Meet The Team

Dr Peter Hobbins

Dr Peter Hobbins Dr Peter Hobbins holds an ARC (Australian Research Council) DECRA (Distinguished Early Career Researcher Award) fellowship in the Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney. As an historian of science, technology and medicine, he is intrigued by the ways that knowledge is generated and applied, especially through interactions with non-humans. He has explored this topic via publications on medical research, human-animal relations, quarantine, military medicine and aviation safety. His role in the project will focus on community based collections in order to research and transform artefacts and archives into narrative texts, visualisations, and display elements for Case Studies 1 Air Memories and 2 Take-Off to Touchdown.

Prof Tracy Ireland

Prof Tracy Ireland Associate Professor Tracy Ireland is a researcher and lecturer in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra. She is an archaeologist and heritage specialist with over twenty five years’ experience across government, private practice and the academic sectors. Her research focuses on how the past impacts the present and how shared memory is constructed through heritage. Heritage of the Air builds directly upon her research strengths in heritage management, social and community values, and evolving forms of heritage practice. As well as heading up the project and coordinating inputs from all researchers, she will also lead Case Study 1 Air Memories; conduct research into community based heritage practices, and collaborate in developing exhibitions to celebrate the 2020 centenary of civil aviation in Australia.

Dr Jane Furguson

Dr Jane Ferguson Dr Jane Ferguson is an anthropologist and lecturer in the School of Culture, History and Language in the College of Asia and Pacific at the Australian National University in Canberra. Her research interests include social and cultural anthropology, Asian cultural studies, air transportation and freight services, and historical studies. She will add an ethnographic perspective to the project, incorporating field research and interviews with employees of Southeast Asian and North American carriers that operate flights to Australia. She will also make use of archival materials in Bangkok, as well as records held by the SFO and the Pan Am archive at the University of Miami, integrating findings into Case Studies 1 Air Memories and 3 An Ocean Apart?

Prof Ross Gibson

Prof Ross Gibson Professor Ross Gibson is Centenary Professor of Creative and Cultural Research at the University of Canberra. In this role he works collaboratively to produce books, films and artworks. His main interests are contemporary arts, communication and the history of environmental consciousness in colonial cultures, particularly in Australia and the Pacific. His work spans several media and disciplines. In the Heritage of the Air project, he will lead Case Study 3 An Ocean Apart? and curate and design exhibition components, including the development of video-essays and visual-digital story-telling; identify key aviation related collections and analyse emerging themes. He will also contribute to Case Study 1 Air Memories integrating existing digitised collections with targeted mining of novel sources, such as training and promotional films.

Dr Prudence Black

Dr Prudence Black Dr Prudence Black is a Research Associate in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney and a Lecturer in the School of Humanities at the University of Adelaide. She conducts research mainly into the areas of aviation cultures, modernism, fashion, dress and popular culture. For her part in the project, she will collect oral histories, focusing on passenger experiences on routes such as the Kangaroo Route (Sydney to London), Bird of Paradise (Sydney to PNG), and the Pan America Clipper Service to Australia; document vernacular design, technology and images (photographs, posters, films); research Indigenous involvement in regional aviation in Australia, and integrate her findings into Case Studies 1 Air Memories and 3 An Ocean Apart?

Prof Ross Harley

Prof Ross Harley Professor Ross Harley is Dean of the Faculty of Art and Design and Chair of Arts and Culture at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He is an award-winning artist, writer and educator whose career crosses the bounds of traditional and creative arts research. His role in the project will focus on digital innovation and the creative interpretation of visual culture. He will contribute to developing the framework for working with digital assets and synthesise, analyse and draw together materials for the multiple contexts of Case Study 3 An Ocean Apart?

Prof Paul Ashton

Prof Paul Ashton Professor Paul Ashton is an adjunct at the University of Technology Sydney –where he co-established the Australian Centre for Public History – at Macquarie University and at the University of Canberra. Co-founder and editor of the journal Public History Review, he has authored, co-authored and edited over thirty-seven books. These include a history of town planning in Sydney – The Accidental City– Once Upon a Time: Australian Writers on Using the Past and a history of Centennial Park. He is a member of the NSW Heritage Council’s Heritage Committee and has on a number of occasions been a judge for the NSW Premier’s History Awards. He was also a founder of the University of Technology Sydney’s community engagement program Shopfront and its Director for fifteen years.He will contribute to Case Study 1 Air Memories, by coordinating the oral history program, running oral history training workshops, and align the various components of the project to the mandatory Australian History Curriculum, in order to design and develop the digital education package for primary and secondary school students.

Mr Roger Meyer

Mr Roger Meyer Mr Roger Meyer has been President of the Civil Aviation Historical Society (CAHS) since 1999, which is based at the Airways Museum in Essendon, Melbourne, one of the Partner Organisations of this project. He has long experience with the Deaprtment of Civil Aviation and Airservices Australia from where he retired in 1999, as a Middle Manager (Technical Specialist) after 39½ years’ service. He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2006 Queen’s Birthday Honours “for service to the community through the preservation and recording of Australian civil aviation history”. Mr Meyer will facilitate project access to CAHS archives and the collections of the Airways Museum.

Dr Brett Holman

Dr Brett Holman is a researcher and lecturer in History in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of New England in Armidale. His research interests lie in ‘airmindedness’ and the aeroplane in British and Australian culture; the theory, anticipation and experience of aerial bombardment in Britain, c.1900 to 1945, particularly in the civilian and public sphere; aviation spectacle and aerial theatre in the modern period; and mystery aircraft scares in the early twentieth century. For this project, he will apply his theoretical frameworks for ‘airmindedness’ and related concepts such as aerial theatre, conducting historical and archival research for visualisations and interpretations of digitised collections for Case Studies 1 Air Memories and 2 Take-Off to Touchdown.

Dr Claire Marrison

Dr Claire Marrison is the Standards and Systems Manager for Airservices Australia, one of the Partner Organisations of this project. In this role, she is responsible for the Operational and Work Health and Safety System, Quality Management System and the Environment Management System. The latter is the link to this project in that it places obligations on organisations to assure that heritage values are recognised and managed appropriately. She has initiated research on the heritage of Australian civil aviation and facilitates research on a wide range of related areas and factors crucial to continuous innovation and the environmentally and socially responsible management of Australian aviation safety. Her role in this project is to guide stakeholder and industry engagement and liaison, and work with the the researchers and Partner Organisations to ensure that research outcomes contribute positively to the development of operational and heritage policy for Airservices Australia in the future.

Mr Hakim Abdul Rahim

Mr Hakim Abdul Rahim is a PhD candidate in cultural heritage at the University of Canberra’s Centre for Creative and Cultural Research. With a background in science and heritage conservation, he joins the project as research assistant, having previously worked with Associate Professor Ireland on the Connecting the Nation project.

Ms Emily Fry

Ms Emily Fry Ms Emily Fry is a digital heritage student in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra. She has previously worked alongside staff at the University and the Museum of Australian Democracy to design the transcription website for The Real Face of White Australia. She will be responsible for the design and maintenance of the project’s website.