Research

Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific

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Higher Degree by Research students

Members of the Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific provide supervision to higher degree by research students working on a range of heritage, history and museum-related research topics.

  • Herman Kiriama
    PhD, Memory and heritage: Shimoni Slave Caves in southern Kenya
  • Sally Watterson
    MA, The National Museum of Mongolian History
  • Huang Hui Chi
    PhD, The evolution and conservation of Taiwan's Aboriginal art heritage
  • Ng Thanh Binh
    PhD, The making of public space in Haiphong Vietnam (2005-2009)
  • Louise Zarmati
    PhD, How do Australia's museums and heritage sites fulfil their role as educators of Australian national history?
  • Fiona Starr
    PhD, Mobilising corporate responsibility for world cultural heritage conservation
  • Nayomi Kannangara
    MA, Mainstreaming a community-based child protection model in a developing country
  • Jonathan Sweet
    PhD, The colonial museum in the Asia-Pacific region: Transformations in the ages of colonisation, nationalism and globalisation, 1870-2000
  • Paul Carter
    PhD, The name of the game: Inside victorian football culture 1980-2000
  • Kim Lawler
    PhD, Landscape and memory - new media representations
  • Ilka Schact
    PhD, Making room for the past: Determining significance in Archaeological collections
  • Chris Landorf
    Managing industrial world heritage sites: Preservation, presentation and sustainability
  • Wang Chao-Wang
    PhD, Generational transfer of Chinese traditional arts through digital media communication


Student profiles

Herman Kiriama, PhD Candidate

Memory and Heritage: Shimoni Slave Caves in southern Kenya

The topic of memory has been of interest to many researchers around the world precisely because of the recognition that the memory of the past or remembering the past is importnat not only because it enables the socialisation of individuals, but also because it contributes to the formation of individal and hence national identities.

This study therefore builds on and contributes to work in the study of memory and heritage and in particular the heritage of slavery. Although studies on the history of slavery have examined several aspects of slavery and the slave trade, there has not been an adequate use of memory and especially how it is used in constructing a heritage landscape and group identity. As such, this study provides additional insight into memory and the construction of heritage and identity. The analytic focus on memory will enable a different contirbution to the study of slavery and the slave trade. In particular, this study will analyse how and why people remember and forget. Although numerous studies have identified the quantitative aspects of slavery, little analystic attention has been paid to memory (remembering and forgetting). This study addresses this issue by demonstrating that memory - the way people remember or forget their past, is an important aspect of the construction of not only a heritage landscape, but also of group identity, and the understanding of this will enable heritage managers to develop appropriate heritage management tools.

Herman completed his BA (Honours) at the University of Nairobi in 1984, and a M.Phil at the University of Cambridge in 1986. He was the recipient of a Shell Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship for his masters studies. Herman is currently working with the Council of African Archaeology Network conducting archaeological research in Eastern Africa and is conducting additional research on the role of memory in the conservation of the Sacred Forests of the Kenyan coast. Herman has been Head of Coastal Archaeology at the National Museum of Kenya since 2002.

Herman Kiriama


Sally Watterson , MA Candidate

The National Museum of Mongolian History and how its collections reflect twentieth century Mongolia and perceptions of Mongolian history


The National Museum of Mongolian History in Ulaan Baatar was created in 1991. The Museum conserves, interprets, researches and displays the history of the geographical area of Mongolia, from prehistory until the present.

This thesis is about the role of the Museum as the key repository for the material history of Mongolia and Mongol peoples. By investigating the collections and exhibitions of the Museum and comparing them with recent representations of Mongolian history the thesis examines how history is constructed. Specifically, it explores how the Museums twentieth century collections have been appropriated for interpretation and whether this reflects the true composition of the collections.

The twentieth century collection is substantial, but currently largely overlooked by the local and international communities. Be it its relative recency, lack of glamour in the face of formidable competition from other phases of Mongolian history, or the somewhat fraught nature of re-examining socialist history in a post-Socialist framework, the collections receive comparatively scant attention. The thesis seeks to address this.

Sally holds a BA from the University of Sydney (1990) and a Graduate Diploma (Heritage Studies) from the University of New England, Armidale (1997).

Sally Watterson

Huang Hui Chi , PhD Candidate

The Evolution and Conservation of Taiwan's Aboriginal Art Heritage

This thesis examines the development of contemporary Taiwanese Aboriginal art from 1987 to the present with a focus on: analysis of the impact of social-political changes on the re-construction of Aboriginal cultural heritage in Taiwan; interpretation of the works of Taiwanese Aboriginal artists as a form of living culture; and observation of conservation and presentation of Aboriginal art exhibitions in museums. This project also adopted the UNESCO framework relating to tangible and intangible cultural heritage to identify the scope of Taiwan's Aboriginal art heritage.

Huang obtained a master degree in Arts Administration at Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA in 1995. She consequently worked for the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and the National Museum of History from 1995 to 2004 where she was in charge of the planning and coordination of international exhibitions travelling to Taiwan and overseas. In 2000 she received a Taiwan government funded project in cooperation with the Royal Ontario Museum, LORD Cultural Resources Planning and Management in Canada and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA. Huang came to CHCAP in 2004 to pursue her doctoral degree.

Huang Hui Chi

Binh Thanh Nguyen , PhD Candidate

The making of public space in Haiphong Vietnam (2005-2009)

This project explores significant issues which have controlled the development of public space, through the analysis of interactions between people and public space in the specific context of Haiphong, a dynamic city in Northern Vietnam. The project is perhaps the first empirical study focusing upon the provision, usage and design of, and meaning attributed to, Vietnamese public space.

Binh holds a Masters and Bachelor of Architecture and Urban Planning from Warsaw Technical University (Poland) 1998, P.Dip of Real Estate and Project Management from IHS-Erasmus University (Netherlands), 2000, and Master of Cultural Heritage funded by CHCAP from Deakin University, 2004. The current PhD project is funded by a Vietnamese government scholarship program.

Binh worked as a tutor in Hanoi Architectural University (HAU) from 1998 to 2003 and has been involved in various research programs and projects. In 2002 he was awarded a Vietnamese National Second Prize for a planning project. In August 2007 Binh was one of the major voices in the successful social protest against the commercialisation of public parks in Hanoi.

Binh Thanh Nguyen

Louise Zarmati , PhD Candidate

How do Australia's museums and heritage sites fulfil their role as educators of Australian national history?

This thesis is an investigation of how history is taught to adolescents when they visit Australian museums and heritage sites.
History and archaeology have always Louise's passion. She has taught both subjects to primary, secondary and tertiary teachers over 20 years. She has also lectured to pre-service and in-service teachers on the various methodologies used to teach history and archaeology to students.
From 1988 to1990 Louise worked as an archaeologist in Israel, Greece and Cyprus. She was awarded a Bicentennial Scholarship in 1991 to do her Master of Philosophy degree at Cambridge University where she studied archaeology and heritage management.
When Louise returned to Sydney she set up an archaeology education program at the University of Sydney’s Nicholson Museum. Then in 1995 she designed and operated the archaeology education program at the Dawes Point excavation located at the south pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
In 2005 Louise was awarded a NSW Premier’s History Scholarship to study the work of renowned Italian archaeologist, Amedeo Maiuri at Pompeii and Herculaneum.
All these experiences have led Louise to an interest in finding out why adolescents hate studying Australian history at school yet seem to enjoy it when they’re on excursion..

Louise Zarmati


Fiona Starr, PhD Candidate

Mobilising corporate social responsibility for world cultural heritage conservation

This project investigates the intersection of World Cultural Heritage (WCH) site conservation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Threatened by uncontrolled tourism, pollution, urban development, agriculture, looting and other factors, WCH sites require substantial and sustainable conservation funding. While multinational companies and many smaller media and tourism operators are increasingly supporting cultural heritage, the potential of public-private partnerships is yet to be fully realized.

The research employs surveys to assess corporate and public attitudes towards CSR for the conservation of WCH and to determine how conservation needs and business objectives can best be aligned to achieve mutually beneficial, sustainable partnerships. In addition, case studies of sites in South-East Asia will explore the effects of conservation partnerships on corporate and brand reputation, site preservation, heritage tourism and poverty alleviation, and also on public awareness of the need for shared responsibility for World Heritage. By demonstrating the positive impact of CSR for conservation on sustainable socio-economic development at these sites, the study aims to provide a model to mobilize further corporate support, and to encourage the private sector to integrate cultural heritage into its already enthusiastic support for sustainable development. This research is funded by an Australian Postgraduate Award.

Fiona was previously Curator at Fairfield City Museum & Gallery and also a consultant working with collections and curating temporary and permanent exhibitions in NSW, QLD and VIC. Fiona has a BA (Hons) in Archaeology and MA (with merit) in Museum Studies, both from the University of Sydney.


Nayomi Kannangara, MA Candidate

Mainstreaming a community based child protection model in a developing country

The key purpose of the research is to identify, analyse and discuss general and specific challenges faced by International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) in the process of introducing, integrating and assimilating child protection models and practices originated in the West to the mainstream child welfare systems in developing countries.


A Western child protection model known as “Family Group Conferences” (FGC) is been introduced to Sri Lanka by an INGO. This research is designed to explore how the key stakeholders of this project who are in a developing country context relate to FGC and related values and principles originated in the West.
The results will enable international development agencies to gain insight into the challenges relating to introducing and implementing child protection concepts originated in the West into developing countries and will also indicate the compatibilities/discrepancies between the concepts originated in the West and the host systems, culture/s, and attitudes and expectations of the service recipients in developing countries.


Nayomi holds a Masters degree in International Development from Deakin University (2005) and a Bachelors degree in Arts (Sociology/Psychology) from Monash University (1999).
Nayomi has been working in the International Development sector, particularly focusing on Child Protection and Child Rights, for the past 7 years, working in Australia as well as overseas.
Nayomi presently works in Sri Lanka, where the research project is carried out, as the Child Protection Program Manager of one of the leading international non-governmental organisations.

Nayomi Kannangara

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

19th November 2008