Prof Deb Verhoeven





Faculty of Arts and Education


SCCA Arts & Ed


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Deb Verhoeven is Professor and Chair of Media and Communication at Deakin University. Amongst her many accolades she was named Australia's Most innovative Academic in 2013.

From 2012-2014 she was Deputy Director of the Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention (CMII). 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 100 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. She is currently completing a manuscript on Serendipity in the Digital Humanities with Toby Burrows.

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.

Professor Verhoeven is one of Australia’s leading proponents of Digital Humanities research. Her work is internationally recognised and evident in her recent appointment as Chair of Digital Humanities 2015. Verhoeven’s research addresses the vast amounts of newly available ‘cultural data’ that has enabled unprecedented computational analysis in the humanities. In addition to scholarly publications and media appearances, she has focused on the development of national online research resources such as the Humanities Networked Infrastructure Project (HuNI); the Cinema and Audiences Research Project (CAARP) database; and The Ultimate Gig Guide (TUGG) an online archive of live music information. In 2010 this work was recognized with the Australian Teachers of Media Best Tertiary Education Resource Award for bonza: an online film and TV research resource. Verhoeven is a founding executive member of the Australasian Association of the Digital Humanities (aaDH) and the Tasmanian Government’s Digital Futures Advisory Council. She is currently the International Chair of Digital Humanities programming committe (ADHO).

She is the Director of the Humanities Networked Infrastructure (HuNI) project, a national linked data initiative designed to unite and unlock Australia's cultural datasets. The project is funded by NeCTAR (National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources) and involves 13 universities and collecting instiutions.

In 2013 Professor Verhoeven initiated the Research My World collaboration between Deakin University and the crowdfunding platform to pilot the micro-financing of university 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 she 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.

Read more on Deb's profile

Research interests

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

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


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)



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


No publications found

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Only at the Movies? Mapping the Contemporary Australian Cinema Market

Prof Deb Verhoeven, Prof Richard Maltby, A/Prof Colin Arrowsmith, Dr Kate Bowles, Dr Bronwyn Coate

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2017: $9,472
  • 2014: $73,715
  • 2013: $82,147
  • 2012: $58,443

Mapping the movies: the changing nature of Australia's cinema circuits and their audiences 1956-1984

Prof Richard Maltby, Dr Kate Bowles, Prof Deb Verhoeven, A/Prof Colin Arrowsmith

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2011: $25,604

Improved Uptake of Key eResearch Services and Capabilities

Prof Deb Verhoeven

Education Investment Fund, National Collaborative Research Infrastructure

  • 2015: $120,000
  • 2014: $50,000

Other Funding Sources

Humanities Networked Infrastructure (HuNI)

Prof Deb Verhoeven, Alexander Hawker

  • 2016: $2,516
  • 2014: $245,800
  • 2012: $663,522

Virtual Laboratory and Research Tools User Support Enhancement Project (VLRT) - Humanaties Network Infrastructure (HuNI) Project

Prof Deb Verhoeven

  • 2015: $30,714

HuNI: Graph-based search facility for networked humanities and creative arts data

Prof Deb Verhoeven, Dr Christopher McAvaney, Dr Toby Burrows

  • 2017: $158,312
  • 2016: $154,000


Principal Supervisor

Dean Brandum

Thesis entitled: The ¿Viability¿ of British Films at the US Box Office: 1963¿1972

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Communication & Creative Arts


Trent Evan Griffiths

Thesis entitled: Documentary tensions and the Filmmaker in the Frame

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Communication & Creative Arts

Associate Supervisor

Allison Maplesden

Thesis entitled: Toxic Celebrity

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Communication & Creative Arts

Kim Barbour

Thesis entitled: Finding the Edge: Online persona creation in fringe art-forms

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Communication & Creative Arts


Grady Clare Hancock

Thesis entitled: Re-visioning Australian social realism through a feminine lens

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Communication & Creative Arts