The Incredible Journey: Building capability to increase uptake of digital research infrastructure in Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Indigenous research practice.

Dr. Kylie Brass8, Professor Hugh Craig6, Professor Rachel Fensham5, Ms Jennifer Fewster1, Professor Michael Haugh3, Professor Emerita Julie Holledge7, Dr. Steven McEachern2, Dr. Vanessa Russ5, Ms. Alexis Tindall4, Prof. Joanne Tompkins

1ARDC, Adelaide, Australia
2Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
3University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
4University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
5University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
6University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia
7Flinders University, Bedford Park, Adelaide, Australia
8Australian Academy of the Humanities, Canberra, Australia

This BoF seeks to identify the different approaches that existing funded HASS + I research infrastructure projects have taken to building skills, capability and uptake amongst their research communities. The BoF will consist of a number of lightning talks from key players in the HASS research infrastructure landscape in Australia, highlighting their own community development and capability building activities.

Discussion after the lightning talks will focus on challenges and opportunities in the area of community capability building for e-research in HASS + I.

Questions for discussion include:

Where have we had successes? Can we identify what activities led to these successes? Are some disciplines better equipped than others? Can these be replicated easily for other disciplines/infrastructure programs?

Where have we had failures? What can we learn from those failures? Are we at risk of making these mistakes again?

What is the balance between underwhelming users with technology vs overwhelming them?  How can we align the known interests and ambitions of the research community with the planning of research infrastructure, tools and services?

How do we ensure that researchers have equitable access to the skills required to fully leverage the research infrastructure available to them?

How can we ensure researchers in the HASS + I sector are engaged with existing or new capability building initiatives? Can we ensure existing models adapt alongside emerging HASS + I research infrastructure(s)?

What can the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Research Data Commons and Indigenous Research Capability Program learn from the current state of play?


Dr. Kylie Brass, Director Policy and Research, Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Dr Kylie Brass is the Director Policy and Research at the Australian Academy of the Humanities, where she leads a research and policy agenda focused on the future humanities workforce and national research infrastructure. She is co-author (with Professor Graeme Turner FAHA) of Mapping the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences in Australia.

Professor Emeritus Hugh Craig, University of Newcastle

Hugh Craig works in stylometry, applying statistics to literary style, especially in Shakespearean drama. He is the academic lead for the downloadable Intelligent Archive stylometry platform and for the online Time Layered Cultural Map of Australia. He has served at various times as Deputy Head of Faculty and Director of the Centre for 21st Century Humanities at Newcastle, and elsewhere as President of the Australasian Association for Digital Humanities and Secretary of the Federation of Stylometry Labs. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a member of the ARC College of Experts.

Professor Rachel Fensham, Theatre Studies, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne

Rachel Fensham is lead CI for the Australian Cultural Data Engine delivering policy, sectoral and international outcomes for humanities research, industry and government (ARC LIEF 2021-2023) and a Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Melbourne. She was Inaugural Director of the Digital Studio (UoM), chair of the Sociocultural Informatics Platform (SCIP, UoM), and co-lead CI (with QCIF) for the HASS-DEVL national infrastructure research project (2018-9). With international research on digital archives and experience in the design and construction of interactive user tools, she has led multiple cross-institutional and interdisciplinary research projects, most recently, developing CIRCUIT a mapping interface for theatre companies and state agency, Creative Victoria, and the award-winning digital story-telling project, The Biggest Little Theatre in Australia

Ms. Jenny Fewster, Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Research Data Commons Program Manager, Australian Research Data Commons

Jenny is the Program Manager of the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Research Data Commons at the ARDC. She has a wealth of experience in the collection, management and dissemination of research and cultural heritage data and resources through digital humanities platforms, most recently as Executive Officer of AusStage. Under her stewardship since 2003, AusStage has become the most extensive national cultural dataset on live performance. Jenny is acutely aware of the diverse infrastructure needs of the digital humanities, with expertise in database design, metadata schemas, interoperability factors, resource discovery protocols, content management systems, data visualisation techniques and digital literacy.

Professor Michael Haugh, School of Languages and Cultures, University of Queensland

Michael Haugh is Professor of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Queensland, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. His research interests lie primarily in the field of pragmatics, the study of language-in-use, with a particular focus on the role of language in social interaction. He has co-led the establishment of the Language Technology and Data Analytics Lab (LADAL) with Dr Martin Schweinberger, and is currently leading the establishment of the Language Data Commons of Australia (LDaCA) as well as the Australian Text Analytics Platform (ATAP).

Professor Emeritus Julie Holledge, Flinders University

Julie Holledge has published extensively in the field of women’s performance and is author of Innocent Flowers: Women in Edwardian Theatre (Virago 1981); and co-author of Women’s Intercultural Performance (Routledge 2000).  As Professor 2 at the University of Oslo (2011-2020), she published three books on Ibsen: A Global Doll’s House: Ibsen and Distant Visions (Palgrave 2016); Ibsen Between Cultures (Novus forlag 2016) and Ibsen on Theatre (Nick Hern 2018).  In her role as a founder of AusStage, she has pioneered e-research methodologies in the field of theatre studies and is currently working on reconstructing lost theatres using VR technology.

Dr. Steven McEachern, Director, Australian Data Archive, Australian National University

Steve is Director of the Australian Data Archive at the Australian National University, where he is responsible for the operations and strategy of the archive. He has been actively involved in development and application of data archiving and survey research methodology and technologies over 15 years in the Australian university sector. Steve has been involved in various professional associations in survey research and data archiving over the last 10 years, including Chair of the Executive Committee of the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI –, teaching with the Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Inc. (ACSPRI –, and the International Federation of Data Organisations (IFDO –

Dr. Vanessa Russ, Research Fellow, Indigenous Studies Unit, Centre for Health Equity,Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

Dr Vanessa Russ is a Research Fellow in the Indigenous Studies Unit, Centre for Health Equity in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at The University of Melbourne. Russ is a Ngarinyin-Gija women from the Kimberley Region, Western Australia. She is the Former Associate Director of the Berndt Museum of Anthropology – UWA and a background in visual arts and Aboriginal art history. Russ has also built a significant understanding of social anthropology. Recent experience at the University of Melbourne, with Professor Marcia Langton includes project management of an NHRMC and NIAA projects including multiple sites. 

Alexis Tindall, Manager, Digital Innovation, University of Adelaide Library

In her role at the University of Adelaide Alexis Tindall is improving University Library support for researchers interested in conducting data-enabled humanities and related research, through a mix of programming, direct support, strategic communication and improved processes. She also collaborates across teams on the library’s provision, publication and preservation of a range of digital resources. 

Alexis has supported data-enabled humanities and arts research in project management and training roles for several years. She previously worked in museums, and is passionate about digitisation, open scholarship and digital access to GLAM collections and research data.


Oct 11 2021


12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Oct 10 2021
  • Time: 9:00 pm - 10:30 pm