Australia and India: Mapping The Journey 1944-2014, Meg Gurry


2014 was a transformative year in the life of the Australia – India relationship. The reciprocated prime ministerial state visits of Tony Abbott and Narendra Modi brought a frequently unfulfilled connection into sharp focus.

In time for this watershed moment, academic and writer Meg Gurry has pulled together 70 years of diplomatic relations in a book that examines the highest offices of government and goes beyond the popular clichés of cricket and mutual neglect.

From the Nehru-Menzies discord to India’s burgeoning demand for Australian energy, resources and education, Australia and India: Mapping The Journey 1944-2014 highlights the broader regional context of the Australia – India relationship and how this shaped their understanding of each other.

“Meg Gurry’s outstanding record of bilateral relations is essential reading for scholars and policy practitioners alike. The Australia India Institute is honoured to partner with Melbourne University Press in its publication” – Professor Amitabh Mattoo CEO & Foundation Director, Australia India Institute

The book will be launched at this free event. Bookings essential.

Thursday, 26 March 2015, 6:00 pm

Seminar Room, Australia India Institute, 147-149 Barry Street Carlton VIC 3053

Posted in Events, Government

Tiffin Talk – The Modi Government: An Early Assessment of its Policies and Impact


Ten months ago, the Bharatiya Janata Party government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected with huge expectations, domestically and international level. This was the first time the BJP had ever secured a majority on its own, and the victory owed much to the track-record of Mr Modi, who had been chief minister of Gujarat for a record three times. Professor Amitabh Mattoo will undertake an early assessment of the Modi government's policies, programmes and impact.

Professor Mattoo's talk will focus on education policy, economic reforms, and foreign policy.

Lunch is provided and registration is essential.

Thursday, 2 April 2015, 1:00 pm

YHM Room, Level 1, Sidney Myer Asia Centre , 748 Swanston Street Melbourne VIC 3010

Posted in Events, Government

Mexico’s New Transnational Auteurs: Local/Global Cultural Dynamics


Professor Marvin D'Lugo (Clark University).

The recent international success of Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman, Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity and Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim have altered the popular perception of Mexican cinema and perhaps even of Mexico itself. These three film auteurs are contemporary exemplars of Mexican cinema's long-standing international aspirations. Professor Marvin D'Lugo will explore the local/global dynamics of these "three amigos" as well as lesser known art-house directors - Carlos Reygadas and Amat Escalante - who have in recent years become the darlings of European film festivals.

Bookings are required as seating is limited.

Thursday, 12 March 2015, 5:30 pm

Macmahon Ball Theatre, Ground Floor, Old Arts (Building 149)

Posted in Events, Languages and Linguistics

A message from the Dean of Arts

Welcome to the first edition of ARTiculation for 2015. This edition highlights some of the significant achievements of our alumni and looks ahead to what is the beginning of an exciting and eventful year in the Faculty of Arts.

In January we were pleased to announce that the Boisbouvier Founding Chair in Australian Literature was established at the University of Melbourne through the generous donation of $5 million by Mr John Wylie AM and Mrs Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie. The Chair will be located in the Faculty of Arts’ School of Culture and Communications and will advance the teaching, understanding and public appreciation of Australian literature.

The first Dean’s Lecture for the 2015 series is being held on the 26th of February, and I am pleased to welcome internationally renowned Art Critic Professor Hal Foster. Professor Foster will deliver his lecture on “In praise of actuality: Questioning Art as a Process” where he will deliberate the artistic process, audience interaction and what exists in the spaces between.

The Arts West Redevelopment which is to become the new home of the Bachelor of Arts, is now fully under way. Those of you who have been on campus and in the vicinity of Professors’ Walk during the break will have seen and certainly heard the progress. Demolition works commenced in December, with construction due to start in early April. We look forward the new building being operational in mid-2016.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that nominations for the ArtsAlumni 2015 Awards are now open. The Arts Alumni Awards recognise alumni who have achieved excellence in their chosen field, and who have made a considerable contribution to the Faculty, the University and their communities through their endeavours. We are seeking nominations from the alumni community. If you are aware of alumni who have achieved excellence in their chosen field I strongly encourage you to put their name forward. The Inaugural winner of the Faculty of Arts Rising Star Award Ellen Sandell, State MP for Melbourne has achieved an enormous amount since receiving the award in 2013. Graduating from the University of Melbourne in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science, Ms Sandell was soon after recognised as one on Melbourne’s leading environmentalists, and was last year elected as State MP for Melbourne.

To all alumni, I hope you enjoy this edition of ARTiculation and I look forward to keeping you up to date with news from the Faculty of Arts.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Melbourne Theatre Company and Faculty of Arts present a special alumni offer for ‘Endgame’

Directed by Arts alumnus Sam Strong, and starring master craftsman Colin Friels, this most recent production of Beckett’s renowned black burlesque masterpiece brings classic absurdist theatre back to the mainstage.

MTC presents Endgame. March 21 - April 25

The Melbourne Theatre Company presents ‘Endgame’.



In a bare room where two windows look out on desolation, four little lives go on. In this petty realm, Hamm is enthroned, blind and old, immobile and unmoved. His aged parents, Nagg and Nell, own nothing but their fading memories. His servant Clov, upstanding and downtrodden, hobbles about performing his ritual duties, keeping things going for all of them. Four pieces in someone else’s game, playing out their final moves.

Tickets are limited. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

We recently caught up with the Director of Endgame, the MTC’s talented Associate Artistic Director, Arts Alumnus Sam Strong, to learn more about his path from the Faculty of Arts to the Directors chair.


What is your current role? Can you tell us about a recent project ?

A key part of my role is directing 2-3 plays a year at the Melbourne Theatre Company. Since my commencement in 2013 I have directed Other Desert Cities, The Crucible, Private Lives, The Speechmaker and The Sublime. In total these shows have been seen by over 100,000 Melbournians. My next project is the Samuel Beckett classic, Endgame, one of my favourite plays and a play that I first saw performed in the underground car park at the University.

How did your degree and time at Melbourne University contribute to your career development?

My undergraduate arts degree allowed me to plunge deeper into the canon of dramatic literature, from the Greeks, through Shakespeare, to Chekhov, Strindberg and Ibsen, then up to more modern dramatists like Pinter and Beckett. Your undergraduate time lays the foundations for your eventual career by introducing you to the great plays you might someday direct, whether it’s the following year in the university car park or 10 years time at the MTC. My law degree provided me with a rigour and attention to detail that has been useful in my work as a dramaturg and a commerciality that has been useful for my time as an Artistic Director. My time as a postgraduate studying directing at the VCA equipped me with more specific craft skills, a peer group of artists, and a determination to pursue a career as an artist.

What aspect of your arts degree interested you most?

The chance to spend time in the company of the seminal works of dramatic literature (or for that matter in the company of any fabulous storytellers). To make great art, it’s vital to understand the traditions and the departures from those traditions that have come before you.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Melbourne?: 

The University of Melbourne was the logical choice for me as it allowed me to indulge all my passions. When I finished school I didn’t know whether I wanted to be a theatre director, a barrister, an historian or a jazz musician. Fortunately for the world the jazz gigs didn’t last past 2nd year, I enjoyed taking the history passion as far as an honours year, I ended up practicing as a lawyer for a couple of years, but the directing won out in the end.

What did you enjoy most about studying at the University of Melbourne?

It’s a trite answer but I love the geography of the campus and the sense of tradition – that you are inhabiting a place that has been inhabited by generations before you.

Were you involved in student groups, volunteering or other activities while studying?

Like everyone I dabbled in a bit of student theatre and short courses. But at the time I was probably too focused on a legal career. If I had my time again I would spend more time in the Union House Theatre!

And finally, how did you transition from study to employment?

I assistant directed at the MTC straight out of the VCA and again a year or two later. That experience confirmed my interest in new writing and play development, which has been a large part of my career. It also affirmed that I wanted to direct plays for the MTC and the mainstage.

 Book now to take advantage of the exclusive ticket offer to see Samuel Beckett’s Endgame on Friday, 10 April at 8.00pm.

Posted in Uncategorized

$5M boost to Australian Literature

The Boisbouvier Founding Chair in Australian Literature has been established at the University of Melbourne to advance the teaching, appreciation and public profile of Australian literature. The professorship has been made possible through the very generous donation of $5 million by Mr John Wylie AM and Mrs Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie to Believe – the Campaign for the University of Melbourne.

The University of Melbourne and the State Library of Victoria have an ongoing partnership spanning 150 years. My Wylie, President of the Library Board of Victoria said the donation will increase opportunities for both institutions to work together to foster deeper interest in Australian literature.

“We are thrilled to be contributing to the teaching and learning of Australian Literature. We hope the Boisbouvier Founding Chair in Australian Literature will make a real difference to how the community understands and appreciates national literature,” Mr Wylie said.

The position will be located at the University of Melbourne in the Faculty of Arts’ School of Culture and Communication. The Chair will not only provide a leading voice to advance the case of Australian literature, but actively mentor and develop aspiring writers and scholars in the field and foster public programs to increase community appreciation of national literature and strengthen Melbourne’s place as a UNESCO City of Literature.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis said the position had the power to transform not only teaching and research in Australian literature but the very practice of writing it saying, “This is a wonderful first for Melbourne, the State and for advancing Australian literature which is an essential part of how we define ourselves and our place in the world.”

State Librarian and CEO Sue Roberts said the Boisbouvier Chair would bring Australian writers to a broader audience. “We are delighted to see Victoria’s first chair of Australian literature established. This role… will encourage all Victorians to read and support our homegrown talent,” she said.

Posted in Uncategorized

Rising Star: Dr Toby Ord

Dr Toby Ord (BA/BSc(Hons) 2002 UMelb, BPhil 2005, DPhil 2009 Oxford) was awarded the 2014 Rising Start Award for Young Alumni. Nominations for the 2015 Arts Alumni Awards are now open.

Toby Ord HeadshotToby Ord completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science (Hons) majoring in Computer Science in 2002. Following the completion of his undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne, he was accepted into Oxford University to pursue studies in Philosophy – allowing him to nurture an interest and consequently excel in the field of ethics.

The contribution Dr Ord has made to the study of ethics; particularly the ethics of global poverty and global risks is significant and has been widely recognised. He was named as a Clarendon Scholar at Oxford University, Senior Scholar at Christ Church College, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, and James Martin Fellow at Oxford University. He has also delivered the prestigious King’s Lecture in Ethics at King’s College London.

Dr Ord’s knowledge and expertise has been called upon numerous times in the media including BBC World News, Sky News, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, The Financial Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Australian. He has also advised the WHO, the World Bank, and 10 Downing St on the ethics of international aid and global health.

Inspired by his work and research in the field of ethics of global poverty, Dr Ord made a public pledge to donate more than half of his income to helping people in the world’s poorest countries. In 2009, he launched  ‘Giving What We Can’,an international society whose members pledge to donate at least 10% of their income over their lives to those charities most effective in helping people in developing countries. In order to best distribute funds to those who need them  most, the charity also conducts research into finding the most effective development charities and shares its findings with the public.

Through his work with Giving What We Can, Dr Ord has helped raise more than a quarter of a billion dollars. He is currently the president and a trustee of the charity, and talks regularly to universities, schools, and the public about the ethics of global poverty and what individuals can do to help. Dr Ord is actively engaged in disseminating information and research from his area of expertise amongst governments, organisations and the general public.

 The Faculty is now calling for nominations for the Arts Alumni 2015 Awards. All alumni of the Faculty of Arts are eligible to nominate candidates, so if you know a Faculty of Arts alumnus who is making an impact in their field, nominate them today!

For more information, visit the Faculty of Arts Alumni Awards webpage.

Posted in Uncategorized

Graduate Ambassador Program flourishes as students develop new events

The Graduate Ambassador Program in the Faculty of Arts provides the opportunity for student leaders to play an integral role in developing a strong graduate student community. Masters by Coursework students elected to the Graduate Ambassador team serve a period of 12 months, during which time they share their advice and experiences with prospective students and provide leadership and mentoring to both prospective and current students.

The Graduate Ambassador program develops the professional leadership and communication skills of our students through the act of representing the school at a range of public events and a number of networking opportunities.

Over the summer break, our Graduate Ambassadors have been busy organising two new student events for the 2015 calendar.

Internships Q&A and Networking Event – 19 March

Graduate students in the Faculty of Arts have access to a number of internship and professional development opportunities with leading organisations nationally and internationally, giving them the opportunity to apply their skills in a vocational context, build their professional networks and gain deeper insights into their chosen career.

Student presentingThe Internship process, though one of the most re
warding aspects of our graduate programs, also raises many questions and uncertainty about what is expected from our students. As such, the Graduate Ambassadors will run an Internships Q&A and Networking event, a student-led initiative giving graduate students the opportunity to gain advice from previous student interns and the opportunity to discuss the process from start to finish and gain invaluable first-hand advice from their fellow students.

Speakers representing a broad range of areas from public policy, management, social sciences, arts and culture, to, festivals, media and journalism will share their advice about the internship process, their own experiences, common challenges and key advice for nailing those interviews and gaining industry experience – a crucial link* between graduate study and the workforce.


Graduate Coursework Colloquium – 11 April

The inaugural Graduate Coursework Colloquium invites graduate coursework students to present on any topic relevant to their program of study. The aim of the Coursework Colloquium is to showcase the whole range of students and fields of study across the Faculty of Arts’ Graduate Schools. The Colloquium provides a wonderful opportunity for graduate students to gain experience presenting to their peers, bringing together the student cohort to learn from each other and enjoy the vibrant scholarly community that exists across the different programs.

Masters by Coursework students are inviPresenting 2ted to present on any topic relevant to their field of study. It could be a research presentation about a minor thesis, presentation of an internship report, or even a live performance or display of creative work.

The Graduate Coursework Colloquium will bring students from across the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Melbourne School of Government together to celebrate their learning and share their new found knowledge. We can’t wait to participate!


* If you or your organisation are interested in providing internship opportunities to students in the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences or Melbourne School of Government, please contact Fiona Abud, Manager of External Relations.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Big Issue: Bachelor of Arts students finish 6th in The Big Idea 2014 competition

A team of undergraduate students from the University of Melbourne were finalists in The Big Idea 2014, an Australia-wide undergraduate student social enterprise competition. Out of the 40 student teams representing nine universities from across the country, the University of Melbourne team with their project ‘M Power’ made it to the top six.

Team 'M Power': BA students Keisha Torres, Ana Ong, Sofia Sabbagh and Vivian Johnson

BA students Keisha Torres, Ana Ong, Sofia Sabbagh and Vivian Johnson

A team of undergraduate students from the University of Melbourne were finalists in The Big Idea 2014, an Australia-wide undergraduate student social enterprise competition. Out of the 40 student teams representing nine universities from across the country, the University of Melbourne team with their project ‘M Power’ made it to the top six.

The Big Idea is a competition coordinated by Australia’s leading social enterprise, The Big Issue and seeks to find original social enterprise ideas that could benefit society in a similar way to existing social enterprises such as The Big Issue Street magazine.

Making it through several rigorous elimination rounds the team from The University of Melbourne which included Vivian Johnson, Sofia Sabbagh, Ana Ong and Keisha Torres  presented ‘M Power’, to a judging panel of business and industry leaders.  ‘M Power’ is a concept for a mobile phone charging device that would be placed in recycled books and distributed to cafes for their patrons to read. The books would feature migrants’ personal stories collected by migrant journalists. The team drew on their collective experiences of migration to tackle the theme of connectivity.

“Having been a team of migrants … we understood the sense of isolation that migrants can feel,” said team member Anna Ong.

The students took part in The Big Idea as part of the subject Community Volunteering for Change which gives students the opportunity to augment their academic experience by getting involved in community volunteering projects and work placements. To successfully complete the subject, during semester the students spend the equivalent of one day a week (80 hours minimum) as an intern in a not-for-profit organisation. Whilst completing their internships, students have the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills they have acquired during their course to issues of significance to a community.

Lecturer Dr Violeta Schubert was impressed with the students’ originality, insight and social awareness.

“These weren’t Business students, but Arts students, yet they picked up business concepts very quickly,” she said. “Their skills in critical thinking, their groundedness and social awareness – skills developed in Arts – really came to the fore.”

Community Volunteering for Change is available to second and third year students in Semester 2, 2015.

Posted in Uncategorized

“In Praise of Actuality: Questioning Art as a Process”

Join us at the first Dean’s Lecture for 2015 delivered by esteemed art critic and Guggenheim Fellow Professor Hal Foster from Princeton University, USA

Renowned art critic Hal Foster

Renowned art critic Hal Foster


Posted in Uncategorized