Created in 1974, MAAWA (the Maritime Archaeological Association of Western Australia) is primarily an archaeological association with members having the opportunity to dive on shipwrecks, and also to participate in research and management of maritime archaeological heritage sites around the coast of Western Australia.
Over the years MAAWA members, together with the WA Maritime Museum, have participated in numerous expeditions off the coast of Western Australia. Among others, these include visiting the site of the Batavia on Beacon Island in the Houtman Abrohos Islands, and the 'Rapid' along the Ningaloo reef. Members have also participated in expeditions in Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Pacific Ocean.
MAAWA played a central role in placing the plaques on shipwrecks around Rottnest Island as part of the shipwreck trail (being the first of its kind in Australia). One of the regular tasks conducted by MAAWA members is the maintenance of these underwater plaques.
Many MAAWA members have taken advantage of the training opportunity offered by the Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (AIMA), together with the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS); consisting of a four part maritime archaeology course for avocationals, which leads to a qualification internationally recognized by UNESCO