Researcher biography

I have over 10 years of curatorial experience with diverse collections, including artefacts, art, archival, photographic, and digital material cared for by museums. My research focuses on cultural collections from western Pacific Islands and the circulation of these collections locally and globally to tell stories from different perspectives about the Pacific. I have written about collections acquired by international museums and archives in the 19th and early 20th centuries connected with stories of colonial and missionary history and entangled with histories of archaeology and anthropology. Recently, I have been working with significant collections connected to Australian South Sea Islander communities and histories, supporting and collaborating with colleagues at the Queensland Museum. My research on this project has focused on material culture connected with plantation history and voyages bringing Pacific Islanders to Australia in the late 19th century, considering also the curation and contemporary community perspectives of this material.

My research is driven by an aim of making collections material more accessible and visible to communities and other researchers, and in highlighting the agency and voices of Pacific peoples within museum and archival collections. Recent outcomes of my work have included community workshops with Australian South Sea Islander communities in Queensland, development of accessible online resources, and a collaborative project to produce educational resources for school-age learners connected with First Nations histories, arts, and sciences and the Australian curriculum. I am interested in using my research skills to explore ways of increasing access to collections, seeking to develop community-focused interpretation and collaborative projects.

In my teaching, I seek to foster a positive learning environment where I share my passion for curation, storytelling and promoting access to arts, culture, and history. I have experience coordinating and teaching postgraduate courses covering the theory and practice of museums, exhibitions, and digital heritage, and have worked to enhance the UQ Museum Studies work integrated learning course.

Areas of research