I am a part-time PhD Candidate at the University of Western Australia and a high school relief teacher.
My PhD research (working title Derbal: The Invasion of Whadjuk Country and Beyond, 1829-1839) is focused on deepening our understanding of the early invasion of Noongar Country. At the heart of my research is a desire to place the early Swan River Colony within Noongar Country, rather than somehow outside of it. Models of empire that try to understand the spatial dynamics of imperialism too often rely on an oppositional approach. Even though the settlers may have conceptualized their colony as distinct from the world of the Other outside of it, the Noongar did not. What had been Noongar Country for tens of thousands of years did not suddenly change overnight, regardless of how ambitious some imperial maps could be. Of course, it is not even as simple as to see the colony as a space within Noongar Country, more a myriad of spaces, or as the dissertation proper will conceptually flesh out: a fractal of outposts. It is for this reason that my research involves conceptualizing settler buildings as different forms of outpost, both state and private, connected by roads. In trying to place the colony within Noongar Country, I have also found myself focusing on the ambiguous liminal space that both connected and divided these outposts from the Country they were placed in. Placing the settler invasion within Noongar Country allows for a much deeper understanding of the spatial and political dynamics at play in the opening years of the colony.
Outside of my above mentioned PhD research, I am interested in researching the colonial relationship between the south west of Western Australia and the other parts of the state.
I also have a particular interest in the status of history in the school curriculum (both in the sense of HASS in years K-10 and Modern History as an ATAR course). This applies to the number of students studying history, but also the types and topics of history being taught from K-12.
I am a member of both the History Council of Western Australia and the Royal Western Australia Historical Society. Involvement in these groups has increased my awareness of the importance of history's promotion on both a public and educational level.
Research expertise keywords
- Colonial History
- Colonialism and imperialism
- Spatial history