to specialist management and cultural tourism advice, including the development of several Aboriginal Heritage Walks within the northern Sydney region and the AHO museum.
He has delivered Aboriginal Cultural Awareness and other education and training programs since 1997 and has been invited to Greenland, Boulder University in Colorado and Native North American Communities throughout the US, to visit and lecture on Aboriginal Culture/Sites and Indigenous Land Management.
Phil Hunt, Archaeologist
Phil has been archaeological advisor to the Aboriginal Heritage Office since 2003. He has over 25 years’ experience in all aspects of Aboriginal heritage management.
He has been involved with cultural and natural heritage conservation for many years, with participation in such diverse projects as mapping areas of cultural heritage in Peru and Russia and surveying endangered snow leopards in Mongolia, as well as leading Aboriginal site surveys and preparing site management plans in many regions of Australia.
Phil presents Aboriginal Sites Awareness courses to community groups, schools and Councils and also has experience in video and documentary production.
Karen Smith, Education Officer
Karen is from the Buruberongal clan of the Hawkesbury (Derrubin) area. Her family has been living in the Manly area for many years.
Karen has been the AHO’s Education Officer since 2011 and has shared her knowledge and experience of the local area and Aboriginal history and culture with thousands of local residents, students and schools. She leads guided walks and provides talks and presentations throughout the partner Councils in northern Sydney.
Emma is a Palawa woman from Tasmania. She is also an archaeologist and has worked in many capacities on many projects, large and small, across Australia with different mobs and organisations.
In 2002 she published a book with Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council Tale of a Whale about the Aboriginal heritage of North Head. She has assisted the Aboriginal Heritage Office on different roles and projects, from site survey to policy review, since 2010.
Viki has been an archaeological advisor to the Aboriginal Heritage Office since 2010. Swapping her time between the Hunter Valley/Newcastle area and northern Sydney, Viki’s varied experience includes Aboriginal site surveys, assessments, reporting, excavations and analysis. In 2014 she completed a large salvage excavation in Nelson Bay with the Worrimi people where over 25,000 artefacts were salvaged and analysed.
Whilst at the AHO, Viki assists in the provision of its various services, including archaeological assessment, site monitoring, Aboriginal Sites Awareness training and talks at the AHO Education and Keeping Place. Viki has been Volunteer Coordinator since 2015.