Students

The Research Centre for Deep History and Rediscovering the Deep Human Past Laureate Program has a number of PhD students and student affiliates. These emerging researchers contribute to the scholarship of the Centre, and to the development of deep history research in Australia.

We also host a network of Early Career scholars from a wide variety of Indigenous and non-Indigenous backgrounds. You can sign up to our deep history network on the homepage.

PhD students

Neil Brougham

I have taught English as a second language, worked in land management, and in Aboriginal liaison and engagement. In land management (park ranger), I worked widely across South and Western Australia, where I developed an interest in, and was exposed to, Australian Aboriginal culture and history, which set the general direction of my research: the precolonial history of Australia, and in particular that of the Pilbara. More recently I worked as a liaison officer for the Northern Land Council in Kakadu National Park, to facilitate proper engagement with the Aboriginal community in projects affecting their traditional lands. I joined the RDHP program as a doctoral student after finishing an Honour’s thesis part time in Kakadu. I was attracted by the program’s stated aim of finding “new approaches” to the deep history of Australia. I am concerned with developing a new philosophical-historical framework for the reconstruction of Australian history which reflects and supports the integrity of Aboriginal cultural systems and people.

Joshua Newham

I came to university late, starting my PhD in 2019 at 33yrs old (with a newborn daughter). I completed a Bachelor of Arts in History and Creative Writing, as well as a Diploma of Languages (Spanish) at La Trobe University in 2017, then a combined History and English Honours year in 2018. My Honours thesis combined historical essays with creative nonfiction and in 2020 I received both the Allan Martin Prize and the Richard Broome Indigenous History Prize from La Trobe University, as well as a RDHP Laureate Scholarships to the ANU. My PhD project is a Landscape Biography of South Eastern NSW, examining the deep history of Aboriginal connection to place and the intercultural connections between people and sites across the region. I am also a writer, musician, poet and visual artist; creative practices which, alongside traditional research, engage with my subjects and deepen qualitative understandings of the landscape and its history.

Alycia Nevalainen

Alycia Nevalainen is a PhD scholar at the ANU researching the ‘Murdering Gully massacre’. Her doctoral dissertation complements her earlier research on Aboriginal activism at the University of Newcastle, where she was awarded by First Class Honours and the Faculty of Arts and Education Medal. Alycia was previously a Research Assistant at the Australian Centre for Indigenous History, and during the early stages of the 'Rediscovering the Deep Human Past' Laureate.

Robert Paton

Rob Paton has been a professional archaeologist for 35 years, working throughout Australia and overseas. He has published in the disciplines of archaeology, anthropology and history. He is also a Board Member for the journal Aboriginal History. Presently he is a doctoral scholar with the School of History, at the Australian National University.

Rob Hardcastle

Rob is a Sound Designer, Senior Lecturer in Film Sound at Arts University Bournemouth and an External Doctoral Candidate at ANU. The title of his interdisciplinary practice-based thesis is Unmuting the Past, and is primarily concerned with sounds role in the creation of place and identities.

Rebecca Collard

Rebecca Collard is currently completing her Ph.D. within the School of History at the Australian National University. Her research explores the intersection of gender, race and sexuality within the policy of assimilation in Western Australia during the period 1920s to the late 1940s.

Tony MacGregor

Tony MacGegor's doctoral research (Mouthless Gods: Kimberley rock art and the Australian Imaginary) looks at non-Indigenous engagement with the rock art of the Kimberley across a wide range of cultural forms, from literature and visual art to tourism and missionary practices. Tony worked for 30 years with ABC Radio National in various roles including documentary maker, executive producer of features and national arts editor. He has written opera libretti, won a Walkley, and participated in international art festivals. He has an MA in History and Cultural Studies (UTS 2000).

We acknowledge and celebrate the First Australians on whose traditional lands we meet, and pay our respect to the elders past, present, and emerging.


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The School of History, The Australian National University