Profile image of Sarah Hayes

Dr Sarah Hayes



Senior Research Fellow


Faculty of Arts and Education


Alfred Deakin Institute


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Sarah Hayes is an urban archaeologist and material culture specialist working primarily within the Heritage and Indigeneity stream.  Her research has two broad purposes:

  1. To examine the culturally distinctive relationship that Australians have with material culture and how this relates to national identity, social mobility, equality, quality of life and sustainability.
  2. To utilise, enhance and publicise the value of archaeological artefact assemblages as a heritage, research and exhibition resource.

Her current research for her Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award is on how the Gold Rush shaped quality of life in Victoria’s cities and the factors that determine individual participation in employment and society. This project will also look at similarities and differences in cultural values between the Gold Rush cities of Melbourne, Bendigo, San Francisco, Sacramento and Dunedin.

Sarah is co-editor of the Australasian Historical Archaeology journal, member of the Heritage Council’s Archaeology and Underwater Cultural Heritage Committee and honorary associate with Museum Victoria.

For an introduction to her work read her Conversation articles here and here.

Read more on Sarah's profile

Research interests

Historical archaeology; material culture studies; urban life; consumerism; Gold Rushes; social mobility; quality of life; archaeological collections management


  • Honorary Associate, Museum Victoria
  • Honorary Associate, Archaeology and History, La Trobe University

Professional activities

  • Editor, Australasian Historical Archaeology journal
  • Board member, Heritage Council of Victoria- Archaeology & Underwater Cultural Heritage Committee
  • Member, Centre for Archaeology of the Modern World

Media appearances

A selection of interviews can be found here.


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Brothels and sex workers: variety, complexity and change in nineteenth-century Little Lon, Melbourne

B Minchinton, S Hayes

(2020), pp. 1-19, Australian historical studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Diversity and change in Little Lon: ongoing historical and archaeological research

S Hayes, Barbara Minchinton

(2019), Vol. 7, pp. 103-115, The commonwealth block, Melbourne: a historical archaeology, Sydney, N.S.W., B1

book chapter

Pursuing the comparative analysis of Gold Rush Lives by tracing material and quality-of-life trajectories

S Hayes

(2019), Vol. 23, pp. 678-709, International journal of historical archaeology, New York, N.Y., C1

journal article

The Commonwealth Block: A Historical Archaeology

S Hayes, Tim Murray, Kristal Buckley, Geoff Hewitt, Justin McCarthy, Richard Mackay, Barbara Minchinton, Charlotte Smith, Jeremy Smith, Bronwyn Woff

(2019), Sydney, A7

edited book

A golden opportunity: Mayor Smith and Melbourne's emergence as a global city

S Hayes

(2018), Vol. 22, pp. 100-116, International journal of historical archaeology, New York, N.Y., C1

journal article

Cesspit formation processes and waste management history in Melbourne: evidence from Little Lon

S Hayes, B Minchinton

(2016), Vol. 82, pp. 12-24, Australian archaeology, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

A doomed business: the material culture of Ann Jones and the Glenrowan Inn

S Hayes

(2014), Vol. 32, pp. 37-46, Australasian historical archaeology : journal of the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology, North Parramatta, N.S.W., C1-1

journal article

Amalgamation of archaeological assemblages: experiences from the Commonwealth Block project, Melbourne

S Hayes

(2011), Vol. 73, pp. 13-24, Australian archaeology, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Gentility in the dining and tea service practices of early colonial Melbourne's 'established middle class'

S Hayes

(2011), Vol. 29, pp. 33-44, Australasian historical archaeology, Sydney, N.S.W., C1-1

journal article

Managing the Commonwealth Block Archaeological Assemblage: an Australian case study

Charlotte Smith, S Hayes

(2010), Vol. 6, pp. 171-187, Collections: a journal for museums and archives professionals, Lanham, Md., C1-1

journal article

Consumer practice at Viewbank homestead

S Hayes

(2007), Vol. 25, pp. 87-103, Australasian historical archaeology, Sydney, N.S.W., C1-1

journal article

Yorktown: the cultural landscape of the first European settlement in the North of Tasmania

S Hayes

(2005), Vol. 28, pp. 4-14, Artefact: the journal of the Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria, Carlton, Vic., C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

An Archaeology of Quality of Life During Victoria¿s Gold Rush

Dr Sarah Hayes

ARC DECRA - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

  • 2018: $183,990

Industry and Other Funding

The Material Culture of Geelong Orphan Asylum.

Dr Edwina Kay, Dr Sarah Hayes

  • 2020: $114,437
  • 2019: $4,158


No completed student supervisions to report