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PhD Scholarship: Visualising Global Encounters & First Nations Peoples (Practice Based)

Primary supervisor

Thomas Chandler


  • Lynette Russell

Research area


This PhD scholarship is funded as an important collaboration between the Faculty of Information Technology and the ARC Laureate project Global Encounters and First Nations Peoples: 1000 years of Australian History, conducted by Professor Lynette Russell AM.

The Global Encounters & First Nations People: 1000 Years of Australian History project radically shifts Australia’s historical awareness by concentrating on the dynamic history of encounter between First Nations peoples and ‘outsiders’ over the millennium. Drawing on rich European and Southeast Asian archives comprised over 400 years of records, it will offer an important counter narrative on multiple sites of interaction. With a methodology designed to profile Indigenous agency, the project will demonstrate how ‘salt-water people' responded to intrusions into their territory from sea voyagers from Europe and Southeast Asia. The eighteenth-century British arrival will be placed into context of a global tradition of dynamic interaction and transaction with a deep history of at least 1000 years. More information on the project is available at

This PhD project will focus on mapping and imagining first encounters between Australian First Nations sea and coastal peoples through evidence-based, digital reconstructions of past landscapes and environments. Recent advances in technology mean we can now reappraise the exploration of the past as a future-aligned endeavour. The evidence for these reconstructions will draw upon information from a diversity of sources, and  the technologies used to explore these sources are similarly varied, for example, 3D modelling and animation, digital cartography and virtual and augmented reality.

A PhD (doctoral degree) contributes new knowledge to a research field or discipline. The Monash Faculty of IT offers a new form of PhD in the Faculty Information Technology: the PhD by Practice Based Research and Exegesis. A first for IT doctoral research in Australia, this innovative form of PhD encourages creative and dynamic projects that make discoveries through making, building and creating. Your research will typically be interdisciplinary, linking IT and creative technologies with fields such as indigenous studies, history and  cultural heritage. In a PhD by Practice you’ll present a substantial amount of your research through an immersive, interactive demonstration or exhibition that engages one or more of the senses. You’ll also be examined on a written exegesis of around 30,000 words. 

The successful applicant will join the research team and contribute to the wider project but will also undertake their own distinct PhD project. Undertaking this PhD as part of a larger project has several advantages. First, the successful candidate will be integrated into an already successful research agenda that has been funded by the Australian Research Council, and will have access to funding to support fieldwork, transcription, travel, and conference attendance. Second, the candidate will benefit from expert supervision from research leaders, and from entering a PhD with a pre-existing structure. Finally, the candidate will benefit from being part of outcomes from the research, which may include co-authored publications (where the candidate’s contributions will be recognised through co-authorship), funded symposia, school-engagement exercises, and future grant applications.

Monash University is the largest university in Australia and regularly ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide. Monash has six globally networked campuses and international alliances in Europe and Asia. The applicant will be based at the Clayton campus in Melbourne. The Department of Human-Centred Computing (HCC) is a large multidisciplinary collective of researchers, practitioners and scholars whose research explores ways to improve our relationship with digital technologies and to harness their power for a fairer, more equitable and just world. Indigenous Studies at Monash is vibrant and interdisciplinary, including research expertise across the Humanities including archaeology, anthropology, and history. We have a strong and supportive research culture, led by internationally-recognised scholars successful in attracting national and international competitive funding.

Required knowledge

Indigenous applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. Ideally the applicants will have an excellent academic track record. This project is broadly in the digital humanities; so experience with digital technologies, as well as historical archive, linguistic and anthropology skills, would be useful. Competence in both quantitative and qualitative research methods is desirable. Applicants will be considered provided that they fulfil the criteria for PhD admission at Monash University which includes English language Proficiency skills. Details of eligibility requirements to undertake a PhD in the Faculty of Information Technology can be found on the How to Apply webpage.

Scholarship holders must be enrolled full-time and on campus. Please note: applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.

The successful applicant will be expected to enrol by February 2022  However, there may be some flexibility as to the date of commencement.


Project funding

Project based scholarship

Learn more about minimum entry requirements.