Print this page

Donald Horne Creative and Cultural Fellows

The DHCCF provides funding to recent graduates of the doctoral program who were members of the CCCR at the University of Canberra. The fellowship is project-based and aims to assist the Fellow to produce a significant work or body of work related to their doctoral research in the period after the awarding of their degrees.







  • Dr Owen Bullock
  • Dr Caren Florance


  • Dr Monica Carroll
  • Dr Paul Collis


  • Dr Niloofar Fanaiyan
  • Dr Mona Soleymani


  • Dr Patrick Mullins

2024 Donald Horne Creative & Cultural Fellow

Claire Rosslyn Wilson

The Postcard Exchange: Exploring models of intercultural poetry-making in place through online exchange formats

The Postcard Exchange undertakes an approach of close observation and multimedia creation to facilitate intercultural exchange and reflection about place, extending my practice-led research of intercultural poetry-making. The long-term aim of the project is to develop a framework of exchange that facilitates close observation and reflection on the environments we inhabit. Although the encounter with culturally unfamiliar places, and the exploration of this encounter through creative practice, can lead to personal growth and innovation, it can also lead to culturally inappropriate uses. Encountering the other can be an instance of ‘uncertainty and risk’1, especially where it takes place in a postcolonial context in which past acts of cultural appropriation, theft or erasure have been the foundation for contexts of cultural exchange.

This is practice-led research project uses the Reflective Frames framework (which I developed during my PhD) to encourage creative practitioners to engage in ongoing and open-ended reflection as they create in an unfamiliar environment. The framework especially targets the challenge of perceiving clearly in intercultural contexts and the influence of past experience and frames of knowledge on this process (drawing from Bourdieu’s concept of habitus).

The project takes the multidisciplinary and collaborative nature of videopoetry as its starting point, and tests the framework developed during my PhD through 1) in-depth interviews to investigate existing models of online creative exchange, 2) a collaboration with up to 10 videopoets to test and reflect upon the micro-multimedia ‘postcards’ as a medium for translocal reflective practice and 3) the adaptation of the Reflective Frames framework into community guidelines for future contributions. The final output will be to display the videopoems on an online platform and work towards an in-person exhibition in Canberra/Barcelona.

1. Boey, Kim Cheng. 2016. 'On the Sidewalk: Towards an Ethopoetics of the Streets', Cordite Poetry Review [accessed 28/10/2021]

2023 Donald Horne Creative & Cultural Fellows

Wendy Somerville

Re-searching using Koori Critical Storying: Responding to absent labels in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art and Artefact Collection

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art and Artefact Collection (the Collection) was purchased as a teaching tool in the late 1980s to be used in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies. It familiarises students with traditional technologies and the properties of natural materials. It also allows students to learn Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection management techniques and protocols, to handle certain types of objects and to practice conservation skills. The Collection originates from Northern Australia with a smaller number of artworks coming from the deserts of Central Australia. The Collection consists of over 450 individual works of artworks in a variety of media and techniques. Most of the works were made by Aboriginal women, although there are many examples of men’s weaponry.

My PhD research explored ways of adding information to that already known but disappeared through the effects of colonisation. The Koori Critical Storying (KCS) framework I developed allows researchers to apply their own knowledge to build on the snippets of information available. This research is two-pronged. I will be working with the Collections manager Hakim Abdul Rahim who, through his Honours research, noted the loss or absence of several labels from the artworks. In the first prong, to ascertain whether they have knowledge of the un-labelled items, we will reach out to the organisations from which other artworks in the Collection were purchased. Connecting the Collection to Country and people is paramount in this research and informs the second part of the research which will add to what is already known. The KCS approach will be used to develop stories that build on existing knowledge to re-label artworks.

Wayne Applebee

Investigation of the Indigenisation of the Tasmanian University

For the last twelve months I have been Indigenising teaching in the Faculty of Business Government and Law, the Faculty of Health and the Faculty of Science and Technology. My approach has been to teach my own Kamilaroi culture as my culture is similar to a majority of First Nations cultures. The Indigenisation has followed my own design and implementation. This involves implementing Indigenous epistemologies, cultural mores, kinship systems and the history of colonisation. In my research I found that the University of Tasmania has written on and implemented the process of Indigenisation: 'Indigenising the Curriculum: Context, Concepts and Case Studies'. My aim in the fellowship is to investigate how the Indigenisation was implemented and enquire how they overcame difficulties.

2022 Donald Horne Creative & Cultural Fellow

Louise Curham

How to make users’ manuals – building growth rings as a survival strategy for performance-dependent heritage

My PhD research tested a model of making manuals to extend the life of heritage items that rely on a combination of technology and live performance. I resolved that for this kind of heritage, use can strengthen it. The item adapts to a new environment, building a growth ring around what came before. That growth ring can be documented in a manual and used by others. This project focuses on the manual making process itself, developing recommendations about how to make users manuals, with an eye to their relevance to the broader heritage community.

A new manual will be created once again using the particularly pertinent case of performance involving technology and live performance, 1970s expanded cinema, used in my PhD. Horror Film 1 (1971), a landmark artwork by British artist Malcolm Le Grice will be the case study. Background work by myself and my colleague working in the archivist/artist collaboration Teaching and Learning Cinema (TLC) means this work is ready for ‘manualisation’. In 2013, TLC travelled to Devon to interview Le Grice and later that year, TLC staged a re-enactment in Canberra. I will lead the manual making and testing process in collaboration with my TLC colleague Dr Lucas Ihlein.

During the manual making process, the question of who/where items from the portfolio should lodge will be considered. For example, the print manual may be a desirable, inviting object, an artwork in its own right. Is that what the Tate collects? Can the online manual support Horror Film 1 going into distribution with an illustrious film distributor like Lightcone in Paris?

2021 Donald Horne Creative & Cultural Fellow

Rahmatollah Amirjani

Canberra, Public Housing and The Great Australian Dream

Dr Rahmatollah Amirjani is a lecturer in Architecture at the University of Canberra, Australia. His research interest includes the contemporary history of modern architecture, with a specific zoom on the question of social housing. Rahmatollah’s research investigates the dichotomy between traditions and modernity; in addition, his studies focus on contemporary movements in the provision of affordable housing, and the effects of inappropriate housing policies/design on communities.

Project Abstract

Public housing plays a significant role in increasing the quality of life and overall wellbeing. As many studies have indicated, public housing is integral to enabling population growth, economic activity, and labour mobility. In addition, decent housing is not only a primary need, but also a human right, which has an effect on the education, health and employment productivity of the inhabitants, as well as on the general well-being of the society.

In Australia, for many groups in the general public, and also a large number of historians and critics, the provision of public housing has failed to fulfil its objectives, in particular after the Second World War. Some argue that the general post-war social housing proposals, which were previously supposed to help low- and moderate-income groups to achieve the Great Australian Dream, “owning a home,” have turned into humiliating philanthropic proposals or starter homes for the poor. As expected, based on a large number of research outcomes, the architecture body and design of the proposed projects cannot respond to different communities’ primary and secondary needs.

Using literature review, documentary research, observation, and descriptive data analysis, with a specific zoom on ACT, Canberra, the current research seeks to critically analyse the transformations in the design philosophy behind the state public housing since the post-war period. Highlighting different public housing programs, this proposed research will investigate the reasons for the success and failure of the most critical housing schemes based on the design theories suggested in the contemporary discourse of social housing. The designated public housing projects will be decoded in regard to their historical and architectural context, illustrating how design features and living standards have been affected by the state policies.

2020 Donald Horne Creative & Cultural Fellows

Kirsten Krauth

Photo credit: Penny Ryan

Almost a Mirror

Almost a Mirror is a podcast about 80s song and music history to be streamed later in the year. The novel (and thesis) Almost a Mirror was produced at the University of Canberra under the supervision of Ross Gibson. It recently received the Parker Medal for Most Outstanding PhD thesis in 2019, the first time awarded to a creative writing thesis. The novel manuscript was also shortlisted for the Penguin Literary Prize and the book has recently been published by Transit Lounge. As the novel/thesis has been structured as a mixtape of 80s punk and pop songs, my idea is to work with a number of musicians including Peter Fenton, Michael Simic (aka Mikelangelo) and Richard Andrew on re-versioning 12 Australian songs, intermingled with my reading of the chapter, to create a new and innovative work. Each podcast episode will feature this work along with a narrative history of the song and its place in Australian 80s music culture. In researching my novel, many stories have emerged, tracing a strong sense of time and place – from the Crystal Ballroom to the Countdown studio – placing songs like 'Wide Open Road', 'Barbados', 'Change in Mood', 'Send Me an Angel', 'Nick the Stripper', 'Alone with You' (to name a few) in a new historical/cultural context.

Tim Napper

Howling Metal: the Shape of Trauma in Vietnamese Noir

Dr Tim Napper is a former diplomat and aid worker, having lived and worked throughout Southeast Asia for over a decade. Writing as T. R. Napper, he is now an award-winning short story writer. His project for the Donald Horne Creative & Cultural Fellowship is a science fiction noir novel, set in Vietnam and Australia, titled Howling Metal. The world has changed with the onset of Covid-19, and yet this creative work is well-placed. An ongoing concern of Napper's art – the rise of China, the surveillance state, climate change, staggering inequality, trauma, and pandemics – will only become more strikingly relevant as the events of 2020 play out.

Olga Walker

Writing through overcrowded places into hollowed out spaces: Life after bushfire fighting

The 2019/20 bushfire season started early and in October 2019, I also graduated with my PhD at the University of Canberra. Life at that time was filled with an array of activities including repainting feature walls, writing poetry, taking photos, weekly fire-fighter training and attending the smaller fires in our area. The bushfire season then descended on us at full pace and its end was abruptly followed by the Covid-19 virus.

Most of my fire-fighting/training activities with the Rural Fire Service (RFS) and other physical activities have temporarily ceased. Thus I am able now to devote time to my new research and creative writing project, Writing through overcrowded places into hollowed out spaces: Life after bushfire fighting. The project will use an auto-ethnographic approach to track how I balance what became my everyday firefighting experiences with life before and beyond the fire-ground.

The learnings of 2019/20 are intense but, for me, creative writing is that hollowed out space where I can breathe deeply. It has also become a place where I can feel good about being excited about ‘creative writing’. This project will be one expression of that excitement.