The DSWAA is made up of rural property owners, farmers, urban dwellers, environmentalists and other professionals interested in identification, documentation and conservation of dry stone walls Australia-wide, as well as practitioners engaged in the craft of dry stone walling and sculpture. We are a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2002 at Ballarat, Victoria.
DSWAA STATEMENT OF PURPOSES
The Association is established for the principal purposes of:
- acknowledging, promoting and celebrating the historical and contemporary contribution of the construction of dry stone walls in the shaping of Australia’s physical and cultural landscape.
- promoting the ongoing protection, restoration and maintenance of Australia’s dry stone walls.
To achieve these purposes the Association aims to:
- promote and assist the statutory protection of dry stone walls of heritage significance (yet to be determined) by liaising with local, state and national levels of government.
- foster and assist the identification, recording and classifying of Australia’s dry stone walls that are socially, culturally, architecturally or agriculturally important.
- value and promote the dry stone skills and early settlement endeavours of Australia’s European migrants.
- promote the environmental values of dry stone walls which provide habitat and protection for indigenous flora and fauna.
- promote good management of stone walls and in particular encourage their continuing use by addressing the concerns, issues and needs of farmers and property owners.
- advocate and assist the development and maintenance of formal training, assessment and credentialing processes and procedures.
- influence relevant training institutions to introduce include and accredit the craft of dry stone walling as part of their formal curricula.
- influence and assist the establishment and maintenance of a database of dry stone wallers currently practicing the craft in Australia.
- affiliate, co-operate and exchange information with similar or ‘related’ interest groups both within Australia and overseas.
- acknowledge and promote the craft in the contemporary context as viable and practical options in rural and urban landscaping and structural situations.
- encourage, promote and facilitate opportunities for the commissioning of dry stone ‘Sculptures’ in private and public art applications.
- explore and influence the breadth of opportunities to promote dry stone walls within local, national and international cultural tourism industries.
- foster and cultivate the promotion of dry stone walls and the craft of dry stone walling as ‘value adding’ components of other educative and leisure industries.
In the process, the DSWAA can play a critical role in educating both dry stone wall owners and the broader community of the significance of dry stone walls and allied structures in the landscape and encouraging their retention, as well as assisting both in the promotion of the waller’s craft and the practical conservation of Australia’s extensive, only part-documented dry stone wall legacy.
Dry stone walls and structures have been part of Australia’s history for hundreds of years. Built without mud or cement as ‘mortar’ they rely on the skill of the waller to make them strong and durable.
Dry stone walls are found right across the continent wherever stone has been available as a durable building material. Most dry stone construction is in the form of stone fences on pastoral or grazing land, but other uses include fish traps built by indigenous Australians, shelters in early mining settlements or beautiful sculptures and retaining walls in urban landscape settings. (See more under our Dry Stone Walls menu)
We are sure you will enjoy your visit to our website. If you want to become a member or attend any of our activities, look under Membership link and DSWAA tab for your State.
Who we are and what we do
The DSWAA Committee comprises a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Officer, Newsletter Editor and five general committee members. See here for those currently in those positions.
We have as our patron Lyn Allison, former Senator for Victoria. The Association has active groups in South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales.
We obtain our funds from membership subscriptions, attendance fees at field days, donations and sponsorships. All income is devoted to the administration of the DSWAA, the promotion of our vision and goals and the implementation of our strategic and business plan. We welcome new members from anywhere in Australia or overseas. If you would like to become involved and/or make a donation to assist our cause, please contact the President.
The Committee regularly produces a newsletter The Flag Stone, conducts research, runs field trips, workshops, meetings and other events. These are carried out by the Committee in Victoria, and interstate, by the respective convenors and other members from each interstate branch.