Celebrating growth at ACU

A message from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Wayne McKenna:

It is a pleasure again to be able to write of success and growth at ACU regarding appointments, grants, and collaboration with international partners.

Three further significant appointments in the field of history join Director Joy Damousi in the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, contributing significant expertise to the expanding international profile of the Institute.

Professor Kate Fullagar
Professor Kate Fullagar is an historian of the eighteenth-century world and the British Empire with a particular interest in the many Indigenous societies it encountered. Her interest in comparative Indigenous history focuses on the eastern Pacific (Polynesia), the American southeast (esp. Cherokees), and the Eora of today's Australia. Professor Fullagar has held visiting fellowships at the University of York, Duke University, Yale, and Princeton. Her second monograph The Warrior, the Voyager, and the Artist with Yale University Press was published in 2020. Explore Professor Fullagar’s works via ORCiD.
Professor Iain McCalman
Professor Iain McCalman AO, FAHA, FASSA, FRHist, FRSN is a renowned historian of eighteenth-century, early-nineteenth British and European history, and Australian environmental humanities. He has been a Visiting Research Fellow at All Souls, Oxford, and Mellon Visiting Professor at Californian University of Technology, Pasadena, and is the author of numerous articles and books on Modern British, European and Imperial cultural history, most recently The Reef: A Passionate History (Penguin: 2003). Professor McCalman is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the Royal Society of New South Wales, and the Royal Historical Society of Great Britain.
Professor Amanda Nettelbeck
Professor Amanda Nettelbeck FAHA specialises in the history of Indigenous/settler colonial relations, the relationship of Indigenous people to colonial law, and the legacies of colonialism in social memory. She was the Keith Cameron Chair in Australian History at University College Dublin and is the author of numerous articles and books on nineteenth-century race relations and governance, most recently Indigenous Rights and Colonial Subjecthood: Protection and Reform in the 19th Century British Empire (Cambridge University Press: 2019). Professor Nettelbeck is Vice-President of the Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society, a member of the Executive Committee of the International Australian Studies Association, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Explore Professor Nettelbeck’s works via ORCiD.

Elsewhere, ACU researchers have won over $2 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to improve stroke outcomes and study neighbourhood impacts on cognitive health. Professor Sandy Middleton, Director of the Nursing Research Institute has been awarded $1.35 million for an NHMRC Investigator Grant to develop models of acute stroke care in rural and remote hospitals across Asia, South Africa, Israel, and India. The project, funded over five years, builds on her current program of stroke research that has attracted strong interest and engagement both nationally and internationally.

Professor Ester Cerin, program leader of the Behaviour, Environment, and Cognition Research Program at the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, has been awarded more than $680,000 as part of a United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI)-NHMRC collaborative grant. The multidisciplinary project will link environmental data to existing studies from Australia and the UK to further our understanding of how the built environment, natural environment, air pollution, and noise may impact on cognitive decline and the risk of dementia in older adults from both countries.

Relationships with international partners continue to develop despite current limits on international movement. Associate Professor Matthew Crawford from the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry has recently been invited to collaborate with researchers at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice on his ARC funded DECRA project, ‘The Bishop versus the Emperor: Social Imagination and Intellectual Formation in Late Antique Alexandria’, as part of a collaborative scheme between the ARC and the European Research Council’s Horizon 2020 program.

These and other examples of ACU’s growing reputation for research excellence are immense achievements in globally unprecedented circumstances. As restrictions are eased, we foresee a gradual return to research activity across many states and, as a result, look forward to ACU’s positive research trajectory continuing in the post-pandemic period.


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