Program Leader: Belinda Smaill

Associate Professor Belinda Smaill teaches in Film and Screen Studies in the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University. Over the last two decades she has built an international reputation in the field of screen studies and documentary studies in particular. She has published over 30 journal articles and book chapters and her two books, The Documentary: Politics, Emotion, Culture (Palgrave MacMillan 2010) and Regarding Life: Animals and the Documentary Moving Image (State University of New York Press 2016) have garnered international recognition for their role in rethinking the documentary tradition in the history of the moving image. Belinda’s work as a scholar is frequently cited as constituting new directions in documentary studies. Over the last decade she has been researching issues concerning the nonhuman, environmental crisis, and how they relate to fact-based storytelling in screen media. She is currently the Leader of the Environment and Media Research Program.

Brett Hutchins

Brett Hutchins is Professor of Media and Communications Studies and Head of School in the School of Media, Film & Journalism. Brett’s research investigates the social, economic and political implications of technological transformation and, in particular, the movement from analogue-print to digital and mobile media systems. This transformation is explored through case studies that examine sports media, environmental media, and other forms of wireless, online and digital media. His approach is based on a combination of critical analysis, accessible writing, and evidence drawn from industry and policy circles.

Aneta Podkalicka

Aneta is a cultural and media researcher and lecturer in the School of Media, Film & Journalism, interested in the role media play in creating social value; the relationships between everyday media and consumption practices; and media and environmental sustainability. Aneta has worked as part of collaborative, interdisciplinary research teams with a range of industry partners from across governmental, not-for-profit and commercial sectors. She was a Chief Investigator on the ‘Media and Communication Strategies for Home Renovations’ project, funded by the Collaborative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (CRC LCL) that investigated the role of media and social communication in shaping home renovation practices (2014-2017). Her books include: Using media for social innovation (2018) co-authored with Ellie Rennie; Grand Designs: Consumer markets and home-making (forthcoming) with Esther Milne and Jenny Kennedy; and edited collection Leisure Cultures and the Making of Modern Ski Resorts (2018) with Philipp Strobl.

Deb Anderson

Deb teaches journalism in the School of Media, Film and Journalism, where she coordinates the undergraduate capstone unit 'Journalism and Global Change’. She developed a passion for independent journalism while working for a range of newspapers and magazines (1999-2012) including a role as a feature writer and education editor for Melbourne’s Age newspaper. Her research explores the experience and meaning of extreme weather events, in an era of politicised discourse on climate. Since 2013, with Monash Faculty of Arts support, she has been recording and examining stories of crisis, loss and renewal in North Queensland communities affected by cyclones Larry, Yasi and more recently Debbie. In 2014, she published the book Endurance: Australian Stories of Drought (CSIRO Publishing) and in 2016 embarked on a project to analyse media coverage of the Victorian 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. In 2019, with the support of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia, she began a two-year project that examines the ethical and professional challenges of disaster reporting in a climate-changed world.

David Holmes

David is Founder and Director of the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub, a University-wide research group across 7 faculties and two institutes. He is lead author of Media Storm: Communicating Climate Change in Australia, London, Anthem Press, with Simon Torok and Brooke Garas forthcoming 2019). David also conducts extensive field research into audience views of climate change beliefs, literacy and behaviour response and is committed to inter-disciplinary responses to climate change. He completed a PhD in Social Theory (Department of the History and Philosophy of Science) at the University of Melbourne, where he was also awarded the Dwight Prize for Political Science. In the following decade he published three books in the sociology of communications: Virtual Politics: Identity and Community in Cyberspace (Sage 1997) and Virtual Globalisation: Virtual Spaces, Tourist Spaces (Routledge 2001) and a monograph Communication Theory: Media, Technology and Society (Sage 2005).

Billy Head

Billy Head is a filmmaker and media artist lecturing in audio-visual production in the School of Media, Film and Journalism. He has a bachelor degree in Media Studies (RMIT), a Masters degree in Australian Political Economy (University of Sydney), and a post-graduate diploma in Documentary Direction (Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne). In 2017 he directed a series of observational, day-in-the-life documentaries about workers from the Pacific Islands and Timor-Leste who have come to work in Australian Aid's Seasonal Worker Programme. Created for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade throughout 2016/17 as an induction tool for new participant workers, the series of films won the Best Instructional/Training Video or Website (Tertiary/General) category at the Australian Teachers of Media Awards.

Ben Glasson

Ben Glasson is a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Media, Film and Journalism. His research combines discourse analysis with environmental political theory to examine the political and ideological dimensions of environmental communication, focussing on the way that organisations and individuals perpetuate social and ecological injustice through communications. He gained his PhD in environmental political theory at the University of Melbourne, where he critically examined the media’s role reproducing environmental and anti-environmental movement discourse. He has published on these themes in the Journal of Political Ideologies, Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society; and Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, among others.

Alison Stieven-Taylor

Alison Stieven-Taylor is a media communications professional. She teaches in Journalism and the PR Specialisation in Monash’s School of Media, Film and Journalism where she has coordinated the undergraduate units Fundamentals of Journalism and Public Relations Foundations and developed the third year unit Critical Issues in Public Relations. Alison’s research interests focus on visual communication in the digital media space. She is currently writing her PhD investigating visual journalism and social change and the ways in which freelancers are challenging media representations of social issues including climate change.

Associate Researchers

Therese Davis

Therese Davis is Professor and Chair of the Department of Media Communications and Swinburne University of Technology.   Her research is primarily in the areas of Australian cinema and television, theories of collaboration and cross-cultural exchange in film, Australian Indigenous media, and women’s filmmaking. She is the co-author of the widely referenced Australian Cinema After Mabo (CUP, 2004). While her research is primarily located in Film Studies, it also draws on and establishes new dialogues with debates in Cultural Theory, History, and Indigenous media. Throughout her career, she has maintained a strong interest in the relationship between theory and media practice in both her teaching and research.

Céline Klemm

Céline holds a PhD in Communication Science and currently works in the Monash Sustainable Development Institute’s Sustainable Development Education Program. Céline’s research focusses on mass media and environmental and public health issues. In the past, Céline participated as researcher in the interdisciplinary European Union research project Ecom@eu: Communication in times of an outbreak, which developed an evidence-based behavioural and communication package for health professionals and institutions throughout Europe in case of major epidemic outbreaks. She also supported the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative Nepal project based at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs as a pro bono consultant.

Charity Edwards

Charity is a lecturer and urban researcher in the Department of Architecture at MADA where she teaches design studio, theory, and urban processes in both the Interior Architecture and Architecture programs.  Her research explores the uneven and more-than-human impacts of urbanisation at the scale of the planet. She foregrounds the long-disregarded space of the world ocean in these processes in particular. Charity is currently undertaking a PhD on the increasing urbanisation of the Southern Ocean via autonomous underwater technologies.

Simon Troon

Simon is a teaching associate and research assistant in the School of Media, Film and Journalism. His doctoral research, completed in late 2018, connects film studies with the environmental humanities to explore the cinematic representation of disaster across a range of film genres and styles.

Madeleine Thomas

Madeleine’s doctoral research aims to incorporate human behavioural sciences into risk communication to protect human health, and asks the question of whether this approach leads to better outcomes in reducing exposure to pollutants. The research is supported by BehaviourWorks Australia, Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Monash University, and Environment Protection Authority Victoria.