Meet the team

Here at La Trobe University the ‘Graphers’ crew is led by Dr Liz Conor, Chief Investigator and ARC Future Fellow.

The Graphers all have a demonstrated track record of delivery of research and publishing and producing public programs and exhibitions.  They are hard at work collating, analysing and interrogating prints. We’re currently researching exploratory voyages, learning more about master print makers and remarkable encounters with First Nation peoples. We currently have 3,000 images and counting.

Dr Liz Conor

Chief Investigator

Dr Liz Conor is an ARC Future Fellow and Chief Investigator on the Graphic Encounters : Prints of Indigenous Australians project at La Trobe University. She is the author of Skin Deep: Settler Impressions of Aboriginal Women, [UWAP, 2016] and The Spectacular Modern Woman: Feminine Visibility in the 1920s [Indiana University Press, 2004].

Liz is an academic, activist, mother, editor and columnist. She was the 2015 Abbot Placid Spearritt Memorial Fellow at New Norcia. Her PhD was published as The Spectacular Modern Woman: Feminine Visibility in the 1920s, by Indiana University Press in 2004. She has completed an Australian Research Council postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Culture and Communications at the University of Melbourne from which she wrote Skin Deep: Settler Impressions of Aboriginal Women [UWAP 2016]. She is a former editor of the Aboriginal History Journal, a columnist at New Matilda, founder of the Climate Guardians and Co-Founder (with Deborah Hart) of ClimActs. She is former editor of Metro Magazine and Australian Screen Education and edited A Cultural History of Women in the Modern Age and a special issue of Interventions: Journal of Postcolonial Studies on Types and Typologies and she has published articles on colonial and modern visual and print history in the Journal of Australian Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Studies in Australasian Cinema, Feminist Theory and Gender and History. Her freelance essays and editorials have appeared in The Age, The Saturday Paper, Meanjin, The Conversation, The Drum, Crikey.com, and Arena. Her blog has been archived by the National Library of Australia.

Liz is a community campaigner, founding and convening the Coalition Against Sexual Violence Propaganda (1990) on media portrayal of sexual violence, the Stick with Wik (1997) campaign on Native Title, the Mothers of Intervention (2000) campaign on Maternity Leave, and the guerrilla theatre troupe The John Howard Ladies’ Auxiliary Fanclub (with Zelda Da, 1996). She is working a new troupe, The Coalettes, cigarette girls selling unsellable coal.

Collaborators and Advisors

British Museum

The Art Gallery of Ballarat

Mr Roger Butler, Curator of Australian Prints, National Gallery of Australia,

Gregory Lehman, University of Tasmania

Professor Jane Lydon, University of Western Australia

Ms Nikita Vanderbyl

Nikita Vanderbyl is a PhD candidate at La Trobe University. Her research focuses on the transnational/trans-imperial circulation of Aboriginal  visual and material culture during the nineteenth century. Her thesis  takes Wurundjeri artist and leader William Barak (c.1824-1903) as a case study and traces his paintings and drawings in European ethnographic  museums. Nikita's background is in both history and art history and her  interests include material histories and histories of emotion, in  addition to art in all its dimensions. She tweets @nikitavanderbyl.