Program Leader: Belinda Smaill

Associate Professor Belinda Smaill teaches in Film and Screen Studies in the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University. Over the last two decades she has built an international reputation in the field of screen studies and documentary studies in particular. She has published over 30 journal articles and book chapters and her two books, The Documentary: Politics, Emotion, Culture (Palgrave MacMillan 2010) and Regarding Life: Animals and the Documentary Moving Image (State University of New York Press 2016) have garnered international recognition for their role in rethinking the documentary tradition in the history of the moving image. Belinda’s work as a scholar is frequently cited as constituting new directions in documentary studies. Over the last decade she has been researching issues concerning the nonhuman, environmental crisis, and how they relate to fact-based storytelling in screen media. She is currently the Leader of the Environment and Media Research Program.

Brett Hutchins

Brett Hutchins is Professor of Media and Communications Studies and Head of School in the School of Media, Film & Journalism. Brett’s research investigates the social, economic and political implications of technological transformation and, in particular, the movement from analogue-print to digital and mobile media systems. This transformation is explored through case studies that examine sports media, environmental media, and other forms of wireless, online and digital media. His approach is based on a combination of critical analysis, accessible writing, and evidence drawn from industry and policy circles.

Aneta Podkalicka

Aneta is a cultural and media researcher and lecturer in the School of Media, Film & Journalism, interested in the role media play in creating social value; the relationships between everyday media and consumption practices; and media and environmental sustainability. Aneta has worked as part of collaborative, interdisciplinary research teams with a range of industry partners from across governmental, not-for-profit and commercial sectors. She was a Chief Investigator on the ‘Media and Communication Strategies for Home Renovations’ project, funded by the Collaborative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (CRC LCL) that investigated the role of media and social communication in shaping home renovation practices (2014-2017). Her books include: Using media for social innovation (2018) co-authored with Ellie Rennie; Grand Designs: Consumer markets and home-making (forthcoming) with Esther Milne and Jenny Kennedy; and edited collection Leisure Cultures and the Making of Modern Ski Resorts (2018) with Philipp Strobl.

Deb Anderson

Deb teaches in the Journalism program in Monash’s School of Media, Film and Journalism where she has coordinated the undergraduate capstone unit ‘Journalism and Global Change’, as well as the Master of Journalism degree. Deb’s fascination with climate likely stems from her youth spent in the Tropical Queensland, where it can rain up to 200 days a year. She developed a passion for independent journalism while working for a range of newspapers and magazines including a role as a feature writer for Melbourne’s The Age. Deb is currently extending a longitudinal approach to interview-based research through a range of projects. Since 2013 she has been recording stories of crisis, loss and renewal in Queensland communities affected by cyclone. In 2014 she published the book Endurance: Australian Stories of Drought via CSIRO Publishing, and in 2016 she embarked on a new project to record stories in Victorian communities recovering from bushfire. This research aims to examine the experience and meaning of extreme weather events for ordinary people, in an era of politicized discourse on climate.

Therese Davis

Therese Davis is Director of the Bachelor of Media Communication at Monash University. Her research is primarily in the areas of Australian cinema and television, theories of collaboration and cross-cultural exchange in film, Australian Indigenous media, and women’s filmmaking. She is the co-author of the widely referenced Australian Cinema After Mabo (CUP, 2004). While her research is primarily located in Film Studies, it also draws on and establishes new dialogues with debates in Cultural Theory, History, and Indigenous media. Throughout her career, she has maintained a strong interest in the relationship between theory and media practice in both her teaching and research.

David Holmes

David is Founder and Director of the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub, a University-wide research group across 7 faculties and two institutes. He is lead author of Media Storm: Communicating Climate Change in Australia, London, Anthem Press, with Simon Torok and Brooke Garas forthcoming 2019). David also conducts extensive field research into audience views of climate change beliefs, literacy and behaviour response and is committed to inter-disciplinary responses to climate change. He completed a PhD in Social Theory (Department of the History and Philosophy of Science) at the University of Melbourne, where he was also awarded the Dwight Prize for Political Science. In the following decade he published three books in the sociology of communications: Virtual Politics: Identity and Community in Cyberspace (Sage 1997) and Virtual Globalisation: Virtual Spaces, Tourist Spaces (Routledge 2001) and a monograph Communication Theory: Media, Technology and Society (Sage 2005).

Billy Head

Billy Head is a filmmaker and media artist lecturing in audio-visual production in the School of Media, Film and Journalism. He has a bachelor degree in Media Studies (RMIT), a Masters degree in Australian Political Economy (University of Sydney), and a post-graduate diploma in Documentary Direction (Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne). In 2017 he directed a series of observational, day-in-the-life documentaries about workers from the Pacific Islands and Timor-Leste who have come to work in Australian Aid's Seasonal Worker Programme. Created for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade throughout 2016/17 as an induction tool for new participant workers, the series of films won the Best Instructional/Training Video or Website (Tertiary/General) category at the Australian Teachers of Media Awards.

Associate Researchers

Céline Klemm

Céline holds a PhD in Communication Science and currently works in the Monash Sustainable Development Institute’s Sustainable Development Education Program. Céline’s research focusses on mass media and environmental and public health issues. In the past, Céline participated as researcher in the interdisciplinary European Union research project Ecom@eu: Communication in times of an outbreak, which developed an evidence-based behavioural and communication package for health professionals and institutions throughout Europe in case of major epidemic outbreaks. She also supported the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative Nepal project based at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs as a pro bono consultant.

James Oliver

James is a transdisciplinary academic at MADA whose work is oriented towards methodological considerations within a practice-as-research paradigm. His wider research interests range across de-colonial practices, public pedagogies and co-producing knowledge. The common thread is his evolving experience and expertise in the ‘methodological’ and ‘practice-as-research’, for creative and cultural enquiry. He takes a transdisciplinary approach in both traditional and creative practice research, with a flexible ethnographic perspective, across documentary arts and design, social and spatial practice, performance and film. James has recently published the book, ‘Associations: creative practice and research’.

Charity Edwards

Charity is a lecturer and urban researcher in the Department of Architecture at MADA where she teaches design studio, theory, and urban processes in both the Interior Architecture and Architecture programs.  Her research explores the uneven and more-than-human impacts of urbanisation at the scale of the planet. She foregrounds the long-disregarded space of the world ocean in these processes in particular. Charity is currently undertaking a PhD on the increasing urbanisation of the Southern Ocean via autonomous underwater technologies.

Simon Troon

Simon is a teaching associate and research assistant in the School of Media, Film and Journalism. His doctoral research, completed in late 2018, connects film studies with the environmental humanities to explore the cinematic representation of disaster across a range of film genres and styles.

Madeleine Thomas

Madeleine’s doctoral research aims to incorporate human behavioural sciences into risk communication to protect human health, and asks the question of whether this approach leads to better outcomes in reducing exposure to pollutants. The research is supported by BehaviourWorks Australia, Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Monash University, and Environment Protection Authority Victoria.