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The Australian National University

Doctoral

Julia Torpey
Julia Torpey Julia Torpey has recently moved from Melbourne to Canberra to commence work on the Linkage Project Deepening Histories of Place under the guidance of Professor Peter Read. She has completed a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Melbourne with a major in Indigenous and Development Studies and a Masters of Urban Planning also from Melbourne. She has worked as a social and cultural planner and social researcher. Her interests lie in story-telling and social justice, and she has successfully merged these with projects including the publication of Urgent(2004, Random House), and collaborative theatre projects for the 2008 Next Wave Festival, 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions, and 2010 Fringe Festival. To support her interests she has recently completed studies in Indigenous Arts Management at the Victorian College of Arts.The aim of Julia’s PhD project, History in the making: re-imagining heritage, identity and place across Darug and Gundungurra lands, is to explore Darug and Gundungurra people’s experience of making sense of Australia’s colonial history, its impact on place, and its impact on the creation of contemporary Aboriginal identity making for people of the Blue Mountains and Western Sydney. It will draw on a cultural geography, ethnography and anthropology, social history, oral history and performance theory.
Rob Paton
Rob Paton Rob Paton has been a professional archaeologist for the last 30 years, working throughout Australia and overseas. He has worked for museums, government agencies, universities and as a consultant. Rob has published in books, journals and written reports in the disciplines of archaeology, anthropology and history. He is also a long time Board Member for the journal Aboriginal History (since 1992) where he presently holds the positions of Public Officer and Treasurer. Rob is one of three APAI’s for the Deepening Histories of Place project. His area of research is the Top End of the Northern Territory. Rob’s primary role will be to produce a research thesis based on his archival and field investigations. This research will also feed into other parts of the wider project including films, podcasts and publications. For Rob the project is an exciting opportunity to work collaboratively with a diverse team of experts, to engage more deeply with the discipline of history, and to work in one of the most beautiful parts of Australia.
Shannyn Palmer
Shannyn Palmer Shannyn Palmer completed her BA Hons (History) at the University of Melbourne, graduating with 1st Class Honours. Shannyn’s research explores the embodied and experiential nature of Aboriginal knowledge and historical practice and seeks to engage with the question of how History can begin to think through bodies and place as well as the archives and time. She is passionate about methodological innovation and imaginative approaches to scholarly writing. Her strong interest in Aboriginal cultural and historical landscapes, particularly with regard to the mapping and naming of place, has lead to her engagement with historical spaces that are not only archival, but also non-textual. By seeking to represent historical knowledge that is both embodied and embedded in place, Shannyn hopes to engage with History as both a collaborative and creative practice that engages Aboriginal people in history making and knowledge exchange while also exploring different ways of historical thinking, writing and representation. As a Doctoral researcher on the ARC Linkage Project ‘Deepening Histories of Place: Indigenous landscapes of national and international significance’ Shannyn’s research has focused upon South-West Central Australia and is engaged with the archive of Anthropologist Frederick G.G Rose, particularly that which relates to his fieldwork for the book the Wind of Change in Central Australia: The Aborigines at Angas Downs, 1962. Rose’s methodology and anthropological insights have inspired me to explore how the Pitjantjatjara people of the south-west, often spread out over vast distances, are connected in a much wider landscape of significance. Movement over this landscape has been continuous and yet has changed in nature over time with changes in climate and through encounters with colonialism, technology, prospecting, pastoralism and tourism. Rose and his book have led to an engagement of my research with archives of two very different kinds. My research seeks to critically and actively engage with these two archives and explore the possibilities delivered by collaborative and creative approaches to historical research. Aside from rummaging through dusty, uncatalogued boxes of documents, Shannyn has also spent several months in 2011 running around the dusty environs of Alice Springs and a few remote Indigenous communities, meeting people and building the strong relationships that this kind of research depends upon. And much to her own excitement, as of November 2011 she will make Central Australia her home.

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