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Australian Research Council grants

The Museum and its staff are involved with a variety of Discovery and Linkage grant projects funded by the Australian Research Council.

Return, reconcile, renew [LP130100131]

Return, reconcile, renew: understanding the history, effects and opportunities of repatriation and building an evidence base for the future

Mike Pickering from the Museum together with The Australian National University, University of Otago, Ministry for the Arts, Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority Inc, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Kimberly Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Association on American Indian Affairs, The University of Melbourne, The University of Queensland, The Flinders University of South Australia, and Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. 

The repatriation of ancestral remains is an extraordinary Indigenous achievement and inter-cultural development of the past 40 years. This international project will provide critical new knowledge to understand repatriation, its history and effects and will provide scholarly and public outcomes that empower community based research and practice.

The culture of weeds [LP120200473]

The culture of weeds: invasion biology, identity and the aesthetics in Australia

Mike Smith and Libby Robin from the Museum together with Cameron Muir from the Australian National University, Joslin Moore and Dave Kendal from the University of Melbourne partner with the Royal Botanic Gardens and National Herbarium of Victoria.

Weeds are a significant threat to Australia's biodiversity - but when does a plant become one? Defining plants and landscapes as weedy reflects not only ecological values, but also economics, aesthetics and national identity. The question of how and why weeds spread reveals cultural values that inform the management of all invasive species.

Modern Human Origins [DP110102864]

Modern Human Origins and Early Behaviour Complexity in Australia and South East Asia

Mike Smith, together with Christopher Clarkson from the University of Queensland, and Richard Fullagar from the University of Wollongong

Three new archaeological excavations will contribute to our understanding of how and when did humans first cross from Southeast Asia into Australia.

Alive with the Dreaming! [LP110200742]

Alive with the Dreaming! Songlines of the Western Desert

Mike Smith, Margo Neale and Libby Robin from the Museum, together with Howard Morphy from the Australian National University and June Ross from the University of New England

To engage with the elders and artists of the Western Desert to share an understanding of the significance in terms of scale, spiritual and environmental  aspects of the iconic songlines that map the Australian continent. The project will include performances, books, films and a major exhibition at the Museum.

More information on the Seven Sisters Songlines project


Previous ARC grants with Museum involvement

Anzac Day at Home and Abroad: a centenary history of Australia’s national day

(2011-2014) LP110100264

Peter Stanley from the Museum, together with Bruce Scates from Monash University and many others.

Examining Anzac Day’s complex and contested history using archival research, novels, public history, and private and collective memories.

More information on the Anzac day project

Engaging Objects: Indigenous Communities, museum collections and the representation of Indigenous Histories

(2010-2014) LP100100623

Ian Coates and Mike Pickering from the Museum, together with Howard Morphy and Maria Nugent from the ANU and Lissant Bolton from the British Museum.  

Examines the research process leading up to a major exhibition at the NMA of the British Museum’s Australian Indigenous collections.

Pintupi Dialogues: Reconstructing memories of art, land and community through the visual record

(2010-2013) LP100200359

Peter Thorley from the Museum together with Nicolas Peterson and Philippa Deveson from the ANU, Fred Myers from New York University and Papunya Tula artists

Using archival footage, this project will provide an opportunity for Pintupi people to comment on a significant period in their lives as they moved away from the institutionalised settlement of Papunya and established the new community of Yayayi in the mid 1970s.

British Pacific Rim Settler Societies:  Conciliation narratives and the historical imagination in British Pacific Rim Settler Societies

(2008-2011) LP0776803

Contact Michael Pickering

Indigenous participation in the Australian colonial economy: an anthropological and historical investigation

(2007-2009) LP0775392

Contact: Michael Pickering

Outcome: Indigenous participation in Australian Economies conference held 9-10 November 2009 at the National Museum of Australia

Cultural collections, creators and copyright: museums, galleries, libraries and archives and Australia’s digital heritage

(2006-2008) LP 0669566

Contact: Karen Leary

Increasing visitor frequency: an approach to understanding and forecasting how cultural-attraction visitors respond to various incentives to increase visitation rates

(2004 -2008) LP0455321

Contact: Susan Tonkin

New literacy, new audiences: a model for cost-effective Australian content generation and multiplatform publishing via co-creation and multi-site distribution


Contact: Adam Blackshaw

The Australian Dictionary of Biography Online and Emerging National Information Systems: Networking Research Capability

(2006) LP0668026

Contact: Mat Trinca

Migration Memories: An analysis of representations of Australian migration histories

(2005-2007) LP0455051

Contact: Martha Sear

Migration memories exhibition September-November 2007

Collaborating for Indigenous Rights: A fifty year retrospective exploring the history of black and white Australian activism 1957–1972

(2004-2006) LP0454062

Contact: Michael Pickering

Outcome: Collaborating for Indigenous Rights 1957-1973 website

Australian Indigenous Collectors and Collections

(2004-2006) LP0455562

Contact: Margo Neale

Studies in the degradation of dyes and pigments in ink on paper, in photographic media and on painted surfaces

(2004-2006) LP0453482

Contacts: Eric Archer and David Hallam

Asia’s first people: the role of East Asia in human evolution during the past half million years

(2004 – 2006) DP0450837

Contact: Mike Smith

With Alan Thorne and Geoff Hope, Archaeology and Natural History, Australian National University; Paul Tacon, Griffith University; and Colin Pardoe and Darren Curnoe, University of New South Wales.

Art and Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific: The limits of tolerance in the twenty-first century

(2004-2006) DP0452961

Contact: Margo Neale

Unsettling Histories: Australian Indigenous modes of historical practice

(2004-2007) DP0451720

Contact: Margo Neale

Bronze Age textiles from Dong Son coffins in Vietnam

(2004-2007) LP0453881

Contact: Eric Archer

Activating and maintaining community participation in natural and cultural resources – initiatives in Murray-Darling Basin

(2003-2005) LP0211420

Contact: Ian Coates

Outcome: Basin Bytes - Murray Darling Basin community projects

Anthropological perspectives on ethnographic collecting by Australian colonial administrators in Papua New Guinea and their contribution to museum collections

Partners: Australian National University

(2002-2004) LP0218849

Contact: Mike Smith

Managing the Volunteer Workforce: Flexible structures and strategies to integrate volunteers and paid workers

(2002-2004) LP0219578

Contacts: Maciej Dunski/Lisa O’Brien

The Human Elements: A Cultural History of Weather in Australia

(2003-2005) LP0347384

Contact: Dr Mike Smith

The Human Elements: Climate and Culture in Australia, with industry partners the Bureau of Meteorology and the National Museum of Australia and Tom Griffiths, Tim Sherratt and Kirsty Douglas, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University; and Libby Robin, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Australian National University.

Aliens and others: representing citizenship and internships in Australia during World War II

(2002-2004) LP0210398

Contact: Mat Trinca

Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Digitising Collections in Public Museums, Galleries and Libraries

(2004-2005) LP0348534

Contact: Lisa White/ Mark Wright

The Other Within: Visual Culture through Indigenous, Tribal, Minority, ‘Subaltern’ and Multicultural Displays in Asia-Pacific Museums today

(2002-2003) LP0214963

Contact: Margo Neale