Scientia Professor Jill Bennett from UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture has been elected as a Fellow to the Australian Academy of the Humanities. The Academy advances knowledge of, and the pursuit of excellence in the humanities and recognises outstanding researchers and leaders in Australia. 

Prof. Bennett was among 24 Fellows elected to the Academy in 2022, reflecting Australia’s diverse learned humanities community. 

"This fantastic result demonstrates the extraordinary work being done at UNSW. Australian Academy of Humanities Fellows are leaders from the cultural, creative and research sectors in Australia and no one is more deserving than Jill Bennett," says Professor Claire Annesley, Dean of UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture. "Congratulations to Jill on this wonderful achievement." 

Academy President Emeritus Professor Lesley Head FASSA FAHA says the calibre of these new Fellows is a testament to the continuing strength of the humanities in Australia today, despite the many difficulties experienced by the sector over the past few years.    ‘‘We recognise the excellence of their work, and their vital contributions in areas of cultural, social and environmental thought, policy and planning”, said Prof. Head. 

Scientia Professor Jill Bennett, Big Anxiety Research Centre  

Scientia Professor Jill Bennett is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, and Director of the newly established Big Anxiety Research Centre (BARC).    She is founding Director of the National Institute for Experimental Arts (NIEA) and of The Big Anxiety Festival and is part of the leadership team of the Ageing Futures Institute. In 2017, she founded The Big Anxiety – festival of people + art + science, a research-driven, mental health festival, which won ‘Best New Event’ at the Australian Event Awards in its inaugural year.    Prof. Bennett leads an interdisciplinary team, developing innovative ‘experience visualisation’ using virtual reality to enhance understanding and support of the lived experiences of mental distress, trauma and ageing.    “I am very pleased that the Academy of Humanities has recognised the importance of this interdisciplinary creative work,” said Prof. Bennett.    The Australian Academy of Humanities Fellows are academic experts in the humanities disciplines which share a common ground and central concern on human culture, behaviour, beliefs and values.  

Find out more about the Australian Academy of the Humanities 2022 Fellows.