Distinguished Fellows

Dr David Brewster

David Brewster is a former corporate lawyer, specialising in mergers and acquisitions.

He completed a doctorate in Indian strategic affairs in 2010 at the Australian National University. He writes widely about Indian strategic affairs and the India-Australia relationship. His books include India as an Asia Pacific Power and India’s Ocean: India’s bid for regional leadership.
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Deirdre Coleman

Deirdre Coleman is Robert Wallace Chair of English and Deputy Dean, Faculty of Arts.

A graduate of the University of Melbourne, Deirdre obtained a BPhil and DPhil from Oxford University.  She has been a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University and the University of London, and is due to take up Fellowships in 2014 with the Huntington, LA, and with the Institute of Advanced Studies at Warwick University. In 2011 she was elected to the Council for the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Deirdre has taught 18th century literature, Romantic and Victorian Literature, Travel writing and travel texts, Bounty Saga, Historical Fiction and Fictional History and her research interests include 18th and 19th century British and Irish literature, science, and cultural history; abolitionism, women’s writing, travel, colonialism (Africa, Australia, India), natural history, racial ideology, the gothic. Deirdre has authored three books including Romantic Colonization and British Anti-SlaveryMaiden Voyages and Infant Colonies: Two Women’s Travel Narratives of the 1790s, and Coleridge and ‘The Friend’. She has edited and refereed many more publications, and authored many chapters.
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Dr Suranjan Das

Dr Suranjan Das presently holds the position of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta and Honorary Director of the Netaji Institute for Asian Studies, Kolkata.

Dr Das is a Professor of History in the University of Calcutta. He gained his DPhil from the University of Oxford in 1987 for his dissertation Communal Riots in Bengal 1905-1947. Dr Das has worked as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Calcutta and has taught History in several colleges and universities. He’s also held various administrative positions including Honorary Director of the Netaji Institute for Asian Studies, Kolkata; Coordinator of the UGC’s CAS Program in History at the University of Calcutta; Joint Director of the Nehru Studies Centre in the Department of History at the University of Calcutta; Joint Director of the Pakistan and West Asian Studies Centre in the Department of History at the University of Calcutta; Joint Director of the Centre for Study of China and Her Neighbourhood at the University of Calcutta; and Coordinator of the Peace Studies Group in the Department of History at the University of Calcutta, which is funded by the Ford Foundation. Dr Das has also worked as a member of an Indo-French collaborative research project on Spaces, territories and identities in South Africa and India: A Comparison. Dr Das has authored several books on communal riots, food movement and electoral politics in South Asia. He has also authored many articles in international and national journals and attended international seminars, workshops and conferences worldwide.
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Professor Susan Elliott

Professor Susan Elliott joined Monash University in March 2017 from The University of Melbourne where she held the position of Deputy Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

In addition to Professor Elliott’s responsibilities for international engagement and development, she was also credited with the renewed direction of equity programs, increasing the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and reshaping The University of Melbourne’s scholarship program. Professor Elliott is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and her many appointments on national and international committees include immediate Past President of the Asia Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) – the first Australian and first female academic to be elected to the position. She is a member of the Asia Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) International Policy Advisory Committee and she has also served as a Board member for the Australia India Institute.
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Gareth Evans AC QC

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC FASSA FAIIA has been Chancellor of the Australian National University since January 2010.

He was a Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments from 1983-96, in the posts of Attorney General, Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Transport and Communications and - from 1988-96 - Foreign Minister. During his 21 years in Australian politics he was Leader of the Government in the Senate (1993-96) and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives (1996-98).  From 2000 to 2009 he was President and CEO of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, the independent global conflict prevention and resolution organisation. He has written or edited 12 books - including Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play 2015 (co-author), Inside the Hawke-Keating Government: A Cabinet Diary (2014), and The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All (2008); has published many newspaper articles and over 100 journal articles and chapters on foreign relations, human rights and legal and constitutional reform; has honorary doctorates from Melbourne, Sydney, Carleton and Queen’s Universities; and has lectured at many universities around the world, including Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Yale, Stanford and the Central European University.  He has co-chaired two major International Commissions, on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2000-01), and Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (2008-10), and has been a member of a number of others. He currently Co-Chairs the International Advisory Board of the New-York based Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and is Convenor of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. Gareth Evans was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2012 for his "eminent service to international relations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, as an adviser to governments on global policy matters, to conflict prevention and resolution, and to arms control and disarmament", and in the same year was elected an honorary Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia (FASSA). Foreign Policy magazine cited him as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2011 "for making 'the responsibility to protect' more than academic". In 2010 he was awarded the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute Four Freedoms Award for Freedom from Fear, for his pioneering work on the Responsibility to Protect concept and his contributions to conflict prevention and resolution, arms control and disarmament.
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Brian Hayes QC

Brian Robert Hayes QC holds a LLB (Hons) at London University, is a Honourary Life Fellow at the Planning Institute of Australia and is a Adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia.

He has led six business delegations to India with the Premier of SA and two Federal Government trade delegations and has been involved over the last twelve years in building bilateral trade between Australia and India. As National Chairman, he has chaired two Joint Business Council Meetings in Australia and India. In 2008 he was appointed the Premier of South Australia’s Special Envoy to India to develop bilateral trade and business between South Australia and India and to assist South Australian companies to export and import.
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Professor Robin Jeffrey

Professor Robin Jeffrey is an Emeritus Professor at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.

Robin studied at Canada’s University of Victoria in British Columbia and the University of Sussex in the UK. He first worked as a journalist at the Daily Colonist in Victoria, before beginning his teaching career in North India’s Chandigarh region at the Regional Institute of English and the Canadian University Service Overseas. Following this period he undertook a Doctorate in Modern Indian History at Sussex. Jeffrey came to ANU as a Research Fellow in 1973 and taught in the Politics Program at Melbourne’s La Trobe University from 1979-2005. His special interest is in the modern history and politics of India. Professor Jeffrey maintains an interest in matrilineal societies, particularly in Kerala in south India, which arose from his doctoral thesis, later published as The Decline of Nayar Dominance. Having worked as a teacher in Punjab, he was driven to try to understand the Khalistan secessionist movement that arose from 1981. This resulted in What’s Happening to India? and a continuing interest in ethnicity, nationalism and identity formation. His two other main interests are ‘development’ in a wide sense (Politics, Women and Well-Being) and newspapers and media (India’s Newspaper Revolution). His current substantial project is an account of India in the second half of the twentieth century, based on portraits of the six years in which the great Kumbh mela was held.
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Sunjoy Joshi

Mr Sunjoy Joshi is the Director of the Observer Research Foundation.

He has a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Allahabad University, India, as well as in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia, Norwich. He also studied Upstream Economics and Risk Analysis at the Petroleum Economist, Woking, UK. In a career spanning 25 years, he has pursued a number of professional endeavours, including work with the Indian Administrative Service as well as experience across conventional and non-conventional energy sectors. He has handled oil and gas exploration as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and was the Government nominated Director on the Boards of ONGC, OVL, OIL and MRPL. Sunjoy headed the Madhya Pradesh Energy Development Agency as its Managing Director and served as Chairman of M.P. Windfarms. He has been Visiting Associate at the International Institute of Strategic Studies, London as well as Distinguished Visitor to the Programme on Energy and Sustainable Development, University of Stanford, USA.
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Maxine McKew
Maxine McKew is a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow with the University of Melbourne and works as an advisor on education for the not for profit group Social Ventures Australia.
She is also Chair of Playgroup Australia and a member of the board of Per Capita. Maxine’s career spans both politics and journalism. At the 2007 federal election Maxine McKew won a spectacular victory against John Howard and wrote herself into Australian political history as only the second candidate to have ever defeated a Prime Minister in his constituency seat. She was immediately elevated to the executive and served as Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood, and later as Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure, Regional Development and Local Government. Before making the switch to politics, Maxine had a thirty year career as a broadcast and print journalist. Her hosting of Lateline in the mid 1990’s, and later, as the part-time anchor of The 7.30 Report, earned her a reputation as one of the country’s most authoritative interviewers. Her television reporting has been recognised by her peers with both Logie and Walkely awards for broadcast excellence, while her work for the Bulletin Magazine saw her secure the Magazine Publisher’s award for Columnist of the Year. Maxine is involved in a range of voluntary activities. She is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for Macquarie University’s School of Advanced Medicine and is an ambassador for Alzheimer’s Australia.
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Rob Moodie

Rob Moodie is Professor of Public Health at the University of Melbourne.

Between 1998 and 2007 he was the CEO of the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth). He chaired the National Preventative Health Task Force from 2008-2011, and now chairs the federal Minister’s Men’s Health Reference Group. He has chaired the Technical Advisory Panel for the Gates Foundation funded HIV prevention program, Avahan, in India since 2004 and co-chaired the recent Aii funded Taskforce on Tobacco Control in India. He is currently helping to establish a public health leadership course in South Asia. He is co-author of four books, his latest being Recipes for a Great Life, written with Gabriel Gate.
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Ashis Nandy

Ashis Nandy is an Indian political psychologist, social theorist and contemporary cultural and political critic.

Nandy has worked for more than thirty-five years on two diametrically opposite domains; social existence, human potentialities or creativity and human destructiveness, particularly mass violence. During the last thirty years he has served in a number of commissions, hearings and investigations into communal riots, violence of development, racist crimes against women, electoral malpractices and human rights abuses. Trained as a sociologist and clinical psychologist, Nandy is also known for his work in political science and future studies. However, during the last three decades, has travelled through some of the less familiar territories of social knowledge, such as scientific creativity, future studies, post-developmental and post-secular visions, cities of the mind, myths of nation-states, and alternatives. He is associated with the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, of which he was a director for a number of years. He has been also a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre, Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin, and is Regent's Fellow at the University of California in Los Angeles. Nandy received the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in 2007. In 2008 he appeared on the list of the Top 100 Public Intellectuals Poll of the Foreign Policy magazine, published by The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
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Andrew Robb AO
Andrew Robb AO has had a career in politics since the early 90’s and directed the successful 1996 Liberal Federal election campaign.
Prior to politics, Mr Robb worked as an animal health officer and then as agricultural economist. In the 80s he was Executive Director of the Cattle Council of Australia, and later, Executive Director of the National Farmers' Federation.  In 2003 Mr Robb was awarded the Office of the Order of Australia for his service to agriculture, politics and the community.  In 2004, Andrew was elected to the Federal seat of Goldstein and up until his recent retirement from politics, held a number of positions including Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Vocational and Further Education.  Following the Coalition victory at the 2013 election, Andrew was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister for Trade and Investment and successfully negotiated the Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Japan and China as well as the 12 Country Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement and the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Singapore.  With an Agricultural Science and First Class Honours Degree in Economics, Mr Robb is currently providing strategic advice to Australian and Asia Pacific companies in trade and investment.
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Professor Brian Stoddart

Brian Stoddart is Professor Emeritus at La Trobe University where he served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and as Vice-Chancellor.

Brian took his first two degrees at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand where he first became interested in India, then completed a PhD at the University of Western Australia that looked at the rise of nationalism in south India. That work led to his major work on Andhra Pradesh Land, Water, Language and Politics in Andhra: Regional Evolution in India Since 1850 and to the biography of a maverick Indian Civil Service officer A People’s Collector in the British Raj: Arthur Galletti. Along with his work on India, Brian has been a pioneering writer in sports culture and has produced books on Australian sport, Caribbean cricket and other related subjects. Those strands have come together in his recent research into the Indian Premier league and its global impact. He is also working on a project concerning Australia’s historical “soft power” in India focused on horse racing. Brian Stoddart has also worked on higher education reform projects in the Middle East and Southeast Asia as consultant to World Bank, Asian Development Bank and European Union projects. Brian also writes the Superintendent Le Fanu crime novel series set in 1920s Madras and the third of them, A Straits Settlement, was longlisted for the 2017 Ngaio Marsh Award for best New Zealand crime novel.
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Jim Varghese AM

Jim Varghese is the National Vice Chair of the Australia India Business Council and the Executive Director of the Springfield Land Corporation, where he served as the Chief Executive from 2008 -2012.

Jim recently completed a three-year term as the part-time Executive Director (Business Development) for the Australia India Institute on September 22nd, 2017. Prior to 2008 Jim worked for 30 years across transport, main roads, education, training, employment and primary industries in both the Victorian and Queensland public sector.

Jim is on the Board of Mind Hive, Deputy Chair of the Puuya Foundation (serving the indigenous community of Lockhart River in North Queensland) and is a director of the Qld Mental Health Foundation. Jim is Co-Patron of the Federation of Indian Communities and Chairman, Mahatma Gandhi Memorials Committee (Qld). Jim is the Chair of the Gandhi Salt March Company Ltd which will be delivering its inaugural Festival of Peace celebrating global Mahatma Gandhi in Brisbane on October 28-20, 2017.

Jim was awarded the Centenary Medal and the Order of Australia for services to the public sector and community.

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Pera Wells
Pera Wells was an Australian career diplomat from 1973 - 1998.  She served overseas in Africa, in the Australian mission to the United Nations, New York, in the Commonwealth Secretariat, London and as Deputy High Commissioner in New Delhi, India.
  While in Canberra she served on the staff of the Governor General, Sir Ninian Stephen, for 18 months. She developed a strong interest in working on multilateral issues, and in 2000 joined the World Federation of United Nations Associations in New York, where she was elected to be the Secretary-General from 2006 – 2009.  She is currently the Vice-President of the Australian Council for Human Rights Education, a Fellow of Ormond College, University of Melbourne, on the Committee for Australians for War Powers Reform and a member of the Australian Institute for International Affairs.
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Academic Fellows

Dr Michael Adams

Governance, Human Geography, Conservation

Dr Michael Adams was born in India, the fifth generation of his family born there, and is a human geographer. He has researched shared governance arrangements between government conservation agencies and Indigenous communities in national parks and World Heritage Areas, including direct contributions to policy development. Other research examines Indigenous and local knowledge systems and how these interact with Western knowledge frameworks, as well as the cultural dimensions of hunting, especially around knowledge, respect and sacredness. He has worked with Indigenous and other communities in India, across Australia, in Arctic Scandinavia, Indonesia, and the USA.

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Associate Professor Farrah Ahmed
Public Law, Legal Theory
Associate Professor Farrah Ahmed joined the Melbourne Law School in July 2012. Prior to this, she was a Lecturer in Law at the Queen's College, University of Oxford. Farrah’s research spans public law, legal theory and family law. Her recent work on constitutional statutes, religious freedom, the doctrine of legitimate expectations, the duty to give reasons, social rights adjudication and religious tribunals has been published in the Cambridge Law Journal, the Modern Law Review, the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Public Law, and Child and Family Law Quarterly. She has offered electives on human rights, legal responses to multiculturalism and religion, and legal practice in Asia. Farrah is a founding editor of the Indian Law Review and the Admin Law Blog. She also serves as Associate Director (India) of the Asian Law Centre, Melbourne Law School.
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Professor James Arvanitakis

Education, Citizenship

Professor James Arvanitakis is the Dean of the Graduate Research School at Western Sydney University. He is also a lecturer in Humanities and a member of the University’s Institute for Cultural and Society. James was the founding Head of The Academy at Western Sydney University that received an Australian Financial Review higher education excellence award (2016). James is internationally recognised for his innovative teaching style and was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s University Teacher of the Year Award in 2012 and an Eminent Researcher Award from the Australia India Education Council in 2015. His research areas include citizenship, resilience, piracy and education. James has authored over 100 articles and he is currently co-editing a book that brings together a cross-section of Australian and India educators looking at the future of universities.

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Purushottma Bilimoria

Religion, Philosophy, African American Studies

Purushottama Bilimoria has held positions at Deakin University, University of Melbourne (Australia), Oxford University (All Souls College and Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies), Harvard, and Columbia University, University of California (Berkeley and Santa Barbara), Shimla Institute of Advanced Studies (India), National Institute of Advanced Studies (Bangalore) and Delhi University (India). He is also a transnational visiting scholar with The Institute of International Studies and the South Asia Studies Collective at UC Berkeley.

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Dr Priya Chacko

Politics, International Relations, Foreign Policy

Priya Chacko is a Senior Lecturer in International Politics in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Adelaide and an Academic Fellow of the Australia-India Institute. Her current research projects focus on the intersection of populism, neoliberalism and nationalism in India and the political economy of foreign policy with a focus on India and the Indo-Pacific region. She is President of the South Asian Studies Association of Australia and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Contemporary Politics.

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Dr Mridula Nath Chakraborty


Dr Mridula Nath Chakraborty is the Deputy Director of the Monash Asia Institute. Dr Chakraborty has edited Being Bengali: at home and in the world, an enquiry into the intellectual history of this linguistic group from Bangladesh and India (Routledge 2014). She is the co-editor of Abohelaar Bhangon Naame Booke / Broken by Neglect, a bilingual edition of Nunga poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s poetry from English to Bengali (2014) and A Treasury of Bangla Stories (1997). Most recently, she has convened high-impact projects in literary-cultural diplomacy between Australia and India, such as Australia-India Literatures International Forum (Sydney 2013), the Autumn School in Literary Translation (Kolkata 2013) and Literary Commons: Writing Australia-India in the Asian Century with Indigenous, Dalit and Multilingual Tongues (2014-2016).

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Assa Doron

Anthropology, Development, Environment

Assa Doron is an Associate Professor in anthropology at the College of Asia and the Pacific, the Australian National University. His main areas of interest include, urban anthropology, development studies, the environment, and media and technology. Much of his anthropological fieldwork was carried in Varanasi where he focused on the ritual economy of the river and questions of caste and identity politics in India. The study was published in the book, Life on the Ganga, (Cambridge, 2013). Doron’s collaboration with Robin Jeffrey, led to a book on the mobile phone revolution in India, titled, The Great Indian Phone Book (Harvard UP/C. Hurst, 2013), published in India under the title Cellphone Nation: how the mass mobile changes business, politics and daily life. The book received wide media coverage and favourable reviews in outlets such as, The Economist, Bloomberg, India Today, Times Higher Education, The Wall Street Journal, LA Review of Books, Economic & Political Weekly (EPW), LSE Review of Books, The Australian, and SMH as well as in various academic journals.

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Professor Anthony D'Costa

Politics, Political Economy

Professor Anthony P. D'Costa is the Chair of Contemporary Indian Studies at the University of Melbourne. Prior to joining Melbourne University, Professor D'Costa was Research Director, Asia Research Centre at the Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. Prior to this he was with the University of Washington for 18 years. He has written extensively on the political economy of steel, automobile, and IT industries covering themes of globalisation, development, innovations, and industrial restructuring.

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Professor Sambit Datta

Architecture, Built Environments 

Professor Sambit Datta studied architecture at the School of Architecture, CEPT University. His research is focussed on the computational representation and analysis of building and urban typologies in South and Southeast Asia. His research contributions are in the representation and reconstruction of Indic temple architecture, models of vernacular urbanism and the spatial evolution of street networks. He is Professor of Architecture in the School of Built Environment at Curtin University with a joint appointment in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computing. He is currently an International Visiting Professor at IIT, Kharagpur and Visiting Professor at the Idea Factory, NYUST, Taiwan. He serves as Corresponding Editor (Asia-Pacific) of the Nexus Network Journal on architecture and mathematics and served as secretary of the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, CAADRIA.

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Dr Jane Dyson

Anthropology, Development

Dr Jane Dyson teaches in the School of Geography, University of Melbourne. For fourteen years, she has been conducting ethnographic research in the high Himalayas in India examining gender, work, and social transformation from the perspective of social geography, cultural anthropology and development studies. Jane's research on children’s everyday work is presented in her book, Working Childhoods (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Jane is also committed to engaging with audiences outside of academia, and has produced an award-winning documentary film, Lifelines, and a recent documentary for ABC Radio National examining youth and social change in the Himalayas. Jane received her PhD from the University of Cambridge, before teaching and conducting research at the University of Washington and the University of Oxford.

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Dr Bina Fernandez


Dr Bina Fernandez is a Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She completed her PhD and MPhil degrees at the University of Oxford, and has taught at the University of Leeds, the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, and the Universities of Oxford and Oxford-Brookes in the UK. She is currently working on two research projects: the first focuses on the migration of Ethiopian women as domestic workers to countries in the Middle East. The second project, initiated in 2013, examines rural women's collective livelihoods initiatives in India.

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Dr Devleena Ghosh

Gender, Work

Dr Devleena Ghosh works in the School of Communication, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UTS. She researches and has published widely in environmental and postcolonial studies, specifically on India and Indian Ocean connections. Currently, she is researching coal mining in Chattisgarh, progressive women’s movements in India and Australia and syncretic religious practices in India. She is the author of Colonialism and Modernity (with Paul Gillen, UNSW Press, 2007) and editor of Water, Borders and Sovereignty in Asia and Oceania (with Heather Goodall and Stephanie Donald, Routledge, 2008). She recently became the first Australian scholar to receive the Wang Gungwu award from the Asian Studies Association of Australia for her article 'Burma -Bengal Crossings: Intercolonial Connections in Pre-Independent India’, in Asian Studies Review,vol. 40, no. 2, 2016.

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Dr Ian Hall

International Relations, Indian Foreign Policy

Professor Hall joined Griffith University in January 2015 as a Professor in the School of Government and International Relations. Professor Hall is also a member of the Centre for Governance and Public Policy and the Griffith Asia Institute, and an Academic Fellow of the Australia India Institute at the University of Melbourne. His research and teaching interests include the history of international thought and Indian foreign policy.

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Dr Ramaswami Harindranath

South Asian Politics, Media, Identity

Dr Ramaswami Harindranath is Professor of Media at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. His research interests include South Asian politics and culture; global media cultures; race, media and identity; postcolonial studies; and media and citizenship. His major publications are Audience-Citizens, Perspectives on Global Cultures, The ‘Crash’ Controversy, Studying Digital Media Audiences, Transnational Lives and the Media, and Approaches to Audiences. He is one of the editors of the journal Postcolonial Studies.

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Dr Elizabeth Hill

Gender, Work

Dr Elizabeth Hill’s research focuses on gender, employment and care in both developed and emerging economies. She has published on the informal economy, women’s employment in the Indian economy, women’s unions in India, and work/care regimes in the Asia Pacific, including India. Recent books include Worker Identity, Agency and Economic Development: Womens empowerment in the Indian informal economy, Routledge (2010) and Women, work and Care in the Asia Pacific, Routledge (2017). Her next book, Employment Policy in Emerging Economies: The Indian Case is an edited volume with Amitendu Palit and will be published by Routledge in late 2017. Elizabeth is affiliated with the Delhi School of Economics and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Elizabeth is currently Chair of the Department of Political Economy and Chair of the Indian advisory Group at The University of Sydney.

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Dr Dolly Kikon

Anthropology, Development, Gender

Dr Dolly Kikon teaches Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Melbourne. Her monographs include Life and Dignity: Women’s Testimonies of Sexual Violence in Dimapur (NESRC 2015) and Experiences of Naga Women in Armed Conflict: Narratives from a Militarized Society (WISCOMP 2004). Her articles have appeared in Economic and Political Weekly, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Anthropology News, International Institute for Asian Studies Newsletter (IIAS), and Asian Currents. In addition, her opinion pieces have been carried by Open Democracy, Seminar, The Hindu, Times of India, Morung Express, Nagaland Page, Eastern Mirror, Himal South Asia, Scroll, Kafila, and RAIOT.

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Dr Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

Work, Gender

Dr Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt is a Senior Fellow of the Resource, Environment and Development group at ANU's Crawford School of Public Policy. Kuntala researches precarious livelihoods in environmental resource-dependent communities. Her extensive research on India has made her a global authority on the gendered labour in the mines and quarries. Kuntala’s books include The Coal Nation: Histories, Politics and Ecologies of Coal in India; Dancing with the River: People and Lives on the Chars in South Asia; Gendering the Field: Towards Sustainable Livelihoods for Mining Communities; Women Miners in Developing Countries: Pit Women and Others. Besides these primary areas of research, Kuntala pursues an interest in marginal communities and how rural migrants, moving into cities in South Asia reconnect with their roots.

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Dr Meg Gurry

International Relations, Australian Foreign Policy

Dr Meg Gurry is an academic researcher who is updating and revising her earlier work on the history of Australia-India government and diplomatic relations. She is a former lecturer in Australian foreign policy at La Trobe University where she currently serves as an honorary research associate. Her area of scholarship and academic publications focus on Australia's engagement with Asia since 1945, with particular attention to India, and her research is principally archive-based, working out of the National Australian Archives in Canberra. Dr Gurry has also taught history and politics in a number of humanities subjects at secondary school and university level, and worked in the area of aid and community development. She has a BA and DipEd from Monash University, and a PhD in politics from La Trobe.

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Dr Tanya Jakimow
Dr Tanya Jakimow is a Senior Lecturer of Development Studies at the University of New South Wales. Her current research investigates the ways decentralised governance and in development engender possibilities and foreclosures for self-formation in Dehradun, India and Medan, Indonesia. Tanya’s latest book Decentring Development: Understanding change in agrarian societies examines livelihoods and agrarian change in Telangana, India and Central Lombok, Indonesia.
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Dr Christopher Kremmer

Journalism, Media

Dr Christopher Kremmer is Senior Lecturer in Literary & Narrative Journalism Practice at the University of New South Wales. His literary works and research have explored the borderlands and ethics of reportage, historical fiction, creative nonfiction and narrative journalism. His published monographs include The Carpet Wars: A journey across the Islamic heartlandsBamboo Palace: Discovering the Lost Dynasty of Laos, and Inhaling the Mahatma, a portrait of the history, religion, politics and economic upheaval of contemporary India. He is the former president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Association of South Asia.

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Professor David Lowe

Education, International Relations

Professor David Lowe holds a Chair in Contemporary History at Deakin University. He is a biographer and historian of modern international affairs, especially with reference to Australia's role in the Asia and the Pacific. He is a co-founder of the Australian Policy and History network, elected Board Member of the journal, Australian Historical Studies, and a member of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Editorial Advisory Board, advising the Australian Foreign Minister with respect to the Documents on Australian Foreign Policy Series. He has been Director and a commissioned lecturer for the Master of Strategic Studies offered to senior Australian and international military personnel and public servants at the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies in Canberra. In 2015 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

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Professor Kama Maclean
Kama Maclean is Associate Professor of South Asian and World History at the University of New South Wales, and editor of South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. She is the author of Pilgrimage and Power: the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008) and A Revolutionary History of Interwar India: Violence, Image, Voice and Text (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015). She has just completed a third book, British India, White Australia: Intercoloniality and the Empire, 1901-1947.
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Professor Pushkar Maitra
Development Economics, Econometrics
Pushkar Maitra is Professor of Economics at Monash University. His primary areas of research are Development Economics, Applied Econometrics and Experimental Economics. His current research interests include health, human capital accumulation and vocational education in developing countries, agricultural credit and microfinance, political economy, gender and affirmative action. The majority of his research is based in South Asia. He has published extensively in refereed international journals, including Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Development Economics, European Economic Review, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Applied Econometrics and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.
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Professor Hector Malano

Infrastructure, Water Resources

Professor Hector Malano has conducted research on various aspects of water resources at three scales: (i) On-farm modelling of surface irrigation systems, (ii) Modelling of irrigation distribution networks; and (iii) water allocation between competing uses at the catchment level (iv) Management and modelling of the urban water cycle with special emphasis on complex systems. Hector recently concluded a 3-year term as Vice-President of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage. He has consulted for several international organisations including the World Bank, AusAID and Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

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Professor Duncan McDuie-Ra

Development, Urbanisation

Professor Duncan McDuie-Ra is Professor of Development Studies at UNSW.  His most recent books include Debating Race in Contemporary India and Borderland City in New India: Frontier to gateway. His work has appeared in journals such as South Asia: journal of South Asian studies, Contemporary South Asia, Geoforum, Urban Studies, Energy Policy, Men and Masculinities, and Violence Against Women. He is Associate Editor for the journal South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies (Taylor and Francis), for the book series Asian Borderlands (Amsterdam University Press) and Editor in Chief of the ASAA South Asia monograph series (Routledge). His current projects explore urbanisation and ceasefires in Northeast India and vernacular urbanism in the Himalayas.

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Michael Moignard

Trade, Resources

Michael Moignard spent 35 years as an Australian public servant working in trade and resources policy and trade promotion. Michael spent close to 7 years in India, as Senior Trade Commissioner for South Asia with the Australian High Commission. He also served with the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) in New York, Santiago de Chile, Manila, and Singapore. In September 2014, he became a Director of EastWest Academy Pty Ltd, a small firm involved in assisting Australian business do business in India. Michael is also involved in Ryder Cheshire Australia, and is President of its Victorian chapter Michael joined the Australia India Business Council Victoria Committee in July 2016, and became President of AIBC Victoria in March 2017.

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Professor Michael Peason


Michael Peason is Professor Emeritus at the University of New South Wales, Australia and an internationally renowned scholar who has written pioneering works on India and Indian Ocean world history. Michael has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards including the Watamull Prize for the best book on Indian history published in the USA (1975-76). He was elected a Fellow of the Oriental Society of Australia in 1985, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1990 and a Fellow of the Heras Society (Bombay) in 1992.

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Professor Deo Prasad AO

Built Environment, Renewable Energy

Professor Deo Prasad is a Distinguished Professor in Sustainability of the Built Environment. He has strong research links with Indian researchers and has published in excess of 280 refereed papers including six books in this field. He is currently the CEO of the National Research and Innovation hub for the Built Environment titled CRC for Low Carbon Living. Deo won the 2004 NSW Government’s GreenGlobe Award for ‘showing leadership and commitment to the supply of renewable energy’ and the 2006 Royal Australian Institute of Architect’s National Education Award for contribution to ‘sustainability education, research and design’. Deo is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. In 2014, he was awarded the Order of Australia for his contributions in this field.

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Professor Fazal Rizvi

Education, Globalisation

Fazal Rizvi is a Professor in Education at the University of Melbourne, having joined the University in July 2010 from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, where he directed the Global Studies in Education program. Much of Fazal’s recent research has focused on issues of identity, culture, global mobility of students; and theories of globalization and the internationalization of higher education. His current projects include an examination of the ways in which Indian universities are negotiating pressures of globalization and the knowledge economy, as well as a more theoretical exploration of the cosmopolitan possibilities of education. His recent books include: Youth Moves: Identities and Education in a Global Era (Routledge 2007), (Routledge 1996), Globalization and the Study of Education (Wiley 2009) Globalizing Educational Policy (Routledge 2010).
Fazal is currently on the board of Asia Education Foundation, and was recently elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. At this EMR conference, Fazal will examine issues of fast globalizing youth cultures, and how these have major pedagogic implications for Australian schools.

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Dr Dipa Dakar

Economics, Work

Dr Dipa Sarkar is an applied econometrician whose research focus is in the areas of behavioural and labour economics. She obtained her PhD in Economics from Southern Methodist University in Texas and was awarded the Dean’s Fellowship for Outstanding Doctoral thesis. She is a Senior Lecturer at Queensland University of Technology, and has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the US and Australia. Dipa applies empirical models to enable causal interpretation of program effects using large datasets, with primary focus on education and health outcomes of children and young adults. She has worked with several government departments in Australia to create a large longitudinal database on criminal behaviour and educational outcomes during school years to study the impact of compulsory schooling law on crime. Currently, she is conducting laboratory and field experiments to understand behaviour and decision-making. She has worked on large field surveys in Australia to study the role relative age among peers in classrooms in determining attitudes towards competition and self-confidence. Her recent work in India involves conducting large scale field experiments in northeast India to evaluate the long-term impact of violent conflict during childhood on attitudes and economic preferences in adulthood; and understand implicit preferences for caste-based discrimination. She is a frequent contributor to media and has published commentaries in ABC news, Courier Mail, APN media, among others.

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Professor Tim Scrase

Education, Development, Urbanisation

Tim Scrase (PhD, LaTrobe, 1989) is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT. He was formerly an Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Sociology in the Faculty of Education and Arts at the Australian Catholic University (2010-2017), and for several years prior he was the Director of the ARC Key Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies (CAPSTRANS) at the University of Wollongong. He has been a regular visiting research fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), University of Amsterdam. He has previously been awarded three Australia Research Council (ARC) grants, and is a past President of the South Asian Studies Association of Australia (SAASA). Over a 30 year career he has published widely on development and social change in India in leading academic journals and edited collections, including five books. Based on a recent ARC-funded project, he is currently preparing a manuscript on the urban transformation of Darjeeling.

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Dr Pradeep Taneja

International Relations, Indian Foreign Policy

Dr Pradeep Taneja lectures in Chinese politics, political economy and international relations at the University of Melbourne, where he is also an Associate of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies and a Fellow of the Australia India Institute. Born and raised in India, he has been in Australia since 1985. He was a graduate student at Peking University in the 1980s and has worked in various parts of China for a number of years. His current research interests focus on the rise of China as a regional and global power, Sino-Indian and Sino-Australian relations and the international political implications of China’s energy security policy. He is also working on a project examining the relationship between China’s business elite and the Communist Party of China. Pradeep earned his PhD in Chinese political economy at Griffith University, Brisbane. His books and monographs include China Since 1978 (with Colin Mackerras and Graham Young); Hong Kong and Australia: towards 1997 and beyond; and The European Union and China: Interests and Dilemmas (edited with Georg Wiessala and John Wilson). He has also contributed to the Dictionary of Chinese Politics and the Encyclopedia of Modern China. He is regularly interviewed by Australian and foreign media.

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Dr Ian Woolford


Dr Ian Woolford is lecturer in Hindi at La Trobe University, where he coordinates the Hindi language program, and teaches courses in South Asian culture. He has previously taught at Cornell University, Syracuse University and at The University of Texas at Austin, where he received a PhD in Hindi language and literature. His research involves literature, folklore, and oral tradition of eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. He has lived for several years in India, as well as with overseas Indian populations in Trinidad, Mauritius, and Fiji. He is current writing a book on Hindi Literature and North Indian Oral Tradition.

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