HFRC draws together productive researchers from numerous disciplines, including established academics, post-graduates and early career researchers, as well as external members representing a variety of institutions and areas of expertise. This composition is flexible and inclusive, subject to research opportunities and needs, allowing members and associates to bring their different perspectives and expertise to a number of research projects. There are three categories of HFRC membership – Research Members, HDR Members, and Associate Members. By working co-operatively, HFRC members and associates develop a wide range of creative approaches to making history and heritage a lively and forward-looking aspect of modern life in regional Australia.

Research Members

Research Members are mostly staff, adjuncts and students employed at UNE who are the most actively and consistently engaged in HFRC activities.

David Andrew Roberts (HFRC Director)

BA(Hons) (Newcastle), PhD (Newcastle)
Senior Lecturer in Australian History, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Andrew Piper (HFRC Co-Director)

In late 2003 Andrew was appointed as a research fellow in the HFRC. He now lectures in the University's School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. has worked in the field of cultural heritage as an archaeologist, curator, conservation manager and historian for over twenty years, in Africa, Australia, Micronesia and New Zealand. For six years he was the senior heritage professional at the Port Arthur Historic Site.

BA (Hons) (Otago); MA (Hons) (UNE); PhD (UTAS)
Lecturer, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

John Atchison

BA (Hons) (UNE); PhD (ANU)
Honorary Fellow, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

John researches in Australian rural history, the historical context of land and water policy relating to issues of regional development, immigration and migration history. He is on the editorial advisory board of Rural History, Economy, Society and Culture, has chaired the Committee for Geographical Names in Australia (Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping 1987-1994) and was elected member of the Board of the International Council of Onomastic Sciences 1996-99.

Alan Atkinson

BAHons (Syd), MAHons (Syd), MEd (Dublin), PhD (ANU)
Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities
Emeritus Professor of History, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Alan is interested in nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Australian history and the way in which sense of place and community, including nationhood, have evolved in Australia. He has written on the history of Armidale, his history of nineteenth-century Camden (1988) won two national awards and his book The Europeans in Australia: Volume One, won an international and two national awards. He has been chair of the Armidale branch of the National Trust, was involved in the establishment of the UNE Heritage Centre in 1994 and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He had a perso0nal chair in History 1997-2003, was an ARC Professoriual Fellow 2003-2008, and is now Senior Tutor at St Paul's College, Sydney University, where he is engaged in writing the history of the College, as well as The Europeans in Australia: Volume Three.

Martin Auster

M.Sc.Soc. (UNSW), Member of the Planning Institute of Australia
Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Martin is a town planner by training. He is a member of the Planning Institute of Australia and has taught in planning law, planning history, professional ethics, architecture and urban design, and cultural geography. His interests lie mainly in the relationship between people and place.

Lorina Barker

Lecturer, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Lorina is a descendant of the Wangkumara and Muruwari people of western New South Wales and is researching a PhD on family/community history. She specialises in oral history and is particularly interested in the ways in which Aboriginal history has been recorded. She is in the process of remodelling research methods and techniques so that they are made culturally appropriate and accessible to her own family and community. Her research is heavily concerned with the interview and transcription processes of oral history research, and the dynamics between interviewer-interviewee and the cultural context that surrounds oral history methodology, especially when conducting research with Aboriginal people who are family/community members. She gave the keynote address at the 2nd Australasian Narrative Inquiry Conference at UNE in 2009, at which she screened her short film, A Shearer's Life: Introducing the Barker Brothers, to demonstrate how visual media can be used to convey people's lived experiences' and history.

Wendy Beck

BSc (Melb), PhD (LaTrobe)
Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Wendy teaches and researches in public archaeology, archaeological method and theory and heritage tourism. She is interested in the question of how and why people use space, both as consumers and producers of archaeology, and how interdisciplinary research with oral history and with palaeoethnobotany can address spatial questions. She currently co-directs two large research projects on the north coast of NSW. In all these projects she maintains an interest in the gendered nature of both the practice of archaeology and its theory and has published on this topic. In 1989 and in 1990 she was President of the Australian Archaeological Association.

Jim Belshaw

BA (Hons)(UNE), MEc (ANU)
Strategic consultant
Adjunct Associate Lecturer, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

After graduating with honours in history with a special focus on Australian prehistory, Jim worked in the Commonwealth Treasury and the Industry Department as a policy advisor and then senior (SES level) economist. After moving to the private sector as a strategic consultant, he managed 300 assignments for over 100 clients including major global corporations. He was also CEO of the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists. Jim has a special interest in multidisciplinary approaches and is presently writing a general history of the broader New England. He maintains a number of web-blogs, including one on New England's History, and another providing regular commentary on New England issues. Website:

Jennifer Clark

BAHons (University Medal) (Syd) Dip Ed(Syd) PhD (Syd)
Former Harkness Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
Professor, Academic Director, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of New England

Jennifer is interested in the issue of cultural transfer and the way in which similar ideas are played out in different contexts. She has written on American History in the period immediately after the Revolution, Transatlantic Studies, Memorial Culture, Museum Culture, History of the 1960s and Religious History in Australia and the United States. Her book Aborigines and Activism: the Coming of the 60s to Australia was published in 2008.

Catherine Clarke

BA, DipEd (Adel.); GradDip Library Studies (UniSA); DipSocSci, MLitt, PhD (UNE); Senior Lecturer, Teaching and Learning Centre

Catherine's research interests have included significance assessment in cultural heritage and, in her PhD thesis, focused on archaeological narratives and their role in public and formal education. She has worked as a cultural heritage consultant and as a teacher and librarian and the last 20 years her major area of employment has been as an instructional designer and project manager of multidisciplinary projects to develop educational programs and resources in a range of formats, especially those which are web based and/or digitally enabled. Her current interests include investigating ways that communication and media technologies can be best used in cultural heritage projects.

Maria Cotter

BA (UNE), PhD candidate (Southern Cross)
Research Fellow, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Maria conducts the day-to-day research in the Gamilaraay Resource Use Project. This focuses on Gamilaraay people's knowledge of resources and resource management in northern New South Wales. The Project is funded by an ARC Linkage Grant to the Heritage Futures Research Centre and its Industry Partner the Department of Land & Water Conservation (Barwon Region). Before this, Maria was Research Officer in the School of Environmental Science and Management at Southern Cross University and Honorary Research Adviser with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland working as part of a multidisciplinary team investigating the cultural heritage of the Gooreng Gooreng people of Central Queensland. Maria has recently co-edited a book entitled Heritage Landscapes: Understanding Place and Communities.

Iain Davidson

BA(Cam) PhD(Cam)
Emeritus Professor of Archaeology, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Iain has broad interests in empirical and theoretical issues in archaeology, particularly in the symbolic construction of landscape and in the history of communications and transport. From 2000 to 2005 he was the foundation Director of the HFRC. He has completed major research projects arising from archaeological consultancy in western Sydney and in the Hunter Valley. His consultancy work has been funded by for BHP Billiton, Cyprus Gold, Department of Environment and Conservation (NPWS), Flinders University, Placer Dome, Rouse Hill Stage 1 Development, Transgrid, Western Mining, Woodside Energy Limited. He has been president of the Australian Archaeological Association (1991-2) and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He also holds honorary positions at Flinders University, the University of Queensland and Harvard University. He has just begun work on a SPIRT grant with DLWC to research Gamilaraay Resource Use.Website:

Robert Haworth

BA (Hons) (UNE); PhD (UTAS)
Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Robert has lectured in environmental history and geomorphology at UNE since 1994, and taken part in many research projects piecing together the record of past environments, especially the impact of European settlement on Australian ecosystems and , conversely, the effects of the strange new landscape on the settlers. He is also interested in the European-Australian landscape heritage, the fashion for planting certain kinds of exotics, hawthorn hedges, cypress, Scots Fir, the homestead 'clusters' of exotic trees, changing fashions in urban street trees, and the spread of some of these (such as Pistachio) into the countryside, including 'exotic' Grevillias, and the effects these have on native and introduced avifauna and general fauna. He is currently working on a series of books detailing regional settlement histories in Australia and their aftermath, as well as helping to promote an intelligent ecological and cultural tourism to these regions.

Erin Ihde

BA (Hons), PhD, GradCertHighEd. (UNE)
Lecturer, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Erin Ihde lectures in colonial and twentieth-century Australian history in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales. Erin has presented papers at national and international conferences, and has published several journal articles. His book, A Manifesto for New South Wales: Edward Smith Hall and the Sydney Monitor, 1826-1840, was published by Australian Scholarly Publishing in December 2004. His current research interests include both colonial Australian and Cold War cultural history.

Raymond Fife

BA(Hons), PhD (UNE)

Ray graduated at UNE with a major in archaeology in 1992. He gained his field survey training under Iain Davidson in the Selwyn Ranges of Central-west Qld, and later with Graham Connah in Uganda in 1993/4. He went on to complete an Honours project in 1994-5 with a study of Aboriginal ceremonial grounds (bora grounds). He went on to work in archaeology as the regional archaeologist for State Forests in Coffs Harbour and later with a consulting firm working mainly in the Hunter Valley. Ray went to China teaching English in 2001 and then Vietnam in 2003 with Australian Volunteers International, where he became interested in the colonial ruins at Bach Ma National Park just outside Hue. He PhD project focusing on Bach Ma was completed in 2010.

Melanie Oppenheimer

BA (UNE), Dip. Ed (UNE); M. Litt (UNE), PhD (Macquarie)

Melanie is particularly interested in twentieth century Australian history with a special focus on volunteering and voluntary or non-profit organisations; as well as the role of war and society especially as it affects local communities, women and the home front. She is the author of five sole-authored and two edited books, including All Work No Pay. Australian Civilian Volunteers in War (2002) that was short-listed for the NSW Premiers' History Awards. Her ARC grants include an ARC Linkage (with Professor Bruce Scates, Monash University) on soldier settlement in NSW post-WWI. From July 2010, Melanie is working on a history of the Australian Red Cross, a project commissioned by Red Cross for its centenary in 2014.

John Ryan

MA (NZ, Oxf), PhD (Cam, UNE),Dip of Hons. (NZ), GradDipContEd. (UNE), Hon D.Litt. (MGSIUF), FSA (Scot), FRSA, FRGA, Hon DH Lett. of the American Tolkien Society, Hon Fellow of the Commonwealth Biographical Academy (Cambridge)
Associate Professor, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

John, New Zealand born, originally trained as an historical linguist in England, has had many years Australian experience as an adult educationalist and cultural historian in Northern New South Wales. He has published much linguistic, biographical and other material with the Armidale and District Historical Society, for whose journal he was a long time editor, and for folklore journals worldwide. He has researched closely our university outreach and provision, and edited numerous regional survey books on tertiary education, pastoral history, biography and Aboriginal lore. He has been the editor of Australian Folklore: A Yearly Journal of Folklore Studies since 1991. His current teaching and research focus is on heritage, folk life and traditional language use in eastern Australia. A life member of the Folklore Society (London), in 2001 he was elected to the International Society for Folk Narrative Research. He is particularly interested in the literature produced in New England and written about the region, as well as all aspects of its traditional culture. John was co-editor of HFRC's High Lean Country (2006), and the author of Tales From New England (2008)

Pam Watson

BA Dip Ed. (Syd), MAHons Prelim(Syd), PhD (Syd)
Lecturer in Archaeology, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Pam has worked extensively as an historical archaeologist and project director in Australia and the Middle East. Specialised in Roman-Byzantine archaeology and ceramics of the Levant (the eastern Roman Empire in Late Antiquity), she has been a co-director of the excavations at Pella in Jordan and the Pella Hinterland Survey, and worked on numerous other projects in Jordan including Gerasa, Petra and the Edomite plateau, as well as Ismant in Egypt. In the 1990s she was Assistant Director of the British Institute at Amman for Archaeology and History in Jordan. Since 2000 she has been working in Australian historical archaeology, focused on European heritage in the New England region. In 2008-9 she was based in Cyprus working on a variety of archaeological projects. She is currently teaching part-time in Archaeology at UNE.

Janis Wilton OAM

BAHons (Syd), PhD (UNE)
Associate Professor, School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Janis Wilton's areas of interest include oral history, ethnic community history, and history and museums, as well as the variety of ways in which historians can engage with and present the past. She was the historian and coordinator of the state funded Golden Threads Project on the Chinese in regional NSW which resulted in a book, a website, a travelling exhibition, articles , public lectures and assistance to a number of local museums and historical associations. Her other public history projects include work with local museums and historical societies across New England to document the histories of immigrants from non-English-speaking backgrounds and projects in collaboration with Maitland Regional Art Gallery to explore the ways in which art and history working together can offer new interpretations and experiences in local and regional history. She has also been involved with public and professional organisations serving as a Trustee of the Historic Houses Trust of NSW, a Council Member and President of the International Oral History Association, and a member of the national committee of the Oral History Association of Australia. She has received recognition for her community and oral history work through the award of an OAM in 2006 and the Hazel de Berg Award for Excellence in Oral History in 2009.

Nathan Wise

BA(Hons), University of Wollongong
PhD, University of New South Wales 

Nathan's current research explores the working cultures of armed forces during the First World War and Second World War, include personal and working relationships between the rank and file and officers, forms of industrial action within the military, and cultural attitudes towards military work. Nathan has designed, developed and delivered history units at UOW and UNSW on broad range of topics within Australian history. He was formerly employed as an Associate Lecturer at the University of New South Wales and as a Research Officer with the Refugee Review Tribunal and he is currently an Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at UNE and the Manager and Adjunct Lecturer within DE Hub.

HDR Members

HDR Members are those Higher Degree Research students, mostly within the Humanities and the Arts, whose research falls within the HFRC brief and is supported by HFRC staff and resources.

Glenys Allison

Dip. Teaching, Dip. Special Edn, BA(Hons), PhD candidate

Glenys' research area is soldier settlement in New South Wales post World War I. Her interest is in twentieth century Australian history, with a focus on Australian war repatriation and Australian society. She has a particular interest in disability studies.

Ken Mulvaney

Thesis: 'Murujuga Marni: shadows in the landscape; echoes across time'

Frank O'Rourke

Advanced Diploma (LFAH) UNE, BA (Hons) UNE, MA (Hons) candidate UNE

Frank's current MA (Hons) thesis investigates particular aspects of the NSW Second World War Soldier Settlement Scheme, including the comparison of a number of Settler Estates as case studies. His earlier BA (Hons) thesis resulted in a history of the Mundawadra Soldier Settlement Estate (via Henty, NSW), the very last Second World War Soldier Settlement Estate established in NSW. This allowed him to indulge his passion for writing local history, particularly the history of pastoral runs and pastoral properties. Frank has a special interest in weaving oral history with existing historical documents, hence his current urgent search to locate and interview surviving NSW Second World War Soldier Setters. He also has a strong interest in researching and writing 'War on the Homefront' within Australia, particularly in the ACT, southern NSW, and northern Victoria. Having spent most of his working career in the telecommunications field, Frank is keen to ultimately produce a history of the various telecommunications technologies used in Australia, as well as an industrial and technological history of the Sydney Mail Exchange, Redfern, NSW.

Shawn Rowlands

Shawn's PhD, 'Exhibited Identities: An analysis of museum agency in the construction of indigenous culture, through the Roth and Coghlan collections at the Queensland Museum, considers the changing role of material culture collections in the construction of Aboriginality through analysis of the Queensland Museum. His project is supported by an ARC funded Linkage Project (LP0561944) and will produce a body of research that can be used in the design of new exhibitions that will reveal the true complexity of cross-cultural interactions in the development of the Museum's collections.

Frances Windolf

Thesis: 'Changed Meanings?: Public Memorialisation on Queensland's Sunshine Coast'. Frances' thesis looks at a range of memorials across the Sunshine Coast area and discusses the meanings they have presented in the past and present today.

Selena Williams

BA (Macquarie), Grad. Dip. Archives & Records Management (UNSW)

Selena is currently reading for her MA (Hons). She was employed as an archivist at State Records of NSW, Western Sydney for eleven years. In that capacity she undertook research into many aspects of Australian history, although has a particular interest in how land settlement policy has evolved in New South Wales. Selena's main area of research relates to Australian nurses who served overseas and who applied for land after World War One within the Soldier Settlement Scheme. She is currently working on an ARC Linkage Project on soldier settlement in NSW post World War One. Her research interests include the role and status of women in Australia and the physical and mental effects of war on the men and women who served during World War One.

Associate Members

Associate Members include UNE staff interested in HFRC activities, but most belong to community or government organisations or the general public who are involved in HFRC activities or have a stated interest in the cultural heritage of regional Australia. At present the Centre has over 60 associate members.

Frank Bongiorno BAHons (Melbourne)

Senior Lecturer, Menzies Centre for Australian Studies and Department of History, King's College London

Frank formerly taught in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of New England. He has previously taught History and Australian Studies at the University of Canberra, the Australian National University and Griffith University, and has also been an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian National University and Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge and the University of Texas at Austin. He publishes in the fields of Australian labour, political and cultural history, and He is on the Editorial Board of Labour History and is Chair of the NSW Ministry for the Arts, Literature and History Committee and a member of the Arts Advisory Council.

Nicole McLennan

BA(Hons), PhD
former University Curator

Nicole has worked in a variety of historical fields. She lectured at the Australian Catholic University in Canberra and was a tutor at the University of Canberra before becoming part of the small team of Research Editors at the Australian Dictionary of Biography. She was a foundation curator at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, and is currently Coordinator for the New England and North West Chapter of Museums Australia. As the representative for the University of New England and Regional Archives, Nicole's role is to ensure that projects undertaken by the Heritage Futures Research Centre are appropriately archived and, where appropriate, that the public are able to access these materials.

Robert James Smith

BA, Mlitt, MA(Hons), GradDipHum, PhD (UNE), DipTeach(Sec Eng/Hist) (N'cle CAE)
Lecturer, School of Education, Southern Cross University

Robert's interests are focussed on regional heritage and specifically on the northern half of New South Wales. He has authored local histories for both Byron Bay and for Lismore, as well as editing numerous other works within his region of interest. His approaches include Raymond Williams' concept of 'structure of feeling' as well as genius loci. He regularly presents at national conferences, as well as in the USA and UK, on the broader principles of local and regional topics. He is also a co-editor of the refereed journal Australian Folklore, with its strong interests in vernacular as well as regional culture.

Former Members

John Ferry (1949 - 2004)
Bruce Mitchell (1935 - 2009)