Researcher biography

I am a scholar, curator, educator and designer.

My research is at the inter-section of cultural anthropology- material and visual culture- and museum studies with specialisms in the anthropology of art and design, and the 21st century 'ethnographic' museum. I research and publish on the role of colours as carriers of thought in art and in everyday creative design practices, and colours as local ecology and time. My additonal current research include Australian Indigenous art and the market; the role of museum management in institutional policy and history; digital imaging of museum objects and intellectual property; collection ecologies and bio-cultural materials; research led exhibtiions and contemporary exhibition curation and design. I have a long-standing association with the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands) in South Australia where I carried out my doctoral fieldwork whilst a student at University College London, as part of the material culture group. I welcome doctoral students who wish to work on material and visual cultural research and musuem studies, or the interesction of these.

I have curated a number of research generated exhibitions including consultant curator for the 50th anniversary show of Ernabella Arts at Tandanya in South Australia, the retrospective of Kunmanara (Nyukana) Baker and, co-curated the touring show Art on a String with Object, and fifteen collaborative shows for the UQ Anthropology Museum.

I have directed the Master of Museum studies program at UQ for the last 5 years, commissioning a course in digital heritage and carrying out and implementing the recommendations of the academic program review. I continue to partner with GLAMs sector institutions for teaching and research. I am partnering with QAGOMA to collaborate on a new course about Learning and Outreach. I have taught Museum Theory and Practice, Collections, Museum Management, Exhibitions, Work Placement and convened the Masters Dissertation courses. Previously I taught Material and Visual culture and Museum Anthropology in the UQ Anthropology undergraduate program. I have taught at the Australian National University, Chelsea College of Art and University College London in the UK. I was first trained as an architect and worked in the UK construction industry as a designer and project manager.

As the first women to direct the UQ Anthropology Museum in its 75-year history I aimed to promote the work of women makers and artists in the museum's collection and in the museum's exhibition program. I am skilled at combining theory and practice, including teaching with objects, and at infrastructure implementation. I led the re configuring of the UQ Anthropology museum's infrastructure transforming it back into a public institution with a rolling exhibition program generated by research of the museum's collection. I led the creation of the first online publication of the collection to enable wide collection access. This included a purpose built digital catalogue and the creation and upload of more than 15,000 images of the cultural property cared for in the museum. The publication of the photographic collection in 2017 enabled these images can find new friends and family online. More than 60,000 people visited the UQAM's new teaching, research and engagement facilities between 2012-2017. I raised more than AUS$1.1 million for the museum.