Awards, News

Honorary Life Member: Leah Puletama

Leah has been a Fee-paying Member of ArchSoc between 2005–2010 and 2012–present. Leah became a member of ArchSoc during her undergraduate years at Flinders University, while studying the Bachelor of Archaeology. During her time with ArchSoc, Leah served as a General Representative, Social Coordinator and President.

Leah was elected as President of ArchSoc In 2007, during which time she is regularly credited for reviving the Society after a few dormant years. One of the changes that Leah initiated during her Presidency was to update the old ArchSoc logo (the one with a variety of artefacts and a bone) to a newer logo, which represented a photographic scale card. That logo was used between 2007 and 2012.

In terms of the objectives of the Society, Leah helped to host social events and facilitate student networking by playing an active role in organising quiz nights and pub crawls. During her Presidency, Leah organised an ArchSoc Quiz Night, where she was also the MC. The success of this event has meant that the Quiz Night is one of the most anticipated annual events on ArchSoc’s calendar.

Tragically, one of Leah’s classmates (and Vice President of ArchSoc), Andrew Allen-Farr, died in a swimming accident towards the end of Leah’s Presidency. Following this event, Leah worked tirelessly with the rest of the committee to ensure that Andrew’s legacy would endure. The outcome of this was the conception of the Andrew Allen-Farr Award, which is one of ArchSoc’s highest honours.

More recently, Leah chaired the organising committee for the National Archaeology Student Conference, which was held at Flinders University in 2014. Leah was able to successfully negotiate with Emeritus Professor Brian Fagan to deliver the keynote address at NASC 2014. In addition, the conference was attended by around 100 students from across Australia. While this event was not directly tied to ArchSoc, it provided ArchSoc members with the valuable opportunity to assist in organising and running a national conference and also to present their research and be part of academic dialogues that are normally out of their reach.

Leah has been an asset to ArchSoc throughout her membership. She is always happy to provide guidance and direction on Society matters, and she consistently provides a voice of reason in many of these cases. While Leah plays less of a role in the day-to-day running of the Society at present, she is a regular face at ArchSoc events and general meetings (of course, she is a force to be reckoned with at the annual quiz night!). It is without doubt that ArchSoc has deeply benefited from Leah’s involvement over so many years.

Leah was elected as an Honorary Life Member of ArchSoc at the Annual General Meeting held on the 19th of November 2015.