PROF Kate Darian-Smith

PROF Kate Darian-Smith


  • 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. She is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA). 

    Kate has held senior leadership positions within the Faculty of Arts, including Deputy Dean and Associate Dean (International and Graduate Studies), Head of School, and for many years was Director of The Australian Centre. She is Co-Director of the Australian Collaboratory for Architectural History, Urban and Cultural Heritage (ACAHUCH) in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, and convener of the Memory and History Research Hub, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies. She is co-editor of the top-tier journal, Australian Historical Studies; a co-editor of History Compass; and sits on numerous editorial boards. She has been a recipient of the University of Melbourne’s annual Award for Excellence in Research Higher Degree Supervision, and received a national teaching award from the Australian Teaching and Learning Council for outstanding interdisciplinary RHD supervision and mentoring in the humanities.  

    In 2010, Kate served for the Humanities and Creative Arts Research Evaluation Committee of the ARC Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) Initiative, and in 2015 was appointed to the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts. Kate is current Vice-President and former President (2002-7) of the International Australian Studies Association (InASA); and on the Executive of the Australasian Consortia of Humanities Research Centres (ACHRC), convening its sub-committee on Collaborating with Cultural Collections. Kate has served two terms on the Council of the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House; is the Chair of the Art and Heritage Collections Ad   


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 Project, Australian Academy of the Hum   


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