• Australian Studies and Australian History
  • Australian cultural and social history
  • Cultural heritage studies
  • Memory, history and commemoration
  • Museum studies and forms of exhibiting histories and cultures



  • Professor Kate Darian-Smith holds joint appointments as Professor of Australian Studies and History and Chair of the History Program in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, and Professor of Cultural Heritage in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning.

    Kate has held senior administrative positions within the Faculty of Arts, including Deputy Dean and Associate Dean (International and Graduate Studies). In 2008 she was elected as Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA). In 2010 she was appointed to the Humanities and Creative Arts Research Evaluation Committee of the ARC Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) Initiative. Kate is a member of the Executive of the International Australian Studies Association (InASA), former President (2002-7) and current Vice-President. She has been involved in Australian Studies activities in Europe, North America and Asia for over two decades. Among her government appointments, Kate is a member of the Board of the Australia-Japan Foundation (DFAT), and serves on the Council of the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. She is a Research Fellow at Museum Victoria. Kate has held several funded visiting fellowships, most recently as Visiting Professor, Australian Studies Center, Tsinghua University (2011) and a Visiting Fellowship, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University (2013).   


Member of

  • Journal of Grainger Studies (Editorial Board). Editorial Board 2012 -
  • Australian Children's Folklore Collection, Museum Victoria (Advisory Committee). Advisory Committee 2011 -
  • Meanjin (Editorial Advisory Board). Editorial Advisory Board 2011 -
  • Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House (Advisory Council). Advisory Council 2011 -
  • Museum Victoria (History and Technology and Indigenous Studies programs, Research Associate). Research Associate 2009 -
  • History Compass (Section Editor). Section Editor, Australia and the Pacific 2008 -
  • Australian Historical Studies (Editorial Board). Editorial Board 2007 -
  • Public History Review. Editorial Advisory Committee 2002 -
  • Australian Historical Association. Member 2000 -
  • International Australian Studies Association (InASA). President (2002-2007), Vice-President (2008 - present) 1996 -
  • Journal of Australian Studies (Editorial Advisory Board). Editorial Advisory Board 1995 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • Current ARC-funded research projects include:
    1. LP120200458: Prof K Darian-Smith, Mr M Gawenda, A/Prof S Young, Dr F Anderson
    Title: A History of Press Photography in Australia
    Partner Organisations: National Library of Australia, Walkley Foundation
    2. LP0776803: Prof K Darian-Smith; Dr P Edmonds; Dr J Evans; A Smith
    Title: Conciliation Narratives and the Historical Imagination in British Pacific Rim Settler Societies.
    Partner Organisations: National Museum of Australia, Museum Victoria, Tasmanian Arts Gallery and Museum.
    3. DP0984223: Dr CA Driscoll; Dr K Bowles; Prof K Darian-Smith; A/Prof CR Gibson; Dr D Nichols; A/Prof G Waitt
    Title: Cultural sustainability in Australian country towns: amenity, mobility, and everyday life
    4. DP110100505: A/Prof H Lewi, Prof K Darian-Smith, Prof P Goad, Dr D Nichols, Prof Julie McLeod and Prof J Willis.
    Title: Designing Australian schools: a spatial history of innovation, pedagogy and social change

    Previous grants include:
    2006-2010: LP0669282: ‘Childhood, Tradition and Change: a National Study of the Historical and Contemporary Significance and Practices of Australian Children’s Playlore’, Leading Chief Investigator, with Prof W Logan (Deakin), Prof G Seal (Curtin) and partner organizations: National Library of Australia, Museum Victoria
    2006-2008: DP0663788: ‘Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds: Designing Everyday Modernism for Australian Communities 1920-1970’, Chief Investigator with Prof P Goad, Dr H Lewi, A/Prof J Willis, Dr D Nichols
    2005-2010: RN04574589: Cultural Research Network, ARC Networks, (Convenor/Lead CI: G Turner, University of Queensland); awarded $1,750,000 over 5 years: Chief Investigator and C0-Convenor Cultural Histories and Geographies Node
    2005: LA0503: ‘Promoting Scholarly Writing in the Public Sphere’, ARC Linked Academies Special


Education and training

  • DipEd, University of Melbourne 1990
  • PhD, University of Melbourne 1988
  • BA (hons), University of Melbourne 1983

Awards and honors

  • Citation for Teaching Excellence (RHD Supervision) - National, Australian Learning and Teaching Award, 2010
  • University Teaching Award for Excellence in Research Higher Degree Supervision, University of Melbourne, 2010
  • 2008 Mander Jones Award for 'Seize the day: Exhibitions, Australia and the World', Australian Society of Archivists, 2009
  • Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, 2008
  • Neil Currie Publishing Award (with Yasue Arimitsu, Doshisha University), Australia-Japan Foundation, 2007
  • Faculty of Arts Excellence in Supervision, University of Melbourne, 2006



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Australian cultural history
    Memory studies
    Material culture and heritage
    Childhood heritage
    Urban and community histories
    Children's play and folklore
    War and society
    Rural studies