Rock Art Australia (formerly Kimberley Foundation Australia) has the purpose to promote scientific research into the rock art of the Kimberley and, in conjunction with the indigenous people of the region, ensures it is preserved and recognised for its national and international significance. KFA supports a research program that advances the understanding of the duration, nature and context of Indigenous cultural heritage in the Kimberley.
In 1993 four Aboriginal people, David Mowaljarlai, Laurie Gawanulli, Paddy Wamma and Paddy Neowarra were seeking to ‘build bridges of two-way understanding and two-way learning’ between the Kimberley's Traditional Owners and non–Aboriginal people. They were concerned that their culture, their law and traditions were not only being lost to future generations, but were not known nor understood by other Australians. They approached a Kimberley pastoralist to encourage people of influence to visit the Kimberley so that they could share stories of their country. Initially Friends of Ngarinyin, it later changed its name to ‘Friends of the Wandjina’ to reflect the broader tribal interest. In 1998, it was registered as the Wandjina** Foundation. In 2002, as its interests grew and to reflect its broader objectives, the Foundation was renamed the Kimberley Foundation Australia. The organisation became Rock Art Australia in 2020.
In 2013 the Rock Art Australia Ian Potter Kimberley Chair was founded at the University of Western Australia. In 2017 the Rock Art Australia Minderoo Chair in Archaeological Science was founded at the University of Melbourne.
** The Wandjina people comprise three tribes: Ngarinyin (the largest group), the Worrora and the Wunumbal.