If you are interested in maritime archaeology, you can get involved in a number of ways.

Citizen science

The Gathering Information via Recreational and Technical (GIRT) Scientific Divers Program is a citizen science project for interested members of the public to get involved with research on Australian shipwrecks.

The aim is to monitor the condition of shipwrecks and determine the factors driving shipwreck site preservation or deterioration.

Participants will be encouraged to adopt a shipwreck of their choice and conduct a number of visits to the wreck (or wrecks) and report back on changes over time.

To get involved contact DEW on (08) 8124 4933 or email DEWHeritage@sa.gov.au, or visit GIRT Scientific Divers.

Volunteer activities

DEW also runs a number of volunteer and student internship opportunities for general maritime heritage assessment activities and on specific projects. Recent student internship projects include:

  • 'Desktop assessment and identification of aircraft lost in South Australian waters'. This project aimed to identify underwater aircraft in preparation for the introduction of the new Underwater Cultural Heritage Act 2018.
  • 'Shipwreck Coordinate Verification Project'. This is a multi-year project to assess the coordinates provided in the South Australian Register of Historic Shipwrecks of unconfirmed shipwreck sites. It will enable more accurate information to trigger assessment of referrals for development applications.

To find out what current volunteer/intern opportunities are available contact DEW on (08) 8124 4933 of email DEWHeritage@sa.gov.au

Study maritime archaeology


Flinders University offers postgraduate courses in maritime archaeology and is currently the only recognised tertiary training provider in this field in Australia. The university also offers short courses in specialised topics and conducts annual field schools.

To find out more visit the Flinders University archaeology website.

Short courses

The Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (AIMA) conducts short courses in avocational maritime archaeology under license from the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) in the United Kingdom. The course is internationally accredited and is recognised by the maritime archaeology communities of several nations.

To find out more about local courses contact AIMA.

Avocational groups

South Australia has a long history of avocational participation in maritime archaeology.

The Society for Underwater Historical Research (SUHR) was established by recreational divers in 1974 to pursue a range of high-profile maritime projects including shipwreck surveys and recovery of significant maritime objects.

In 2012 SUHR was renamed the South Australian Archaeology Society (SAAS) to reflect an expanded interest and participation in other archaeological disciplines.

To find out more contact SAAS via their Facebook page.