NSC – Rock Art

The Australia ICOMOS National Scientific Committee on Rock Art Australia (NSCRAA) was established in October 2017. It will support the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Rock Art (CAR) at a national level and in the Australian context.

CAR’s objective is to promote international co-operation and to provide advice to ICOMOS and to UNESCO organs including the World Heritage Committee on their activities in the field of rock art. CAR initiates and co-ordinates world-wide actions in favour of the knowledge, the protection and rehabilitation of humankind’s rock art heritage. 

The objectives of NSCRAA, in addition to supporting CAR’s objectives, are:

1.      To further the conservation and protection of Australian rock art, through the encouragement of a greater understanding of all the aspects of its significance (including scientific, social, aesthetic and historic) and through the application of best-practice, values-based conservation and management approaches;

2.      To support Indigenous custodians of rock art to enable and facilitate their primary and active role in the interpretation, management, conservation and use of rock art sites;

3.      To provide technical, scientific and conservation advice to Australia ICOMOS, the Australian Government and ICOMOS International on issues relating to Australian rock art, and where appropriate, to rock art in an international context; and

4.      To provide a discussion forum for members in relation to contemporary issues and best practice relating to rock art documentation, research, management and conservation.

Through this activity NSCRAA seeks to discuss, study, promote, document, report on and above all encourage the conservation of Australian rock art. A basic principle governing all the activities of NSCRAA will be acknowledgement of the primary custodianship of the traditional owners of the rock art, and the importance of cooperative work with them, in accordance with their wishes.


Membership of NSCRAA is open to Australia ICOMOS members with an active interest in and/or whose professional practice touches on the area of rock art. Membership will initially draw on the Australian members of ICOMOS and can also include an invitation to members of ICOMOS National Committees in southeast Asia and the Pacific with similar interests – individuals who are members of National Committees other than Australia ICOMOS will be considered Affiliate members if they join the NSC.

NSCRAA will recognise and include the following types of membership:

A.      Expert membership: Expert membership is open to Australia ICOMOS members with established expertise in the different spheres related to rock art. The term expert specifically includes Indigenous people with traditional knowledge, obligations, or interests in rock art and its conservation; and

B.      Affiliate membership: Affiliate membership is open to individuals from outside Australia ICOMOS who are engaged in activities relevant to the objective of the NSC and who can contribute to the work of the NSC by bringing particular knowledge, expertise and/or experience to the group. Affiliate members do not have voting rights.

Download the Australia ICOMOS NSCRAA Terms of Reference.

Download the Australia ICOMOS NSCRAA information leaflet.

Download the AICOMOS NSC Rock Art – Membership form (June 2019).

If you are interested in joining this Committee, please email Prof Josephine McDonald or email Prof Sharon Sullivan.