I am a social and cultural historian interested in experiences, understandings and representations of migration, and how they have changed. I've written and published on the history of migration exhibitions, museums and memorials in 20th century Australian and transnational contexts and on the role historians and history can play in immigration debates. Currently I'm working on the intertwined histories of migration, health and assimilation in post-war Australia.
During a decade working in the UK I held a lectureship at University of Hertfordshire and research fellowships the University of Leicester and King's College London. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. I graduated from UNSW with a PhD in History in 2012.
Since returning to Sydney in 2022 I was the Australian Historical Association 50th Anniversary History Fellow and joined the committee of Oral History NSW and the Editorial Board of The Great Circle, the journal of the Australian Association of Maritime History. When I’m not being a historian I enjoy running, playing chamber music (I am a flautist by training) and parenting two small humans. I am a settler Australian, born and raised on the unceded lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation.
Healthy Citizens? Migrant Identity and Constructions of Health in Post-War Australia
An ongoing Wellcome Trust funded research project investigating the intersections between health and migration during Australia’s mass post-Second World War immigration scheme (1945-1970). Three research strands address medical, migrant and governmental perspectives and bring together source bases including medical literature, oral histories and material culture. A public engagement programme was developed to showcase object held in Australian museum collections and to share the findings with UK-based audiences. A virtual exhibition, ‘A Full Healthy Life’? Migration and Health in Post-War Australia, was developed and exhibited from 2017-2019. Events have included public talks and a mini workshop series with residents of an assisted housing scheme. Two peer-reviewed journal articles have been published and a book manuscript is currently in progress.
History, Historians and the Immigration Debate
This project originated in my doctoral research at the University of New South Wales (Sydney), which examined the representation of migration history in Australian museums. I became interested in representations of migration history internationally, and particularly in the widespread politicisation of migratory pasts and presents and the paucity of historically-informed perspectives in these debates. Whilst at King’s College London in 2014 I convened the symposium Immigration, Nation and Public History. The event brought together academics, students, community groups and heritage professionals to address the question, ‘where is history in debates about immigration?’ Since then I have worked with Julian M. Simpson on an edited volume which addresses the historian’s role in immigration debates across the world. History, Historians and the Immigration Debate: Going Back to Where We Came From was published by Palgrave Macmillan and launched at the Migration Museum Project in London in February 2019.
ARTS3270 Reflecting on History and Historians
ARTS2271 Inventing Modern Australia: 1900 to now