My PhD is in Australian History from the ANU, where I also worked as a research fellow in the Urban Research Program. After a period in the Australian Public Service and as Professor of Australian History, University College Dublin (2002-4), I returned to the ANU to join the Australian Dictionary of Biography and, in 2007, commenced a split appointment to the Centre for Historical Research at the National Museum of Australia. My research interests encompass a good deal of Australian history, with a particular focus on twentieth century social, environmental and biographical history, and on historical perspectives on public policy development and processes. I value interdisciplinary work, greatly enjoy postgraduate supervision, and contribute to several intensive workshops that support higher degree research in biography and environmental history.
Current Research Projects:
A History of Canberra: with a focus on the intersection of government, community and the environment.
Testing Ourselves: a history of Australian international engagement, and the role of the concept of ‘the international’, in Australian political culture through the twentieth century.
Down There: a social and environmental history of the south coast of New South Wales since 1920.
with Susan Boden, A Way Through: The biography of Rick Farley, UNSW Press, 2012.
‘Using Lives: Working With Life Stories in a Time of Revolution’ in Tony Gibbons and Emily Sutherland (eds), Integrity and Historical Research, Routledge, 2011
‘Student, Expert, Peacekeeper: Three Versions of International Engagement’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 57, no. 1, 2011, pp. 34-52.
Governing Prosperity: Social Analysis and Social Change in Australia in the 1950s, Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Richard Downing: Economics, advocacy and social reform in Australia, Melbourne University Press, 2001
Nicholas Brown and Linda Cardinal (eds.), Managing Diversity: Practices of Citizenship in national and post-national contexts - Ireland, Canada, Australia, University of Ottawa Press, 2007.
'A Sense of Number and Reality': economics and government in Australia, 1920¬1950', Economy and Society, vol. 26, no. 2, 1997, pp. 233-56.
'One the Margins of the Littoral Society: The New South Wales South Coast since 1945', Environment and History, vol. 4, no. 2, 1998, pp. 210-38
'Making Oneself Comfortable, or More Rooms Than People' in Patrick Troy (ed.), A History of European Housing in Australia, Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp.107-24
'Born Modern: antipodean variations on a theme', The Historical Journal, vol. 48, no. 4, 2005, pp. 1139-54.
‘Enacting the international: Raymond Watt and the League of Nations Union’ in Desley Deacon, Penny Russell and Angela Woollacott (eds), Transnational Ties: Australian Lives in the World, ANU e-Press, 1999, pp 75-96.
‘History and Policy-Making’ in Gretchen Poiner (ed). Cultural Conflict in a Democracy, Independent Scholars Association of Australia, ISAA, 2011.