Research forging creative connections with community

The Public Exchange Bureau seeks to find out how we can use academia to support public discourse about contemporary challenges. We use creative research methodologies to address social, environmental and cultural concerns occurring in the public sphere. Our projects have a special focus on resilience, wellbeing, aesthetic innovation and diversity in south-east Melbourne and the western regions of Victoria.

Our research areas

The School of Communication and Creative Arts is a leader in socially engaged and impactful research. Our researchers produce high-quality research outcomes across the traditional and non-traditional research spectrum, partnering with multiple stakeholders from government, industry and the not-for-profit sector. The Public Exchange Bureau group has four research streams:

Public art

We explore curatorial practice and exhibition/event-making in public art, the commissioning of leading-edge temporary and legacy public art, and consultancy on public art policy and commissioning protocols.

Place and community

We examine place-based storytelling, research deep time through creative digital technologies and explore intercultural understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples around the world.

Design and place

Through our research, we enhance communities and their interaction with place through design for social good. We also explore designing experiences that connect people and place, and connecting communities and their interaction with place through design.

Performance and social context

Our work explores improvised dance within a place-responsive context and building community cohesion, resilience, health and wellbeing and collaboration through performance practice.

Explore eco-political challenges

When you study a PhD or postdoctoral research with the Public Exchange Bureau, you'll be supported by renowned researchers.

Explore our research degrees

Featured projects

Our partnerships with government, community and industry allow us to deliver research with impact. We lead bold initiatives that seek solutions beyond traditional research and organisational boundaries.

Front beach back beach

Front beach back beach

Front beach back beach was an ambitious scattered-site public art event that featured the work of 18 local and national artists/collectives responding to hidden and overlooked histories of the Mornington Peninsula. With a strong focus on creating new opportunities for community engagement, artists worked with targeted community groups and demographics in multiple ways, including research, co-production, participation and performance.

Treatment 3

Treatment 3

Treatment 3 was the third instalment of an ambitious public art project at Melbourne Water’s Western Treatment Plant in Werribee, first initiated in 2015. Focusing on the histories, technologies and communities of our wastewater infrastructure in Melbourne’s west, 12 leading and emerging artists from the region and across Australia developed public installation, film, sound, sculpture and performance works over the course of a month in March–April 2023.

Our researchers

Steered by our team leaders, the Public Exchange Bureau is a group of early, mid and senior career researchers from a wide range of creative research disciplines – including art, photography, design, performance, film and creative writing.

Associate Professor Cameron Bishop (PhD) is an Associate Professor in Art and Performance at Deakin University. As a curator, artist and writer working in the public realm he has been acknowledged for his community-focused approach to public art in the numerous grants, awards and commissions he has received. All of the work he does explores the shifting nature of the term public, alongside ideas around place-making, and the body’s appearance and experience as a political, private, and social entity in the digital age.

Dr Katie Lee is a lecturer in creative arts and expanded performance in in the School of Communication and Creative Arts. Her research explores how meaning is constructed and becomes embedded within forms, habits and social constructs.

Research team

Maria Bates, Lecturer, Art and Design

Associate Professor Cameron Bishop, Associate Professor, Art and Design

Professor David Cross, Professor, Art and Design

Dr Simon Grennan, Lecturer, Art and Design

Dr Katie Lee, Lecturer, Art and Design

Dr Sean Loughrey, Lecturer, Art and Design

Dr Tonya Meyrick, Senior Lecturer, Art and Design

Dr Olivia Millard, Senior Lecturer, Film, Animation and Performing Arts

Associate Professor Antonia Pont, Associate Professor of Writing, Literature and Culture

Dr Martin Potter, Senior Lecturer, Film, Animation and Performing Arts

Dr Anne Wilson, Senior Lecturer, Art and Design

Our partners

We partner with community groups, art festivals and institutions, creative practitioners and venues – nationally and internationally. Our members regularly participate in workshops, symposia, exhibitions and publications to disseminate our research findings across a range of contexts.

Our publications

Take an in-depth look at our latest research, available in a variety of formats and publications. For a full list of publications visit the profile pages of our researchers.

Latest publications:

  • A Philosophy of Practising, Antonia Pont
  • New gigs: The discursive construction of the gig economy in Australian news media, Luci Pangrazio, Cameron Bishop and Fiona Lee

Featured publications:

Contact us

Our team is here to connect with you – and help you learn more about the Public Exchange Bureau.