Griffith University has been awarded more than $1M in Australian Research Council (ARC) Special Research Initiative funding for four projects announced by the Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan MP this week.
The projects cover historical Aboriginal responses to contact with newcomers to their land; family history in the broader context of colonial settlement and the complexities of frontier conflict; the formation and evolution of cultural values and practices relating to water in the Murray-Darling Basin; and the role living heritage sites play in resisting or reinforcing cultural injustices faced by colonial subjects.
The grants are part of the ARC’s Special Research Initiative for Australian Society, History and Culture scheme which provides funding for new and emerging fields of research and builds capacity in strategically important areas.
Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said with a success rate of 12.5% for Griffith, the projects are well above the national average of 7.1%. Griffith ranking fourth nationally for grants and dollars awarded.
“Griffith has a strong commitment to ensuring that research relevant to understanding Australian subjects can thrive. The research being undertaken through these projects are consistent with our vision of expanding human knowledge and understanding and transforming lives.”
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Mario Pinto said he was thrilled that the government has invested in the fundamental understanding of Australian Culture and Society.
“I am extremely proud of these four researchers who have brought honour and recognition to Griffith University,” he said.
The grants are as follows:
Professor Sarah Baker – AEL, Griffith Centre for Social & Cultural Research
$229,108 – Reimagining Norfolk Island’s Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area
This project aims to explore the role living heritage sites play in resisting or reinforcing cultural injustices faced by colonial subjects. Focusing on the World Heritage Listed Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area, the project’s significance lies in generating new understandings about Pitcairn Settler descendants’ struggles for recognition and self-determination.
Dr Sally May – AEL, Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research
$273,828 – Art at a crossroads: Aboriginal responses to contact in Northern Australia
This research will raise awareness of rock art as a rare visual record of human history and experience and contribute to improved conservation and management outcomes. It aims to help build pride in Aboriginal history, heritage and culture within local Aboriginal communities and across Australia by highlighting the lives, achievements and challenges faced by artists and their families in western Arnhem Land.
Associate Professor Lynley Wallis – AEL, Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research
$263,414 – Fugitive Traces: Reconstructing Yalluna experiences of the frontier
Focusing on oral histories held by a prominent Aboriginal family whose history is deeply enmeshed with the Queensland Native mounted police, this project aims to consider family history in the broader context of colonial settlement and the complexities of frontier conflict.
Professor Sue Jackson – Sciences, Australian Rivers Institute
$281,446 – Understanding the Water Cultures of the Murray-Darling Basin
The project aims to generate new knowledge of the formation and evolution of cultural values and practices relating to water in the Murray-Darling Basin. By applying innovative approaches from the environmental humanities, it will investigate the development of cultures of water and their role in long-standing water-sharing conflicts