Researcher biography

I am a social anthropologist specialising in visual, material and digital culture both inside and outside museums. I have substantial senior leadership experience as the Director of the University of Queensland Anthropology Museum. I am currently the Director of the Museum Masters Program at UQ.

My research is on material and visual culture. I have worked since 1997 with Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara and other Aboriginal people in central Australia. I have expertise on Pasifika art. my work is on the role of colour, especially in colonial contexts, consumer goods and value creation. My recent ARC Discovery (2013-2016) concerns the relationship of money, art markets, consumption practices and art making. Other published research is on re-inventing ethnographic museums for the 21st century, Aboriginal art histories, the senses, design, landscapes and environment, place creation and images. I welcome students for higher degree research supervision in any of these subject areas.

I am expert at successfully profiling academic research for public engagement.

I was Director of the University of Queensland Anthropology Museum (UQAM) for 8 years under two contracts, from July 2009 to August 2017, whilst at the same time having academic teaching and research duties. I am the first woman to direct the museum. I was recruited to revive the museum's fortunes following post-doctoral fellowships at University College London and the Australian National University. Since their launch in September 2012, until August 2017. more than 60,000 people have visited the UQAM's new teaching, research and engagement facilities that I led the creation of.

I created a new era for the (UQAM) museum, with a new dedicated 240 m square gallery and a new global best practice collection store. I led the creation of a new online digital catalogue for the museum with innovative object imaging. I promoted a successful acquisition policy of purchasing works by named women makers to assist in the rebalancing the gender equity of the collection, and raised more than AUS$1.1 million for the Museum.

I initiated an original and innovative gallery program that included touring exhibitions and 15 collaborative exhibitions derived from research in the museum's collection to promote inclusivity and inter-cultural understanding that promote a process of decolonising the museum.