What to do about Australians fighting for ISIS?


The growing number of Australians who have become foreign fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have led to fears of terrorism at home, sweeping new laws limiting civil liberties, and questions about Australia's role in Middle East stability.

This panel of international experts on foreign fighter recruitment and radicalisation examines global trends from a decade of foreign fighters in Iraq and elsewhere and addresses the policy responses that Australia can take.

Dr Thomas Hegghammer, Research Fellow, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment

Dr Magnus Ranstorp, Research Director at the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defence College

Clint Watts, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute

Aaron Zelin, Richard Borrow Fellow, the Washington Institute for Near-East Policy

Thursday, 20 November 2014, 5:30 pm

Terrace Lounge, Walter Boas Building

Posted in Events, Social and Political Sciences

Imagining the 21st Century Public Service Workforce


The public service workforce is at the frontier of major change.

Significant changes to the shape and nature of public services combined with major changes in the organisation of work could transform the activities the public service workforce undertakes and the way in which it operates.

The Melbourne School of Government has worked with senior public servants and a range of experienced partner stakeholders to develop the Imagining the 21st Century Public Service Workforce Report which offers an informed and detailed account of the impending challenges and their implications for the 21st Century public service workforce.

This event will provide the opportunity to hear about and discuss the findings of the report and its suggestions for addressing the challenges facing public services in the 21st Century with the panel.

Gus O'Donnell is the Chairman of Frontier Economics, a Strategic Advisor to TD, the second largest Canadian bank, non-Executive Director at Brookfield Asset Management, a visiting Professor at the LSE and UCL and a member of the Economist Trust. He is also Chair of the Advisory Board of the Behavioural Insights Team at the Cabinet Office.

Gus was the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the British Civil Service from 2005-2011 under Prime Ministers Blair, Brown and Cameron. In 2010, Gus oversaw the introduction of the first coalition government since the Second World War. Before that, he was Permanent Secretary of Her Majesty's Treasury from 2002-2005. He has served on the Boards of the IMF and the World Bank. Gus studied Economics at Warwick University and Nuffield College, Oxford, before lecturing at Glasgow University and then began a long career in the Treasury. He was knighted in 2005 and was appointed to the House of Lords in 2012 where he sits as a crossbencher (i.e. is not affiliated to any political party). Most recently he chaired a group which produced an influential report on Wellbeing and Policy. In 2014, he was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy.

Helen Dickinson is Associate Professor of Public Governance at the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne. Her expertise is in public services, particularly in relation to topics such as governance, commissioning and priority setting and decision making.

Helen has authored, co-authored or edited twelve books on these topics in the last five years and has also published in journals such as Public Administration, Public Management Review, Social Science and Medicine and Evidence and Policy. Helen is co-editor of the Journal of Health, Organization and Management and Australian Journal of Public Administration.

Thursday, 13 November 2014, 6:00 pm

Yarra Room , Melbourne Town Hall, Cnr Collins and Swanston Streets, Melbourne

Posted in Events, Government

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy in the Twenty First Century


In this lecture Professor Garnaut will discuss prospects for and implications of the maturation of global development, in which all people enjoy high material standards of living. He assesses views from Keynes, Schumpeter and others on the maturation of global economic development for democracy and for inequality and how these compare with experience over the past three quarter century and the views of Picketty and other contemporary analysts.

He notes challenges to the maturation of global development from the corruption of democratic systems, the Malthusian implications of failure to secure development for the "Bottom Billion", and human-induced climate change. He discusses the prospects of democracy in the context of success and failure of global development, drawing on experience of Australia, China, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. An earlier version of the lecture was presented at the London School of Economics and Political Science on 9th October 2014 as the University of Melbourne-London School of Economics Lecture for 2014.

Professor Garnaut is a Professorial Research Fellow in Economics at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of numerous publications on international economics, public finance and economic development. Professor Garnaut has had longstanding and successful roles as policy advisor, diplomat and businessman.

He was Senior Economic Adviser to Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke (1983-1985) and served as Australian Ambassador to China (1985-1988). He is the author of a number of influential reports to Government, including Australia and the Northeast Asian Ascendancy, The Garnaut Climate Change Review, and The Garnaut Review 2011: Australia and the Global Response to Climate Change.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014, 6:00 pm

Theatre 1, Business and Economics Building , 111 Barry Street, Carlton

Posted in Events, Government

Distance in crises


In a crisis, we move towards managing negative outcomes, ensuring safety and survival. Needs that are seen to diverge from the immediate concerns of ensuring safety and survival are quashed. Normative configurations of family, of body, of language take precedence. In crises we are asked to be “normal”. The differing needs of differing bodies/families/speakers may be construed as in excess of safety and survival, as excessive, extravagant, or in Japanese as wagamama (selfish). We are propelled to avoid “excess”, and stifle extravagance.

As part of an on-going collaborative project on queer-reading following the March 2011 (311) earthquake and tsunami in Japan, this presentation by Dr Claire Maree will consider how the privileges of distance may allow for a queer reading of excess in post-311 Japan.

Dr Claire Maree is Senior Lecturer in Japanese at the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne. Dr Maree's area of expertise is critical language studies, specifically discourse analysis focusing on critical approaches to language and identity studies, and language education. She is particularly interested in examining the dynamics of gender and sexuality in spoken discourses and contemporary media. Dr Maree is also active in the area of queer theory.

Monday, 10 November 2014, 11:30 am

Leigh Scott room, Baillieu Library

Posted in Asia Institute, Events

Do globalisation studies have a future?


Globalisation envelops the world - and historians too. The 'g' word is now mandatory in titles of books and articles; PhD students follow their leaders in dedicating their dissertations to the subject. Yet, not so long ago postmodern approaches to the past were equally compelling: if you could not tell your trope from your alterity and your Spivak from your Bhaba, your chances of landing a job were minimal. Wise investors buy at the bottom of the market and get out at the top. So, it is worth asking whether shares in globalisation have further to run or whether full value is already in the market. One way of answering the question is by considering the reasons why historiographical phases, like empires, rise, flourish and decline. This approach provides pointers to the current state of globalisation studies and offers an estimate of the current value of the shares. The advice comes with a wealth warning; past performance has limited predictive power. As a famous trumpeter remarked when asked which way jazz was going: 'Man, if I knew which way jazz was going, I would be there already!'

Professor A.G. Hopkins is Emeritus Smuts Professor of Commonwealth History at the University of Cambridge (where he held the Smuts Chair from 1994-2001) and an Emeritus Fellow of Pembroke College. Between 1977 and 1988 he was Professor of Economic History at the University of Birmingham and from 1988 until 1994 Professor of History at the University of Geneva. From 2002 to 2013 he held the Walter Prescott Webb Chair of History at the University of Texas at Austin. Hopkins is best known for his extensive work on the history of Africa, empires, and globalization.

His principal works include An Economic History of West Africa (1973), Globalization in World History (2002), Global History: Interactions Between the Universal and the Global (2006), and, with Peter Cain, British Imperialism, 1688-2000 (1993), which won the Forkosch Prize awarded by the American Historical Association in 1995. His contribution to the field was recognised in 2011 with Africa, Empire and Globalization: Essays in Honour of A.G.Hopkins,edited by Toyin Falola and Emily Brownell. He is currently completing a study of the United States written as imperial history.

‘Australia in the World’ is a lecture and seminar series that presents international and transnational perspectives on the past. The series highlights the interconnectedness of past worlds and future challenges with speakers from around the country and across the globe.

Supported by the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies.

Monday, 3 November 2014, 6:00 pm

Theatre C, Old Arts Building

Posted in Events, Historical and Philosophical Studies

A message from the Dean of Arts

It has been an eventful few months in the Faculty of Arts and this edition highlights some of the key achievements and events that have taken place.

Since June we have seen the University move up again in global esteem according to the Times Higher Education World Rankings. The University is now 33rd in the World, with our Arts and Humanities and our Social Sciences equal 19th, highlighting the depth and breadth of our experts and the quality of their research.

A particular highlight of the research calendar this year has been the award of the Australian Research Council’s Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellowship to Professor Joy Damousi from our School of Historical and Philosophical Studies. The award recognises Joy’s celebrated career as an Historian and her impact on the discipline. The five year fellowship will enable her to examine a very topical new project on the history of child refugees in Australia, providing both researchers and the broader community with new insights into the impact and experiences of child refugees in Australia throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

In other highlights, saw the Faculty host one of our most celebrated alumni, Professor Germaine Greer, for a very special session of the 10 Great Books series. Professor Greer delighted audiences with a masterful reading of the fragments of the ancient Greek lyric poet, Sappho. Participants enjoyed lively discussion and debate, with topics ranging from biography to history, gender and love, and the many readings and re-readings of the fragments across time.

Thanks to the generosity of one of our esteemed alumni, the Art History program in the Faculty will establish a new Chair in Art History dedicated to Australian art. The Ramsay Chair will honour and celebrate one of Australia’s most notable artists, Hugh Ramsay who lived and worked in Melbourne, Paris and London. The Chair highlights the Faculty’s rich tradition of Art Historical scholarship, and a renewed focus on Australian Art.

And finally, this month we welcome a new space of thought-provoking commentary and opinion with the launch of the Melbourne School of Government’s G20 Watch initiative, providing information and analysis on the premier forum for international economic cooperation and decision-making, hosted by Australia in 2014. I encourage you all to take a look.

I hope you enjoy this edition and I look forward to bringing you more news from the Faculty with the next instalment of Articulation.

Posted in Uncategorized

Dr Gary Foley untangles a unique story of black education and history

Foley 01Tangled Up in Black’ was the title of alumnus Dr Gary Foley’s public lecture delivered to a packed theatre in Old Arts on Wednesday 15 October.  Presented by the Research Unit in Public Cultures, and based on his Chancellor’s Medal winning doctoral dissertation, Dr Foley’s lecture provided an extraordinary journey through black history and education, combining personal reflection with a broader history of social injustice but also remarkable individual and community achievement across five decades.

Well known as one of Australia’s most prominent activists and intellectuals, Dr Foley was involved in the foundation of Aboriginal self-help organizations such as the Aboriginal Legal Service in Redfern and the Aboriginal Health Service in Melbourne.  Centrally involved also in major political activism such as the Springbok Tour protests (1971), the Tent Embassy in Canberra (1972), and the Bicentennial Celebrations (1988), he has produced work that has been the subject of an SBS TV documentary, a one-man theatre show and numerous journal and newspaper articles. Dr Foley has also been the senior curator for southeastern at Museum Victoria from 2005 to 2008, a lecturer at a number of universities and the originator of the Koori History Website.  He is currently completing an autobiographical account of the Black Power Movement and the 1972 Tent Embassy, due for publication next year.

GF Macksville High School

Dr Foley commenced the lecture with tales from his childhood.

Following an introduction by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Glyn Davis, Dr Foley outlined the challenges facing a young Aboriginal man growing up in Nambucca Heads in 1960s Australia – the homelands of his Gumbaynggirr grandmother – particularly of a young man who aspired to a university education.  Highlighting a striking history of Australian prejudice meant that many other indigenous peoples around the world would receive university degrees over a century prior to the first Aboriginal people – with Margot Weir (Diploma of Physical Education, University of Melbourne,1959) and Charles Perkins (Bachelor of Arts, University of Sydney,1966) the first Aboriginal people to receive university qualifications in Australia – Dr Foley traced his refusal to accept the racial slurs and insults that marked his initial schooling which resulted in his expulsion from high school in 1966 at the age of 16. It would be over 30 years before he enrolled at a university.  When he did so, he received a first class honours degree in History from Melbourne and completed a PhD in History in 2012.

Dr Foley captivated the packed-out Public Lecture Theatre.

The history of what Dr Foley describes as the ‘self-determination era’, in particular, was a focus of the lecture.  It is a history that he outlined as important because of the way it challenges versions of the past that ‘consign Aboriginal people to the status of powerless victims with no agency in the historical proceedings occurring around them’.  Dr Foley left no doubt that Aboriginal political activists have fought to have Aboriginal issues placed at the heart of the national agenda over many decades. Challenging and delivered with his characteristic wit and humour, the lecture also contained a number of recommendations to the Vice Chancellor regarding the University’s own mixed history of dealings with Aboriginal peoples.  Dr Foley’s lecture received a standing ovation.

The most striking note of the evening was the generosity of the speaker, and that of University of Melbourne academic and alumnus Dr Tony Birch, who provided a response to Dr Foley’s address.  Another Aboriginal academic to win the Chancellor’s Medal for a thesis in History, Dr Birch outlined the contribution made by Dr Foley in the fight against the closure of the Northlands High School in 1992.  In a moving tribute, Dr Birch emphasized the ways in which Dr Foley had stood up for those, both black and white, who were often among the most disenfranchised in Australian society – and had often done so at great personal cost.  Dr Gary Foley, he emphasized, has never forgotten that ‘he is one of us’.

TUIBCopies of the lecture and response will be made available through the Faculty of Art’s Research Unit in Public Cultures.

Dr Foley was interviewed on Radio National prior to his lecture. The interview is available here.

Posted in Uncategorized

Prestigious Laureate Professorship for History Program at Melbourne

School of Historical and Philosophical Studies’ Professor Joy Damousi has been awarded an Australian Laureate Fellowship, joining 15 other illustrious professors around the country. Awarded by the Australian Research Council, and allowing five years of full-time research, the position also brings capacity for team building and student scholarships within the Faculty’s History Program.  It is a remarkable achievement, capping an exceptional research career.

Specifically, the award allows Professor Damousi to build on her detailed research into the history of the paidomazoma – the removal of children to Australia during the Greek Civil War in the 1940s.  In this project, Professor Damousi charted a painful history that saw tens of thousands of children removed from villages across Greece, often to Eastern Europe, but also to Australia.  Among many other aspects of this story, Professor Damousi’s research highlighted the role of Australian Council of International Social Service director, Aileen Fitzpatrick, and the pivotal role she played in moving debates beyond Cold War politics and promoting a global community united by humanitarian efforts and international exchange.

Professor Damousi’s new project will examine the broader history of child refugees seeking asylum in Australia, asking questions about how the past informs current and future approaches to immigration and refuge.  Professor Damousi hopes the project will “generate new and powerful understandings of the impact and experiences of child refugees in Australia … and enable an integrated approach to understanding the impact of child refugees in Australia in cultural, social and economic terms”.  It is important, Professor Damousi has argued, that we have both “a historical and contemporary framework for current discussions on child refugees”.

Commenting on the awarding of the laureate professorships, the University of Melbourne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research, Professor James McCluskey, noted that these fellowships recognise “outstanding world-leading achievements”, but also and importantly that it is “research that informs and assists the community”. Professor Damousi’s project will focus on diverse communities in Australia, including groups that have the highest migration of children, such as the Vietnamese in the 1970s and the Sudanese since the 1990s.  It will also focus on historical case studies and community attempts to assist children much earlier in the twentieth century, such as the role of Jewish communities in the 1930s.

Joy DamousiIn addition to this prestigious new role, Professor Damousi will assist the community through her role as an ambassador for women in the humanities, arts and social sciences.  She undertakes this role as the most recent recipient of the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Award.  Named after the renowned Melbourne University historian, a key part of this role is to mentor and support female researchers to become scholars. “We have to get more women in there, and more research and awards in the humanities”, Professor Damousi has said.  “It is great to see the ARC supporting studies of migration like this – Australian communities have a lot of stories to tell, and they haven’t all been told yet.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Hugh Ramsay Chair in Australian Art History established following major gift

The great-niece of artist Hugh Ramsay, Patricia Fullerton, and other members of the Ramsay family have honoured the artist through a major gift to the University of Melbourne, establishing the Hugh Ramsay Chair in Australian Art History.

The gift to benefit the Faculty of Arts is especially meaningful for Fullerton, who remains a proud alumna of the Faculty since her university days in the early 1960s. Her studies in Fine Arts and French at the University of Melbourne culminated in her Masters thesis focusing on her artistic relation, entitled Hugh Ramsay: a consideration of his life and work, a precursor to the biography she would later publish in 1988, entitled Hugh Ramsay: His Life and Work.


Image of Patricia Fullerton courtesy of The Voice.

Image of Patricia Fullerton courtesy of The Voice.

Fullerton’s contribution to the preservation of Hugh Ramsay’s legacy extends beyond the written word to the visual arts, where she has previously gifted a number of Ramsay’s works to institutions around Australia
in addition to curating the first retrospective exhibition of his works at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1992, reigniting Australia’s passion for the artist.
Patricia Fullerton was recently honoured as one of the University of Melbourne’s most significant benefactors on the new donor wall located in the heart of the Parkville campus.


The Hugh Ramsay Chair in Australian Art History will provide opportunities for research into Australian art, with Indigenous art history a particular focus.

Further information about the establishment of the Hugh Ramsay Chair are featured in the latest edition of The Voice. If you would like to learn more about supporting the Faculty of Arts for future generations, please visit our website.

Posted in Uncategorized

Launch of Trust Fund based on a belief in the fundamental significance of History to all spheres of learning

The University of Melbourne has recently received a gift to establish a History Trust – a gift that will allow new teaching and learning initiatives in one of the University’s oldest and most prestigious programs.

At the forefront of the study of history in Australia since 1854, the History program at Melbourne has always been one of the largest and most significant in Australia, encompassing great names such as Ernest Scott, Max Crawford, Margaret Kiddle, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Manning Clark, John Poynter, Geoffrey Blainey, Greg Dening and Stuart Macintyre in debates over many decades.

3342At a recent event to mark the establishment of the Trust, in addition to the rich ‘history’ of the History program, Fay and Barry Gilbert both commented that their decision to support the trust was also informed by their international business careers and an appreciation of the importance that many nations place on knowledge of history as fundamental to other streams of education. As Deputy Chair of the Melbourne Humanities Foundation, and supporter of scholarships for history students, Fay Gilbert underlined that she hoped that ‘the establishment of the History Trust can enhance History and humanities education at Melbourne and in doing so increase its appeal to the student body in general’.

Worried that students today sometimes take a narrowly vocational view of their education, Barry Gilbert emphasised that his international career in agribusiness, food production and processing had given him ‘deep insights into the requirements of Australian businesses, executives and management to succeed in an increasingly competitive business environment’. ‘To understand the strengths and opportunities that Australian businesses have, and the consequent competitive advantages involved’, he said ‘requires more than just an understanding of contemporary issues, but also knowledge of the historical base from which these issues have developed’. ‘Other nations do this better than we do, and Fay and I hope the History Trust can elevate the relevance of history as a foundation for many fields of endeavour’.

1314Professor Trevor Burnard, Head of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, warmly welcomed the news and stated that he believed such gifts breathe new life into teaching, learning and research in a program and potentially generate further forms of support.  Professor Kate Darian-Smith, current Head of the History Discipline, indicated that the gift would help support a new generation of historians – talented young scholars who are passionate about their field of study and eager to pass on skills to students. ‘I’m delighted by the generosity of Fay and Barry’, Professor Darian-Smith stated, ‘and I believe it sends a strong signal about community support for History, and how deeply it touches and enriches lives’.

If you would like to learn more about supporting the History Trust Fund, contact us.

Posted in Uncategorized