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I'm a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Sydney. I'm currently based in the Race and Ethnicity in the Global South Research Collaboration.

My research interests include histories of youth, gender, welfare, education and disability. I have a keen interest in digital history and all things web.

My dissertation is titled "Help Us/Help Them: How Australian parents understood the problem of mental retardation, and what they did about it, 1945-1970."

A Picture and a Thousand Words

July 25, 2013


I’m hosting a History Week event!

Is a picture really worth a thousand words? Help decide over a cocktail in an award-winning small bar at this unique event. See (and hear) historians Matthew Allen, Hannah Forsyth, Dave Earl and Nick Irving discuss the context and creation of some captivating historical images. In just ten minutes, the speakers will delve into the histories of four fascinating, but largely unexplored subjects: Norman Lindsay’s women, the Vietnam moratoriums, the role of alcohol in Australian society, and the creation of farm colonies for “subnormal” boys and men.

Read more…

THATCamp #OzHA2013 is Coming Soon

June 16, 2013

THATCamp #OzHA2013 banner

THATcamp OzHA2013 will be a user-generated unconference on the digital humanities. If you’re interested in the possibilities of digital history come along to THATcamp OzHA2013 at Wollongong University on Saturday the 13th July. It’s free.

THATcamps are open to everyone. Anyone interested in exploring the possibilities and problems raised by the application of technology to the humanities, and especially history, is welcome.

There are no written papers at THATcamps – they’re informal events which encourage participation and play, giving attendees a chance to ask questions, propose ideas, discuss problems, and learn.

If you’d like to come along, please register at the THATcamp OzHA2013 website:

I’ll be hosting the event with @perkinsy and @wragge.

Public Talk: The Sad (?) Story of John Carey Guest

April 17, 2013

Decorative Bar

Public talk delivered to the Royal Australian Historical Society, Sydney, 17th April 2013.

The RAHS has put a podcast of the talk up on Vimeo.

Fourteen Impressive High Definition Historical Photographs of “Special” Education from Tasmania

April 2, 2013

Decorative bar showing the faces of retarded children at Brush Farm, Sydney

AOT AB713/1/7652

Wingfield Home, classroom, 1961.

Read more…

The Coming of White Australia

March 21, 2013

Illustrative Bar

Read more…

Conference Abstract: Transformative technology and disabled bodies in Post-WWII Australia

March 20, 2013


The AHA Conference is coming again, this year in Woolongong, followed by a THATCamp on Saturday! Conference website : #OzHA2013. As usual, I’ll be presenting a paper. This year’s conveners gave us the added challenge of  producing a title with less than 10 words, and an abstract summary of less than 30.

Summarized Abstract:

Focusing on non-government organisations, I examine how the practice of civilian rehabilitation transformed Australians’ understanding of citizenship, work, and economic participation in the post-War period. Read more…

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