Keynote Speakers


Sharon Sliwinski

Sharon Sliwinski is associate professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She writes widely on visual culture and human rights and is the author of the award-winning book Human Rights In Camera (2011), Dreaming in Dark Times (forthcoming), and co-editor of Photography and the Optical Unconscious (forthcoming).


David Dare Parker

A Walkley Award winning photojournalist, David Dare Parker has photographed for many national and international magazines throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Australasia. Publications include LeMonde, Stern, L’Express, Focus, Australian Geographic, The Bulletin, The New York Times, Fortune and Time Australia. He is featured in the Australian War Memorial book ‘Contact’ — Australian War Photographers and WAR: Degree South.

In January 2002 he was asked to co-ordinate a safety awareness course for Afghan Journalists in Peshawar, Pakistan for the International Federation of Journalists. During April and May of 2003 he was the Official War Photographer for the Australian War Memorial during Operation Falconer in the Middle East, the first time an Official Photographer had been assigned by the AWM since the Korean War.

As a film industry production stills photographer, recent credits include The Shark Net, 3 Acts of Murder, Cloudstreet, Underbelly Razor, Brothers In Arms — Bikie Wars, Redfern Now, An Accidental Soldier and Son of a Gun.

He is one of the original co-founders of Reportage, was a Director of FotoFreo Photographic Festival, a Walkley Advisory Board Member and an Ambassador for Nikon Australia. He is represented by °SOUTH.


Barat Ali Batoor

Barat Ali Batoor is a multi award-winning photographer based in Melbourne. He was born in 1983, in a family that was driven out of Afghanistan during the civil war when most of his people were massacred. He returned to his ancestral country for the first time after September 11, 2001, when the Taliban regime was still in Kandahar, despite the United States-led campaign to oust them. After visiting the devastation and destruction of 23 years of war, Batoor decided to work for his country and to draw the world’s attention to the plight of the Afghani people the problems facing the country. He chose photography as his medium of expression.

Batoor started photography in 2002 and launched his first solo exhibition in 2007. His photographs were exhibited in the United States, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Dubai, Australia, Pakistan, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and Afghanistan. His works have been published in magazines, newspapers and catalogues such as TED Gallery, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, Stern, India Today, Afghan Scene, Risk Magazine, The Global Mail, The West Australian, Strategic Review and others. He participated in “Lahore Artist Residency” in Pakistan and was the 2009 recipient of a photography grant from New York’s Open Society Institute for the documentary project “Child Trafficking in Afghanistan/The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan”. At the Nikon-Walkley Awards in Australia in 2013, Batoor won Photo of the Year Award and was a winner in the Photo Essay category. He was also awarded the 2014 Communication for Social Change Award by the University of Queensland.

Batoor gives lectures on various social issues. He was a speaker at TEDxSydney in 2014.


Leigh Raiford

Leigh Raiford is Associate Professor of African American Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, where she also serves as affiliate faculty in the Program in American Studies, and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. She received her PhD from Yale University’s joint program in African American Studies and American Studies in 2003. Before arriving at UC-Berkeley in 2004, she was the Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke University’s John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies. She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson foundation, and the Hellman Family Foundation and has also been a Fulbright Senior Specialist. Raiford is the author of Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle (University of North Carolina Press, 2011), which was a finalist for the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Best Book Prize. She is co-editor with Heike Raphael-Hernandez of Migrating the Black Body: Visual Culture and the African Diaspora (University of Washington Press, forthcoming) and with Renee Romano of The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory (University of Georgia Press, 2006). Her work has appeared in numerous academic journals, including American Quarterly, Small Axe, Qui Parle, History and Theory, English Language Notes and NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art; as well as popular venues including Aperture, Ms. and Al-  Raiford’s essays have also been included in the collections Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self, (Harry N. Abrams Press, 2003), a history of race and photography in the United States edited by Coco Fusco and Brian Wallis; and Pictures and Progress: Early Photography and the Making of African American Identity, (Duke, 2012), edited by Maurice O. Wallace and Shawn Michelle Smith.

Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, 2014. Title of paper: ‘full/blooded/Self/Portraiture – Signs of these times’.

Brenda Croft

Brenda L Croft is from the Gurindji/Malngin/Mudpurra peoples of the Northern Territory and Anglo-Australian/German/Irish heritage. Involved in the contemporary arts and cultural sectors for over three decades as an artist, arts administrator, curator, educator, researcher and consultant, Brenda has worked at local, regional, national and international levels. Her work is represented in major public and private collections in Australia and overseas.

In 2016 Brenda received an Artistic Associate Fellowship (Photography) from Barangaroo Authority/Lendlease. In 2015 Brenda received the Berndt Foundation Post-graduate Award, and a National Indigenous Art Award Fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts. In 2013 Brenda received the Visual Artist of the Year, Deadlys National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music, Sport, Entertainment and Community Awards.

For her academic work Brenda was awarded a Master of Art Administration from the University of New South Wales in 1995 and received a UNSW Alumni Award in 2001. In 2009 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Vis Arts) from the University of Sydney. She was the recipient of an Australian Research Council Discovery Indigenous Award from 2012-15 and is undertaking her PhD at the National Institute for Experimental Arts, UNSW Art & Design, where she is an honorary Research Fellow.



Baden Offord & Suvendrini Perera

Joint Speakers

Suvendrini Perera is Research Professor of Cultural Studies in the Department of Cultural Studies, in the School of Media, Culture & Creative Arts, and Deputy Director of the Australia-Asia-Pacific Institute at Curtin University. Her recent books include Australia and The Insular Imagination: Beaches, Borders, Boats and Bodies; the anthology, At the Limits of Justice: Women of Colour on Terror (coedited with Sherene Razack) and most recently Survival Media, her book on the war in Sri Lanka. She is a co-founder of Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites:

Baden Offord holds the Dr Haruhisa Handa Chair of Human Rights and is Professor of Cultural Studies and Human Rights and the Director of the Centre for Human Rights Education at Curtin University. His recent books include Activating Human Rights and Peace: Theories, Practices, Contexts  (coedited with Bee Chen Goh and Rob Garbutt) and most recently his co-authored book Inside Australian Culture: Legacies of Enlightenment Values, with a foreword by Ashis Nandy. He is on the editorial board of The International Journal of Human Rights (Taylor and Francis).


Vera Mackie

Vera Mackie is Senior Professor in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts at the University of Wollongong and Director of the Centre for Critical Human Rights Research. She has been National Convener of the Australian Women’s History Network and is a Board Member of the International Federation for Research in Women’s History. Publications include The Social Sciences in the Asian Century (ANU Press, 2015, co-edited with C Johnson and T Morris-Suzuki); Ways of Knowing about Human Rights in Asia (Routledge, 2015); The Routledge Handbook of Sexuality Studies in East Asia (2015; co-edited with M McLelland); Gender, Nation and State in Modern Japan (Routledge 2014; co-edited with A Germer and U Wöhr); Feminism in Modern Japan: Citizenship, Embodiment and Sexuality (Cambridge 2003); Gurōbaruka to Jendā Hyōshō [Globalisation and Representations of Gender] (Ochanomizu Shobō, 2003); Human Rights and Gender Politics: Asia–Pacific Perspectives (Routledge, 2000; co-edited with A-M Hilsdon, M Macintyre and M Stivens); Creating Socialist Women in Japan: Gender, Labour and Activism, 1900–1937 (Cambridge 1997); and special issues of journals, including Sexualities (Rethinking Sexual Citizenship: Asia-Pacific Perspectives, in press) Asian Studies Review (Human Rights in Asia, 2013; Globalisation and Body Politics, 2010); Intersections (Performing Globalisation, 2010; Gender, Governance and Security in Australia, Asia and the Pacific, 2007); Japanese Studies (The Cultural Politics of the City in Modern Japan, 2011); and Portal: Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies (The Space Between: Languages, Translations, Cultures, 2009).


Fay Anderson

Associate Professor Fay Anderson is a media historian in the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University. She has published widely on war, journalism, oral history, the military, biography, genocide, and memory. In 2011, her co-authored book Witnesses to War: The History of Australian Conflict Reporting was published by MUP. Anderson is currently a chief investigator of an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (LP120200458) with Sally Young, Kate Darian-Smith and Michael Gawenda and with partners, the National Library of Australia and the Walkley Foundation, to investigate the history and significance of Australian press photography. Shooting the Picture: A History of Australian Press Photography by Anderson and Young will be published in August 2016 by MUP.


Mary Tomsic

Mary Tomsic is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Melbourne working on a project titled ‘Picturing Child Refugees’ as part of the ARC Laureate Research Project ‘Child Refugees and Australian Internationalism from 1920 to the present’. She co-edited Diversity in Leadership: Australian women, past and present (with Joy Damousi and Kim Rubenstein, ANU Press 2014).

Ned Curthoys

Ned Curthoys is a Senior Lecturer in English and Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia. His research interests include Holocaust themed fiction, the thought of Hannah Arendt, theories of the public intellectual, postcolonial literature and theory, and trauma studies. His first monograph The Legacy of Liberal Judaism: Ernst Cassirer and Hannah Arendt’s Hidden Conversation was published by Berghahn Books in 2013. He has published in journals including Theory and Event, New Formations, and Comparative Literature Studies.

Desmond Manderson

Professor Desmond Manderson is founding Director of the ANU Centre for Law, Art and the Humanities and an international leader in inter-disciplinary legal scholarship. He is the author of several books including From Mr Sin to Mr Big (1993); Songs Without Music: Aesthetic dimensions of law and justice (2000); Proximity, Levinas, and the Soul of Law (2006); and Kangaroo Courts and the Rule of Law (2012). After fifteen years at McGill University in Montreal, where he was Canada Research Chair in Law and Discourse and Director of the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas, he returned to Australia in 2012 to take up a Future Fellowship. Work that has come out of this project includes Law and the Visual: Representations, Technologies and Critique (2016); and Temporalities of Law in the Visual Arts (2017).


Melissa Langdon / Leah Irving

Melissa Langdon is Manager of Partnerships and Pathways at Curtin University, and previously the Engagement Manager of the Western Australian Museum. She has worked in federal and state government, arts, education and not-for-profit sectors, and holds a PhD in Communication, Cultural Studies and Digital Media (University of Western Australia), Masters of Philosophy in Architecture and the Moving Image (University of Cambridge), and BA Hons. First Class (University of Western Australia). Melissa’s interests include building partnerships between cultural and tertiary sectors, engaging with communities, and applying new technologies for social and educational innovation.

Leah Irving has a PhD in Education and a Masters degree  in Visual Art and in Professional Education and Training. Leah is currently a Project Manager at Curtin University overseeing the development of a strategic IT project for challenge-based learning and has worked within a wide range of higher education contexts. She has an ongoing interest in the role of technology plays in mediating experience particularly around the experience of place, which was also a central focus of her PhD research examining virtual worlds in education. She has worked on a number of projects at Curtin University to integrate Australian Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander culture into curriculum. A key interest stemming from this work is is how technologies such as Augmented Reality can create digital core samples through the layering of stories, images, artefacts etc over contemporary landscapes, enmeshing digital and physical to create new understandings of place.

Susie Protschky

Susie Protschky

Susie Protschky is Senior Lecturer in History in the Arts Faculty at Monash University, Melbourne. She has published widely on visual culture in the Dutch colonial world, ranging from portraits and still lifes from Dutch Brazil in the seventeenth century, to drawings from South Africa and photographs from Indonesia in the twentieth century. Major publications include her monograph, Images of the Tropics: Environment and Visual Culture in Colonial Indonesia (KITLV Press/Brill, 2011) and her edited volume, Photography, Modernity and the Governed in Late-Colonial Indonesia (Amsterdam University Press, 2015). From 2010 to 2015 Protschky held an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, and she is in the process of completing the book arising from that, Photographic Subjects: Monarchy, Photography and the Making of Colonial Citizens.

Her next project is on disaster photography in colonial Indonesia. It aims to examine the human impact of natural and regime-made disasters in a contiguous field, through the camera lenses trained on pain and suffering. The project traces how photography helped develop modern notions of ‘disaster’ in the first century or so after the camera was first employed in the Indonesia (c. 1840s), a period that coincided with the rapid proliferation of photography’s uses and, importantly, the violent expansion of the Dutch colonial state.

Annie Coombes
Photo: Nicholas Thomas, 2016

Annie E. Coombes

Annie E. Coombes is Professor of Material and Visual Culture in the Department of Art History and Founding Director of the Peltz Gallery at Birkbeck, University of London.

Coombes is an art and cultural historian specializing in the history of the culture of British colonialism and its legacy in the present, particularly in Africa (Kenya and South Africa) and in former settler colonies. She is the author of prize-winning books including: History After Apartheid: Visual Culture and Public Memory in a Democratic South Africa (2003) and Reinventing Africa: Museums, Material Culture and Popular Imagination in Late Victorian and Edwardian England (1994). More recently in 2014 (with L. Hughes and Karega-Munene) she published, Managing Heritage, Making Peace: History, Identity and Memory in Contemporary Kenya (concerning Mau Mau and Home Guard Veterans’ memories during a particularly violent period of British colonial rule). She is co-editor (with Ruth B. Phillips) of Volume 4 of The International Handbooks of Museum Studies: Museum Transformations, and (with Avtar Brah) of Hybridity and its Discontents: Politics, Science, Culture (2000) and is editor of Rethinking Settler Colonialism: History and Memory in Australia, Canada, Aotearoa New Zealand and South Africa (2006).

Because of her advocacy interests in relation to gender and development and her concern with issues of transitional justice and human rights she has often been invited to contribute in a consultancy capacity. Most recently she was an ‘Invited Expert’ for the African Union Human Rights Memorial Project at the African Union Headquarters at Addis Ababa and again in 2014 at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg in conjunction with the NGO Justice Africa and international human rights experts from Africa, USA and the EU to decide on a memorial in the aftermath of genocide and other contemporary and historical atrocities on the African Continent.

Coombes is a member of Friends of Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) supporting one of South Africa’s leading HIV/AIDS advocacy and rights organisations and is a Patron of the Miami (Cuban) Five Campaign and the Lari Memorial Peace Museum (Kenya).