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The Australian National University

Research grants

The Australian Centre for Indigenous History in the School of History, Research School of Social Sciences at the ANU, has had outstanding success in the latest ARC round, gaining three ARC Discovery grants and as one of the Chief Investigators in a large Linkage grant. The three Discovery grants amount to total research funding of $690,000 and a 100% success rate.

ACIH Director Professor Ann McGrath will commence work on 'Australia's Ancient and Modern Past: A History of Lake Mungo', an innovative cross-disciplinary research study of one of Australia’s most ancient inhabited landscapes. This is the largest grant awarded this year in the Research School of Social Sciences.

ACIH Research Fellow Dr Maria Nugent will research Aboriginal people’s histories and memories of Queen Victoria. ACIH Research Fellow Dr Konishi will lead a project entitled ‘Exploring the middle ground: new histories of cross-cultural encounters in Australian maritime and land exploration’ in collaboration with Dr Nugent and ACIH’s first Doctoral graduate, Dr Tiffany Shellam, whose first book was shortlisted for major prizes this year.

This tops off a very successful year last year, where the ACIH was awarded funding for a major Linkage project (McGrath, Konishi and Adjunct Profesor Peter Read) and Dr Konishi was awarded a Discovery Indigenous Researchers Development grant.

The Australian Centre for Indigenous History has three academic staff and an ARC Future Fellow.

Details of grants, funding and summaries are included below.

Australian Centre for Indigenous History Research Grants

Recent ARC Grants:

Australia's Ancient and Modern Pasts: A History of Lake Mungo

This project investigates the history of research relations between scientists and Traditional Owners at Lakes Mungo and Gregory. Connecting recent histories of agency and reconciliation with deep time, it will produce a publicly accessible narrative that increases national understanding of significant stories in the peopling of our continent.

DP110103193 Prof Ann M McGrath


The Queen gave us the land: Aboriginal people's histories and memories of Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria was an important figure for Aboriginal people during her reign from 1837 to 1901 and became a powerful symbol in their oral traditions. By examining these histories and memories, the study illuminates Aboriginal people's changing ideas about and relationship to the British Crown.

DP110100230 Dr Maria L Nugent


Exploring the middle ground: new histories of cross-cultural encounters in Australian maritime and land exploration

This project seeks to reinvigorate Australian exploration history by examining it through the lens of cross-culturalencounters and relations. This will bring to the fore the experience of Aboriginal people who came into contact with explorers, as well as the experience of Aboriginal people who participated in exploration parties.

DP110100931 Dr Shino A Konishi, Dr Maria L Nugent, Dr Tiffany S Shellam


Engaging objects: Indigenous communities, museum collections and the representation of Indigenous histories

This project centres on the research process leading up to a major exhibition in Australia of the British Museum's Australian Indigenous collections. By exploring the historical and representational issues evoked in creating this exhibition, new understandings of these collections and their historical and contemporary significance will result.

LP110100623 Prof Howard Morphy, Dr Maria L Nugent, Dr Ian J Coates, Dr Michael P Pickering, Dr Lissant M Bolton


Partner/Collaborating Organisation(s): British Museum, National Museum of Australia

2009 ARC Announcement - Funding to commence in 2010.

Through travellers' eyes: Foreign observations of Aboriginal people and British colonisation, 1800-1850

This project will enhance our historical understanding of a crucial stage in the colonisation of Aboriginal people. It will uncover a new corpus of historical sources which has not been subject to sustained study, and bring to light instances of nineteenth-century Aboriginal agency. Most importantly, it will highlight nineteenth-century discourses on the colonial treatment of indigenous people, and therefore enable a deeper

DI100100145 Dr Shino A Konishi, Prof Ann Curthoys, Prof Stephen R Garton, Prof Ann M McGrath

Primary FoR: 2103

Deepening Histories of Place: Exploring indigenous landscapes of national and international significance

Deeper knowledge of Australian landscapes and their interconnected histories of place will enhance the social well-being of the Indigenous and wider community. This regional and landscape-focused history project provides quality research outcomes that meet tourism industry demands for deeper historical insights into significant landscapes. Indigenous
histories of people and land will be collaboratively researched. This project provides multi-media history training for both PhD students and local Indigenous people. It will see historians and other experts working with parks and major collections institutions towards richer interpretations of landscape. This innovative project renders Australia's complete
history more accessible.

LP100100427 Prof Ann M McGrath, Dr Shino A Konishi, Prof Peter J Read, Dr Denis R Byrne, Dr Luke Taylor, Dr Darryl J McIntyre

Partner Organisations: Director of National Parks, National Film and Sound Archives , NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC), Ronin Films

Martin Thomas, who recently joined ACIH, holds an ARC Future Fellowship.
(initially awarded to University of Sydney and transferred)

Expedition to Arnhem Land: Intercultural inquiry in a trans-national context

In terms of National Research Priorities, the project will encourage cultural health and cohesiveness in Arnhem Land by providing access to cultural property held until now in remote archives. It will enhance understanding of our region and the world by studying cross-cultural interactions within Australia. Furthermore, it will illuminate how Aboriginal territory and knowledge were used to shore up the Australia-US relationship at a formative historical moment.

FT0992291 Dr ME Thomas

Administering Organisation: The University of Sydney

Updated: 7 August 2012/ Responsible Officer:  Centre Director / Page Contact:  Web Publisher