Jordan Ralph is an adjunct lecturer in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. He obtained a PhD in archaeology from Flinders University in 2020 following his research on the material culture of government interventions in an Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory, Australia.
His doctoral research considered the impact of government policy on concepts of identity and lifeways in Barunga, a remote NT community. To gain archaeological insight into this situation, he recorded how people acquire, use, and discard material culture in the community, as well as how those practices change over time.
Jordan has a long-term interest in applying archaeological methods on the material culture of the recent past in an effort to understand the material barriers and drivers of social justice. For example, the focus of his Honours research was to understand what the contemporary graffiti of Jawoyn Country could reveal about attitudes towards the Howard Government's Northern Territory National Emergency Response (or the Intervention), a suite of legislation deemed overly prescriptive and racist in both its aims and implementation.
Throughout his Honours and PhD research, Jordan has worked alongside people from Jawoyn communities near Katherine, who have hosted him on Country since 2010. Jordan has conducted annual fieldwork in Jawoyn Country since that time, forming life-long relationships.
On top of Jordan's research activities, he is a proficient university teacher, having coordinated and taught a number of undergraduate and postgraduate archaeology topics in CHASS.
Outside academia, Jordan has worked as a heritage consultant in South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia. In this role, he was responsible for ensuring developer compliance with heritage legislation. He is currently employed as a Heritage Advisor in the mining industry.
PhD (Archaeology) 2020
B.Arch. (Honours) 2013
Life Member, Flinders Archaeological Society (2016)
I have worked with Jawoyn people in the Northern Territory since 2010 when I undertook my Honours research in the region. I have returned annually to Barunga, a community in Jawoyn Country where my research is based, to conduct fieldwork. I am dedicated to decolonising archaeology and my research is shaped by community leaders.
I have held various roles on a number of organisations/committees related to archaeology:
2016-present: Membership Secretary, World Archaeological Congress
2012-present: Junior Representative to the Council of the World Archaeological Congress
2015, 2017: State delegate, South Australian Chapter of the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists
2015-2016: Treasurer, South Australian Chapter of the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists
2012-2015: Australian representative, World Archaeological Congress Student Committee
2011-2015: Various roles, Flinders Archaeological Society (general committee member 2011; President 2012; Publications Editor 2013, 2015)
2014: Flinders University 5-Yearly Archaeology Suite Course Review 2014 (dual role: representative for recent course graduates of an archaeology undergraduate course and representative for current students understaking a Bachelor of Archaeology or a Bachelor of Archaeology (Honours)
2013-2014: Secretary, National Archaeology Student Conference 2014 Organising Committee
2012-2013: International Organising Committee, Seventh World Archaeological Congress, Dead Sea, Jordan
2012: Student Representative, Australian Archaeological Association