In her own words:
Little did I know when I enrolled in a 3-year bachelor’s degree in 1994 at the age of 18, that I would still be at La Trobe 27 years later!
I originally started a Bachelor of Biology degree before ‘accidentally’ discovering archaeology a couple of years later. I then decided to combine my interests in zoology and archaeology and transferred across into La Trobe’s new Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science double degree becoming, as I understand, the first LTU student to graduate with a BA/BSc Hons in 1999. I then completed a PhD in Zoology before returning to archaeology as a postdoc in 2005 where I have been ever since.
With the support of La Trobe Archaeology I have established a successful career in zooarchaeology, researching the role that animals have played in the lives of Australia’s First Nation people from deep time to the present.
During my career I have been privileged to have worked in collaboration with several Aboriginal communities to help tell the story of how their old people lived on Country for millennia before invasion. This experience has been very rewarding and has had an enormous impact on me both professionally and personally.
At present am part of active Australian Research Council funded projects working with First Nation communities on Ngintait and First People of the Millewa-Mallee Country in northwest Victoria, Dja Dja Wurrung and Yung Balug Country in central Victoria, and with palawa communities in lutruwita (Tasmania). I have also worked on a range of faunal assemblages from across Australia including from Lake Mungo and Cuddie Springs in NSW.
Currently I am a La Trobe University Tracey Banivanua Mar Senior Research Fellow and have previously been the recipient of a La Trobe Postdoctoral Fellowship (2006-2008) and an ARC DECRA (2013-2015). I am also a mum to two primary-school aged children and live with my family on Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Country along the Birrarung (Yarra).
La Trobe Archaeology has long had a reputation of being one of Australia’s leading Departments, with a strong international standing. It has gone from strength to strength, from its humble beginnings as a part of the Division of Prehistory in 1977 till now. I am proud to have played a very small part in that history, and I look forward to seeing how our department grows into the future.