The Bruce Veitch Award for Excellence in Indigenous Engagement During the 2005 Australian Archaeological Association Annual Conference held in Fremantle, Bruce’s home town, President Judith Field announced the establishment of ‘The Bruce Veitch Award for Excellence in Indigenous Engagement’ in honour of the important contribution of Bruce Veitch to the archaeological discipline. Bruce passed away in Perth on 10 March 2005 after a short battle with motor neurone disease. Bruce is survived by his wife archaeologist Fiona Hook and son Conall.
Bruce was a co-director of the cultural heritage company Archae-Aus Pty Ltd with Fiona. He made a major impact on the practice and ethics of archaeological work in Australia. From the pioneering research fieldwork on the Mitchell Plateau for his PhD to his collaborative cultural heritage work in the Pilbara and elsewhere, he was known for his energy, persistence and honesty.
He mobilised consultancy work, collaborated closely with the traditional owners on whose sites he was working, and worked strategically with major industry players. Bruce’s commitment extended to mentoring graduates and he was endlessly supportive and generous with his time, skills and knowledge. Bruce was engaged in an extraordinarily broad range of archaeological endeavours across Australia, all of which were carried out with custodial and traditional owner support and participation.
This Award has been created in recognition of Bruce’s contribution to the discipline. It will be awarded annually to any individual or group who has undertaken an archaeological or cultural heritage project which has produced a significant outcome for Indigenous interests. The applicant will have actively engaged with the Indigenous community in producing a successful outcome. Major funding to establish the award was provided by BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Pilbara Iron and Alcoa. Donations to maintain the fund are welcome. Applicants will have actively engaged with Indigenous communities to produce a successful outcome. The nature of nominations is flexible (e.g. video tape, audio tape, poster etc.), considering the wide range of Indigenous collaborations and the remoteness of some communities