The Dry Stone Walls Association of Australia Inc. [DSWAA] is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2002 at Ballarat, Victoria. The Association is an all-encompassing and diverse group of rural property owners, pastoralists and farmers, urban dwellers, environmentalists and other professionals with a special interest in the identification, documentation and conservation of dry stone walls to be found Australia-wide, as well as a number of practitioners daily engaged in the craft of dry stone walling and dry stone sculpture.
Broadly, the goals of the DSWAA can be summarised as being:
Firstly, that National, State and Local governments, as well as the wider community, recognise the significance of dry stone structures built by indigenous peoples, European explorers, early settlers and modern craftspeople as valued artefacts of our national identity.
Second, that following recognition by governments, landholders and the wider community of the cultural significance of dry stone walls throughout the Australian landscape, statutory protection is considered as an appropriate means of protecting and preserving the heritage of dry stone walls in Australia.
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. We have as our patron Lyn Allison, former Senator for Victoria. The Association has active branches 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.
President: Jim Holdsworth
Vice President: Allan Willingham
Secretary: Andrew Miller
Membership: Sue Jones
Journal editor: Bruce Munday