Staff profile - Meghan Kelly

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Dr Meghan Kelly

Position: Associate Head Of School (Teaching and Learning)
role description
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Arts and Education
Department: SCCA Arts & Ed
Campus: Melbourne Burwood Campus
Phone: +61 3 924 46332 +61 3 924 46332



Meghan Kelly is a visual communication designer whose experience includes working in the advertising industry, the design industry and running her own design studio. Meghan has worked on large, high profile campaigns and a range of corporate companies, amongst other organizations, during her time as a practicing designer.

In addition to her professional work, Meghan is the Course Director and senior lecturer in the Visual Communication Design undergraduate and postgraduate courses. She has completed her PhD examining Cross-Cultural Visual Communication Design. Her interests are in exploring issues surrounding identity creation and representation in a cross-cultural context. Research areas including place branding, community building, engagement and the global impact of design. Her passion for a global understanding of design extends into her teaching practice and continues to be explored in research projects and design opportunities.


Teaching Interests

Meghan has taught many units from first year to Masters level. Her particular focus is on global design strategies, place branding, identity creation and representation.

Conferences and seminars

Kelly M, (2013) The unique inter-disciplinary requirements of a museum development: a case study of the Kelabit Highland Community Museum Development Project, Art Association of Australia and New Zealand (AAANZ) Annual Conference, Melbourne University, Melbourne, 7-9 December.

Sweet J and Kelly M, (2014) 'Dynamics of cultural heritage development in Sarawak', International Conference on State Policy and the Cultural Politics of Heritage-Making in East and Southeast Asia,  Institute of Souteast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore, 16-17 January.


Research projects

In 2011, the Rurum Kelabit Sarawak made contact through an educational consultant based in Malaysia to seek assistance for the Kelabit Highlands Community Museum development project, a museum development situated in the remote Highlands of Borneo, Sarawak. The intent and potential scope of the Kelabit Highlands Community Museum development matched expertise in pertinent areas at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, including museology and cultural heritage management, sustainable architectural practices, the preservation of intangible cultural heritage through film and digital media and cross-cultural visual communication strategies.

The Kelabit Highlands Community Museum aims to be a powerful symbol of Kelabit identity. The project plays a role in bringing the community together and empowering the Kelabits to celebrate and preserve their cultural assets. It is conceived that the museum will become a space that will be inclusive and useful to all members of the community, providing services for their reference and their participation. The museum development sits within a framework of numerous initiatives in the Bario region including a revitalization of the town center, the expansion of educational opportunities and the mechanization of rice production.

The first phase of the project included extensive community consultation that established the key aims. It investigated the extent to which a museum concept was understood and shared by the community at large and to which existing cultural capital and assets might be utilised to sustain a museum-concept. The second phase was to address concepts for the built environment and create schematic representations of what the museum may look like. These concepts are currently being used to generate funding to build the museum. Phase three of the project addresses the branding strategy for the community museum and extends the investigation to place branding for the Bario region.

Unique to this development is the multidisciplinary nature of the project. Rich with potential, the engagement required to realize the community-based museum offers a stimulating environment in which both discipline specific and creative interdisciplinary thinking are utilized to create a suitable and sustainable development. The interconnecting nature of the project has resulted in a strong intersection of each of the normally separate professional departments exploring common themes of identity creation, representation and communication from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Research interests

Cross-cultural visual communication design, collaborations, place branding, design, identity creation and representation.

Research grants

Australia Malaysia Institute grant - Kelabit Highlands Community Museum Development



Sweet J and Kelly M, ‘A Sarawak community museum in the Kelabit Highlands: Update on realising a local museum in Malaysian Borneo’, Museums Australia Magazine, Vol. 22(2), Museums Australia, Canberra, Summer 2013

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