CHL Director's Message 2022

3rd February 2022

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the first edition of Crosscurrents and the start to what we all hope will be a much more positive year in 2022. I do hope that you were able to take some time out with friends and family over the summer break, though I know the added anxiety and caution emanating from news of increased COVID cases has not made for an easy start to the year for many of us.

The beginning of a new year brings with it the opportunity to welcome a number of our new CHL academic and post-doc appointments. These include Dr Michelle Rooney (GMCS), Indigenous Research Fellow _Dr Ray Tobler (Evolution of Cultural Diversity Initiative), CHL Indigenous Postdoc **Dr Charles Radclyffe (ANH), CHL Indigenous Postdoc Jen Mason (GMCS), Luise Hercus Postdoc Dr Sofia Samper Carro (ANH), and Dr Subhan Zain (Indonesian Program). We’re excited to have you all on board and look forward to hearing about your work throughout the year.

There’s already lots of wonderful news to celebrate this year. First, many congratulations to Bec Hamilton (ANH) and her partner for the arrival of their adorable baby girl Tulla!

In other good news, congratulations to all those who were successful in the latest round of ARC grants. This year CHL achieved a 100 percent success rate in ARC Discovery Projects (DP) and ARC LIEF grants, which is certainly something to celebrate.

Prof Nick Evans (Linguistics) is involved in the LIEF grant, led by Nick Thieberger, called Modularised cultural heritage archives (LE220100010) – future-proofing PARADISEC. This project will build an innovative modularised infrastructure to implement standards of data governance for cultural heritage records.

Em Prof Alan Rumsey (Linguistics) led a successful DP application on Body, Language and Socialisation across Cultures (DP220100971). This project aims to advance the understanding of how people learn languages, and in the process become socialized into particular cultures and communities. This research should lead to significant practical benefits, improving Australia's ability to adapt to cultural diversity and to counteract its disadvantages in schools and everyday life.

Dr Eva Nisa (Anthropology) was part of a successful DP led by Prof Robert Cribb on Suharto's enablers? Social complicity in the Indonesian killings of 1965-66 (DP220100211). This projects aims to revolutionise understandings of civilian involvement in the most critical and bloody turning point in modern Indonesian history, the 1965-66 killings, and to transform the evidence base for Indonesian history-writing.

Finally, Dr Larissa Schneider (DECRA-ANH) led a successful DP application on Long range toxic metal pollution in Australia and the Southern Ocean (DP220100828). This project aims to investigate how environmental change and human activities since industrialisation have impacted toxic metal transport and deposition on the south coast of Australia, Tasmania and Southern Ocean islands (and I was lucky enough to be a CI on this as well).

Travel will obviously continue to be challenging this year, but I’m happy to announce that the first Evolution of Cultural Diversity Initiative (ECDI)-affiliated field school will be kicking off next weeks (6-20 February) on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria in collaboration with Heritage Insight, Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, Parks Victoria, Heritage Victoria, and Mornington Shire Council. The field school will be led by **ECDI’s Dr Ben Shaw and **AProf Catherine Frieman (CASS)****. Over the year, we hope to work to make it possible for other field schools to go ahead – many of which were on hold due to the pandemic.

We have also established new CHL digital infrastructure for enhanced online teaching capability, including two new green screen recording studios in Coombs, portable popup green screens and ring lights for loan, Meeting Owl Pros with 360-degree camera technology for enhanced group collaboration and participation. You will hear more on these initiatives from our education team, who will be sharing detailed communications on this shortly. Shameem Black will also continue to be our Deputy Director, Education for an extended period of time till the middle of this year.

The Research & Teaching Allowance has been set at $3,000 this year for academics or fixed-term staff with appointments of 12 months. For any business related travel please contact Ulrike Proske on whs.chl@anu.edu.au to discuss current travel and COVID restrictions.

Finally, it’s important that we remember some of the very sad news of our dear colleagues passing away over the summer break. Em Prof Brij Lal (Pacific History), Em Prof Tom Dutton (Linguistics) and Em Prof Geoff Hope (Natural History) will be missed by family, friends and colleagues as they all played a very significant role in CHL (and the earlier Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies), at ANU, and globally in their fields of expertise. It was also deeply shocking to lose former CHL professional staff Han Lew and Jo Bushby. Both wonderful colleagues and friends to all in CHL… our heartfelt condolences go out to their families.

As we all begin to come back on to campus, I am really looking forward to reconnecting in person and getting back into classrooms, offices, lecture theatres and community gatherings. I do hope to see you on 11 February for the first CHL School Forum of 2022 either in person or online. Details will be circulated soon.

Enjoy the Crosscurrents newsletter (thank you Gouri for all your fine work on bringing this together each and every edition), stay safe, stay well!

Regards Simon

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster