Staff profile - Deb Verhoeven

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Prof Deb Verhoeven

Position: Chair in Media and Communication
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Arts & Education
Department: School of Communication & Creative Arts
Campus: Melbourne Burwood Campus
Phone: +61 3 92517655 +61 3 92517655



Deb Verhoeven is Professor and Chair of Media and Communication at Deakin University and Deputy Director of the Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention. Until 2011 she held the role of Director of the AFI Research Collection at RMIT University. A writer, broadcaster, film critic and commentator, Verhoeven is the author of more than 50 journal articles and book chapters. Her most recent book is Jane Campion published in 2009 by Routledge, a detailed case study of the commercial and cultural role of the auteur in the contemporary film industry.

In 2008 Verhoeven was appointed inaugural Deputy Chair, National Film and Sound Archive (Aust.). In 2011 she was elected to the inaugural committee of the Australasian Association for Digital Humanities (aaDH). She serves on the Digital Futures Advisory Council for the government of Tasmania and is an Advisory Group member for the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Find and Connect Web Resource.

Verhoeven’s principal research interest lies in extending the limits of conventional film studies; exploring the intersection between cinema studies and other disciplines such as history, information management, geo-spatial science, statistics, urban studies and economics. This work has evolved through a wide range of scholarly and community collaborations.

She is the Director of the Humanities Networked Infrastructure (HuNI) project, a national linked data initiative that will unite and unlock Australia's cultural datasets. The project is funded by NeCTAR (National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources) unil mid 2014. She is also the Project Lead for Research My World a aprtnership with to crowdfund Australian research.

A former CEO of the Australian Film Institute, Professor Verhoeven is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association, the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique (FIPRESCI), an Honorary Life Member of Women in Film and Television (WIFT), an executive member of the International Cinema Audiences Research Group (ICARG), and a founding member of the Screen Economics Research Group (SERG). As a film critic Verhoeven is a regular critical contributor to various programs on ABC Radio National and appeared fortnightly on the high rating Jon Faine program on ABC Local Radio for 7 years. She was film critic for The Melbourne Times for 6 years and ran film programs on various public radio stations around Melbourne for many years prior to this.

Deb Verhoeven has an active role in film publishing. Until 2012 was Chair of the widely read film journal Senses of Cinema and was Editor for the journal Studies in Australasian Cinema (Intellect) in 2009/10.

Professional activities

Statutory Board Appointment

Inaugural Deputy Chair, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) (2008-2011)
Appointed by the Commonwealth Minister for Environment, Heritage and the Arts. Specific responsibilities include: Audit Committee; Stakeholders and Research Committee; Legal Deposit Working Group (Chair)


Honorary Life Member, Women in Film & Television (WIFT) (2004)


Inaugural Committee, Australasian Association of the Digital Humanities (aaDH) (2011-present)

Founding Executive Member, Research Fellow, Screen Economics Research Group (SERG) (2006-present)

Founding Executive Member, Archive Forum (2002-present)

Founding Executive Member, Open Spectrum Australia (2005-2008)

Elected, Board of Directors, Australian Film Institute (1998-2002)

Founding Executive Member, WIFT (Australia) (1990-93)

Executive member, WIFT (Victoria) (1988-93)


Digital Futures Advisory Council Member, Department of Economic Development Tourism and the Arts, Tasmania

Advisory Group Member, Find and Connect Web Resource (Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs)

Editorial Board (2006-present), and Executive Editor (2009-2010), Studies in Australasian Cinema (UK)

Board of Management (2002-2012), and President (2009 to 2012), Senses of Cinema

LinkedIn profile

Personal website


Awards and prizes

Australia's Top 5 Innovative Academic, Campus Review (2013)

Winner, ATOM Awards (Best Tertiary Education Resource) Bonza: an online film and TV research resource (2010)

Finalist, Victorian Community History Awards for Parlato in Italiano (2010)

Honorary Creative Fellowship, State Library of Victoria (2009-2010)


Research projects


NeCTAR Virtual Laboratory Grant
Humanities Networked Infrastructure Virtual Laboratory (HuNI). With13 institutional partners. $2.1m. Administering organization: Deakin University.

ARC Discovery Grant
Only at the movies: mapping the contemporary Australian cinema market. With Prof Richard Maltby, A/Prof Colin Arrowsmith, Dr Kate Bowles, Dr Bronwyn Coate. Administering Organisation: Deakin University

Research My World: crowdfunding Australian research. A partnership with

Research interests

Cinema Studies (particularly the exhibition and distribution of films); Media Geographies; Digital Humanities; Australian Cinema; Film Industries; Geovisualization; Digital Archives

Research page

Page custodian: External Relations Group
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