Alison Frappell, Education & Interpretation Officer for Sydney Harbour YHA and The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre, was one of over 1600 delegates from 83 countries to attend the 8th World Archaeological Congress at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. She presented a paper on the highly successful school education programs offered at The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre, looking into the reasons why these programs have been so well loved, by students and teachers alike. An astonishing 50,000 students have attended programs in the 7 years since the centre opened in 2010.

It was a great opportunity to reflect on the wide ranging team of people that have collaborated to bring The Big Dig programs together, and to formally recognise the dedicated work the guides from Sydney Learning Adventures do to present the programs, professionally and entertainingly.

The rest of the conference gave Alison an opportunity to hear about exciting new archaeological discoveries and technologies and absorb new ideas. It was also welcome opportunity to talk with others working in similar educational fields and to step back and think critically about how we might further improve and adapt our programs in the future. The congress highlighted what a great experience is available to students and visitors at The Big Dig, and how the practice of archaeology, including public outreach and education, makes meaningful contributions towards a better world.

Whilst staying in Kyoto, an extraordinary city with 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Alison stayed at Kyoto Utano Youth Hostel. It’s a beautiful well designed modern hostel, quintessentially Japanese in style.

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