Dr Avril Alba is Senior Lecturer in Holocaust Studies and Jewish Civilisation and Chair of the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies at the University of Sydney. She teaches and researches in the broad areas of Holocaust and modern Jewish history with a focus on Jewish and Holocaust museums. Her monograph, The Holocaust Memorial Museum: Sacred Secular Space, was published in 2015. From 2002 to 2011 Avril was the Education Director at the Sydney Jewish Museum, where she also served as the Project Director/Curator for the permanent exhibitions ‘Culture and Continuity’ (2009), ‘The Holocaust’ (2017), and ‘The Holocaust and Human Rights’(2018). She is currently working on an ARC Discovery project, ‘The Memory of the Holocaust in Australia’.
Courtney Baker is a teaching associate at Monash University who recently completed an MA in Holocaust history. Her research interests chiefly concern sexual violence during the Holocaust and how these experiences are represented in survivor testimony. Her Master's thesis focused specifically on the sexual abuse of young men and adolescen boys in the Nazi concentration camps - an underdeveloped area of academic research - uncovering nearly 180 written and oral survivor testimonies describing these experiences.
Dr Annabelle Baldwin is a Lecturer in Gender History at the University of Melbourne. She graduated with a PhD in History from Monash University in 2016. Her research examines sexual violence against Jewish women during the Holocaust, and how these stories are narrated in the Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive.
Anna Boucher is an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney and is a global migration expert. Her book Gender Migration and the Global Race for Talent (Manchester University Press) analyses skilled immigration policies globally from a gender perspective. Her second book, with Dr Justin Gest, Crossroads: Immigration Regimes in an Age of Demographic Change (Cambridge University Press, New York) compares immigration regimes across 30 countries. She is writing a third on workplace violations against migrant workers in Australia,Canada, England and California, funded by the Australian Research Council and the University of Sydney SOAR Fellowship. A fourth book covers the Holocaust and the creation of a global Jewish diaspora and is co-authored with Dr Joseph Toltz. She is a regular commentator in the media and consultant to government on migration issues. She holds degrees in law and political science. Prior to coming to Sydney University, she was an Australian Commonwealth Scholar and Bucerius Scholar in Migration Studies at the London School of Economics.
Dr Steven Cooke (moderator) is a cultural and historical geographer with research interests in the spatialities of difficult histories, particularly those that relate to the memory of the Holocaust. He spent five years in Higher Education in the UK, first as a Research Fellow at the University of Stirling then as a Lecturer in Historical and Cultural Geography at the University of Hull. Steve was appointed as an Expert to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2015, and is part of the Memorials and Museum Working Group. He is the author of over 30 scholarly publications, including two highly commended books on the memory of war and genocide.
Siân Darling is an acclaimed video director, arts curator, album producer and creative strategist in the social impact sector. She is an artist manager with One Louder Entertainment working with statesmen songwriters Uncle Kev Carmody, Paul Kelly and the shining talent, Jess Hitchcock. Siân is the proud co-Chair of human rights media organisation, Right Now and Ambassador for climate action group, Groundswell. In 2020, Siân produced the Kev Carmody tribute album, ‘Cannot Buy My Soul 2020 Edition’, a charting album of Aboriginal truth-telling in 42 songs sung by some of Australia’s greatest talents. A regular contributor to Art Guide producing intimate portraits of visual artists, Siân also does ongoing work with Kimberley legend, Uncle Sam Lovell, developing and curating the Sam Lovell Collection at the State Library of WA. In 2020, Siân founded the Museum of Inherited Memories and continues as Senior Curator.
Dr Daniella Doron currently teaches and researches in the fields of Holocaust studies, French Jewish history and history of emotions. Her first book, Jewish Youth and Identity in Postwar France was published in 2015. She has co-edited volumes entitled “Absence in the Aftermath” for Journal of Contemporary History (2017), and a volume in French Historical Studies (2019) on historiographical trends in French Jewish history.
Dr Dan Kupfert Heller (moderator) is Kronhill Senior Lecturer in East European Jewish History at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation (Monash University).
Dr Anna Hirsh is the Senior Archivist at the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne, where she manages the documentation, digitization, and research of the historical and art collections. She also holds the positions of Honorary Fellow at Deakin University, and the AAJS Vice President (Victoria). Her research focuses on museums as sites of memory storage, Jewish history and culture, art as witness testimony, artefact mapping, and the spatiality of memorialization.
Margot Holt is a graduate research student at Monash University. Her work examines the audiovisual testimonies of female Holocaust witnesses who recount their experiences of sexual violence. She is particularly interested in how memories of such experiences form over time. As well as the linguistic and performative modes witnesses draw upon in order to communicate their recollections. Margot is nearing the completion of her thesis entitled “Recalling Sexual Violence in Holocaust Testimony: Developing Modes of Representation and Interpretation”.
Jayne Josem is Museum Director and CEO at the Jewish Holocaust Centre, currently overseeing its major redevelopment project. Formerly the museum curator since 2001, she is involved in the development of two new exhibitions in the museum. Additionally, she has focussed her energy on improving access to the JHC collection, including its video testimony archive. Currently she is exploring the potential of emerging technologies such as virtual reality and online platforms to engage visitors with survivor stories.
Dr Rebecca Margolis (moderator) is Director and Pratt Foundation Chair of Jewish Civilisation at Monash University’s Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation. Her areas of research focus on the Jewish migrant experience and the transmission and revitalization of the Yiddish language.
Hannah Robinson is an Honours student at Monash University. She is writing a thesis about the daily lives of Dunera internees at the Hay internment camps. Her great grandfather was a 'Dunera boy'. Hannah's broader interests include twentieth century European history and ancient Greek history.
Dr Noah Shenker is the 6a Foundation and N. Milgrom Senior Lecturer in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Monash University’s Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of the book Reframing Holocaust Testimony (2015) and of several articles and chapters on topics addressing representations of the Holocaust and other genocides through film, testimony, and new media. He is currently working on Beyond the Era of the Witness: The Digital Afterlife of Holocaust Testimony, a co-authored book with Dan Leopard.
Dr David Simon is the Director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University and holds the position of Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Yale. His research focuses on mass atrocity prevention and post-atrocity recovery, with a particular focus on cases of mass atrocity in Africa, including those in Rwanda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Cote d’Ivoire. He has served as a consultant with the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide. With Eve Zucker, he co-hosted the March 2018 symposium “Memorialization unmoored: The virtualization of material mediums of social memory” and later co-edited (also with Eve Zucker) the volume Mass Violence and Memory in the Digital Age: Memorialization Unmoored, (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2020) that arose from that symposium. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr Seumas Spark is an historian employed at Monash University. He is a co-author of the two-volume Dunera Lives (Monash University Publishing, 2018/2020).
Art Spiegelman has almost single-handedly brought comic books out of the toy closet and onto the literature shelves. In 1980, Spiegelman co-founded RAW, the acclaimed avant-garde comics magazine, with his wife, Françoise Mouly, in which he presented the initial works that would form his masterpiece, Maus, one of the most important works of Holocaust literature to this day. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Maus in 1992, and in 2004 he completed a two-year cycle of broadsheet-sized colour comics pages, In the Shadow of No Towers, which was selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2004. His comics are best known for their shifting graphic styles, their formal complexity, and controversial content.
The Bashevis Singers are the children of generations of people who lived their lives in Yiddish. Husky Gawenda and his cousin Gideon Preiss are renowned Australian musicians and award winning songwriters. They are the core members of the critically acclaimed band HUSKY. Husky’s sister (and Gideon’s cousin) Evie Gawenda is a theatre director and teacher who is known and loved for the beauty and warmth of her voice.
Dr Kathy Temin is Professor Fine Art at Monash University and has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1990. Her selected solo exhibitions and projects include shows at 200 Gertrude Street (1991), Australian Center for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (1995), Galerie van Gelder, Amsterdam (2003), ICA, London (2004), Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney (2007), Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2009), Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne (2009), Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington (2010) and The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2011). In 2012 she completed the public artwork Garden Islands for the City of Stonnington in Claremont Street, South Yarra and in 2009 her work was the subject of a 20 year survey exhibition at the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne and in 2012 her work was featured on the ABC on the program Art Nation.
Dr Joseph Toltz is a researcher and administrator at the University of Sydney. Co-Investigator on “Performing the Jewish Archive”, a UK Arts & Humanities Council large grant, he directed the 2017 festival “Out of the Shadows: rediscovering Jewish music and theatre” in Sydney. A former fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, he is co-authoring a book on the first collection of Holocaust songs, working with the ExilArte Zentrum on the Austrian-Jewish refugee composer, Wilhelm Grosz, and in 2021 will bring a child survivor of the Łódź Ghetto back to the city of her birth to share musical memories of that time.
Dr Nathan Wolski is a scholar of Kabbalah with the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Among his publications are A Journey into the Zohar (SUNY, 2010), The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, vols 10 and 12 (Stanford University Press, 2016, 2017), and most recently Kabbalistic Yiddish: Aaron Zeitlin's Mystical-Messianic Poetics (Cherub Press, 2020).
Dr Eve Zucker is an independent scholar and research affiliate of the Council of Southeast Asian Studies at Yale University. Her work concerns how societies and communities recover and remember mass violence through digital media, social memory, moral interpretation, the imagination, resilience, empathy, trust, and everyday practices. She has conducted extensive research on the aftermath of the Cambodian Genocide and more recently has expanded her work to include the Holocaust in Germany and Poland. Her first book, Forest of Struggle: Moralities of Remembrance in Upland Cambodia (University of Hawai’i Press, 2013) based on extensive fieldwork in a former Khmer Rouge area in Southwestern Cambodia examines how communities move forward and rebuild after war and genocide.