Department of Languages and Cultures Leadership

The Department of Languages and Cultures is led by a team who understand the importance of an outstanding student experience and transformative research outcomes.

Professor Tonya Stebbins

Professor Tonya Stebbins is Head of the Department of Languages and Cultures. She has taught Linguistics for many years and is a co-author of the popular textbook For the Love of Language. Professor Stebbins’ research focuses on knowledge translation that empowers individuals and communities through access to the methods and analytical tools of linguistics. Her approach to research and teaching was strengthened by industry experience she gained when she worked outside of academia between 2012-2015. This period as an independent consultant in education, health and human services provided Professor Stebbins with insights into connections between the discipline and the needs of industry.

Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans

Associate Professor Rhiannon Evans is Discipline Convenor of Classics in the Department of Languages and Cultures. She specialises in works on ancient Roman literature and focuses on Roman representations of ethnic and cultural identity, particularly those of northern European ‘barbarians’. She has published a book on Roman utopias and dystopias. Associate Professor Evans has a strong interest in pedagogy and has received both institutional and national teaching awards, as well as publishing on the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching. She is passionate about communicating the ancient past to a wider audience, frequently appears on ABC radio, and is the co-host of the popular podcast 'Emperors of Rome'.

Dr Noel Maloney

Dr Noel Maloney is a Senior Lecturer and Discipline Convenor of English and Creative Writing in the Department of Languages and Cultures. He researches contemporary scriptwriting in Australia, and focuses on the tensions between writing, script development processes and production cultures, with a particular interest in practices that challenge traditional narrative and production hierarchies. Dr Maloney is currently researching theatrical adaptations of screenplays and screenwriting in low budget, independent Australian cinema. He has written for radio and television drama, and theatre. His play, P.O.V. Dave, was produced at La Mama Courthouse theatre in 2016 and his most recent work, Spiky Thing, received a workshopped reading at the Seymour Centre in 2019.

Dr Brigid Maher

Dr Brigid Maher is a Senior Lecturer in Italian Studies and Discipline Convenor of Languages in the Department of Languages and Cultures. She specialises in Italian contemporary literature, transnational literature, the circulation and translation of crime fiction, and the role of translation in language teaching. Dr Maher is Associate Editor of the Routledge journal, Translation Studies, for which she was previously Book Reviews Editor. She is also a literary translator. Her translations into English of novels by Milena Agus and Nicola Lagioia have been published in Australia, the United Kingdom and Italy. Dr Maher’s translation of Salvatore Striano's prison memoir La tempesta di Sasa (Set Me Free) was published by Text. Through her translation work and her research, Dr Maher seeks to bridge the gap between theory and practice in the field of translation studies.

Dr Lauren Gawne

Dr Lauren Gawne is a Senior Lecturer and Discipline Convenor of Linguistics in the Department of Languages and Cultures. Her research focuses on how people use gesture with speech and cross-cultural variation in gestures. Dr Gawne also works across several topics in linguistics, including the use of emoji on social media, the use of constructed languages in fiction, and the documentation and description of grammar of Tibeto-Burman languages, with a focus on Nepal. Dr Gawne is also a passionate advocate for communicating linguistics to a range of audiences. She co-hosts the podcast, Lingthusiasm, with Gretchen McCulloch and runs the generalist linguistics website Superlinguo. Dr Gawne was also a founding organiser of the International Conference for Communicating Linguistics.

Dr Kylie Banyard

Dr Kylie Banyard is a Senior Lecturer and Discipline Convenor of Visual Arts in the Department of Languages and Cultures. Her practice-led research engages with painting, photography, textiles and sculpture. It also intersects with fields such as architecture and education to explore artist's capacities to rekindle our relationships with the utopian imagination. Recent projects include a major body of work for The National 2019: New Australian Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, and a 2020 Virtual Reality Studio with Tactical Spacelab. In 2023, she will stage a solo exhibition at Verge Gallery at the University of Sydney. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections. Dr Banyard is represented by Nicholas Thompson Gallery, Melbourne.