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ADI Researcher Receives Competitive 2024 ARC Discovery Indigenous Funding

ADI Researcher Receives Competitive 2024 ARC Discovery Indigenous Funding

The ARC Discovery Indigenous scheme supports research programs led by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander researchers and builds the research capacity of higher degree research students and early career researchers. 

Alfred Deakin Professor Fethi Mansouri, Director of ADI, said:

“This is an extraordinary achievement for Gaye and a much-deserved recognition of why her expertise is fundamental to engaging with Aboriginal communities and local and international institutions.” 

Professor Gaye Sculthorpe’s project will rediscover the Australian Indigenous objects sent overseas to the Great Exhibitions of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Such objects acted as powerful forms of cultural, political and economic display, and a form of imperial and colonial projection. It will excavate the hidden histories of Indigenous people involved in these events and the many objects lost to Australia.

Through collaborative work at community dialogues, the project will repatriate knowledge and remake connections between objects, museums, and Indigenous people. In doing so, it will bring contemporary Indigenous perspectives to global attention, generate new exhibition possibilities and influence international museum practice.

About Professor Gaye Sculthorpe

Professor Gaye Sculthorpe has had a distinguished career in museums and cultural heritage in Australia and in the United Kingdom. She worked in Australia in local, state, and national museums and served as a Member of the National Native Title Tribunal.

Since 2013, she has been Curator and Head of the Oceania section of the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the British Museum in London. In this position, she has been involved in key research projects with Australian colleagues transforming knowledge of and access to collections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander materials in British and Irish museums. Her most recent publication is the co-edited volume Ancestors, artefacts, empire: Indigenous Australia in British and Irish Museums, published in 2021 by British Museum Press.

Over the course of her career, Prof Sculthorpe has served as a member of the Australian Heritage Council, the Australian State of the Environment Committee, as a board member of Museums Victoria, and a council member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. In 2021, she was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

More information about the ARC’s Discovery Indigenous scheme is available on the ARC website.


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