Alfred Deakin Research Institute


ADRI Staff (2014)

On the 1st January 2015, the Alfred Deakin Research Institute merged with the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation to create the Alfred Deakin Research Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADRI-CG). For information about the new Institute, including staff and membership, please visit

Prof Andrea Witcomb

Prof Andrea Witcomb

Position: Deputy Director
Phone: +61 3 925 17232
Campus: B


Research interests:

Andrea's research interests range across the museum and heritage fields and are informed by theoretical, historical and professional practice concerns. She brings an interdisciplinary approach to her research, locating her work at the intersection of history, museology and cultural studies. Her interests include:

1) Theorising museum practice using cultural studies approaches to the study of exhibitions and the policy discourses that surround them.

2) Embedding these within an awareness of institutional practices and ethos, that is speaking from practice up to theoretical debates rather than the other way round.

3) Focussing on relations between museums and communities.

4) Focussing on the concept of interactivity, using this to understand the impact of current media culture on exhibition design and interpretation practices.

Current research projects include:

1) The History of the Jewish Holocaust Museum and Research Centre (JHMRC), with Pam Mclean, A/Prof. Michele Langfield and Dr Linda Young.

2) An ARC funded project, Australian Heritage Abroad: Managing Australia's Extraterritorial War Heritage (DP1094418). Andrea is the lead CI on this project with Prof. William Logan from CHCAP, Dr Bart Ziino (Deakin) and Professor Joan Beaumont (ANU).

3) An ARC funded project, "Collecting institutions: cultural diversity and the making of citizenship in Australia since the 1970s" (DP120100594). Andrea is the lead CI with A/Prof. Kylie Message (ANU), Dr Ian Mcshane (Swinburne), and PIs Prof. Simon Knell (Leicester University, UK) and Prof. Arne Amundsen (University of Oslo).

4) 'Museum Theory' a volume (co-editing with Dr Kylie Message from the ANU) that is part of a series of international handbooks of museum studies commissioned by Blackwell. The general series is edited by Professor Sharon MacDonald and Dr Helen Rees Leahy.

5) A series of papers exploring the relationships between objects, exhibitions and affect.

University recorded publications

Researcher output profile for Prof Andrea Witcomb

Brief Biography

Andrea is an Associate Professor (Research) in the field of cultural heritage. She is the Director of the Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific and Deputy Director of ADRI.

Andrea graduated with a PhD in Media and Communication Studies from Central Queensland University in 1997(her dissertation looked at the Australian National Maritime Museum and situated it within emerging practices in the new museology). She has a Graduate Diploma in Museum Studies and an Honours Degree in History from the University of Sydney. She worked as a social history curator in the lead up to the opening of the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney and then at the National Museum of Australia. After completing her PhD she took up a lectureship in cultural heritage at the Research Institute for Cultural Heritage at Curtin University in Perth in 1996. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2000 and took up her present appointment as an Associate Professor in Deakin in late 2006. She is the author of Re-Imagining the Museum: Beyond the Mausoleum (Routledge, 2003) and with Chris Healy, the co-editor of South Pacific Museums: An Experiment in Culture (Monash e-press, 2006). Her latest book, co-written with Dr Kate Gregory is From the Barracks to the Burrup: The National Trust in Western Australia (University of NSW Press, 2010).

HDR Supervision:

- What late 19th and early 20th century market gardens can tell us about Chinese Australia ethnic relations, the development of horticulture and horticultural practices in Australia. (Hendrik Berrevoets, PhD)

- Testimony by Survivors of the Cambodian Atrocity at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (Allison Knight, MA)

- Collecting and exhibiting cultural diversity: a comparison of ethno-specific museums and regional, state and national museums (Karen Schamberger, PhD)

- The Cultural Landscapes of Matiu/Somes Island (Paulette Wallace, PhD)

- Coming in second: management and conservation of Khami World Heritage Site (Ashton Sinamai, PhD)

- Intangible Cultural Heritage in Yunnan, China: Change and Management (Junjie Su, PhD)

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4th February 2015