The Research Team

Rev Edward Griffith - Source: State Library of Queensland, Image number 34459

Our team is dedicated to researching social, economic, political, Indigenous and environmental histories through innovative digital approaches.

Founding Director (2016 - 2018)

Professor Regina Ganter

B Arts (Honours First Class), GCert in Higher Education, PhD Griffith University
Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities
Elected Member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
Professor, School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences

Regina Ganter is a historian specialising in interactions between indigenous, Asian and European peoples in Australia. Having published widely in the field of cross cultural encounters, she is the author of The Pearl Shellers of Torres Strait (1994), Mixed Relations (2006) and The Contest for Aboriginal Souls (2018). Ganter has also produced a web-directory of intercultural encounters between indigenous people and German missionaries in Queensland for the Queensland Sesquicentennial celebrations in 2009 (German Missionaries in Australia).


Professor Mark Finnane

B Arts (Honours First Class), PhD Australian National University
Griffith Criminology Institute

Mark is a Professor of History in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences and a member of the Griffith Criminology Institute.  He is a Fellow of the Academy of Humanities and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. Currently, he directs the Prosecution Project, investigating the history of the criminal trial in Australia. Mark has published widely on the history of policing, crime, the criminal law, punishment and the social history of mental illness.

Deputy Director

Dr Yorick Smaal

B Arts (Honours First Class), MPhil University of Queensland, PhD University of Queensland
Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research

Yorick is a senior lecturer in history in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science and a member of the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research. He is interested in the experiences of ordinary people and the institutions that govern their lives. Yorick is currently completing an ARC-funded DECRA project on ‘Boys, sex and crime’ and publishes on histories of sexuality and gender as well as crime and punishment and war and society.

Research Fellow

Dr Lee Butterworth

B Arts (Honours First Class), PhD Griffith University
School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science

Lee Butterworth is a Research Fellow at the Harry Gentle Resource Centre. She completed her PhD titled ‘What good is a coroner?: The transformation of the Queensland office of coroner 1859 – 1959’ at Griffith University in 2012. Lee has previously worked on the Find & Connect web resource, the Australian Women’s Archive Project and the Prosecution Project. Lee’s research interests focus on child welfare in Australia and Queensland coronial law and history.

Research Fellow

Janis Hanley

B.Com University of Queensland, GCertPolAn and MAMedia (Hons) Griffith University

Ipswich was once the heart of Queensland’s thriving woollen manufacturing industry, from 1875 to 1983. The mills were the largest employers of women in Ipswich. The industry’s demise was a shock to Ipswich and signalled the devastating the loss of industry for this manufacturing city. This project traces the origins of the mills in pre-1860s Ipswich, exploring the threads enabling this industry, and the local pride the mills created. Ipswich Cotton plantations, the American civil war, the coal industry, Cribb & Foote’s and the railway workshops are all enfolded into this story. Janis Hanley, a Griffith PhD candidate, has been awarded a Harry Gentle fellowship to research the stories and visually capture these threads, mapping with their twists and tangles. This project is a follow on from Janis’s doctorial research into Queensland’s woollen heritage.

Visiting Fellow

Jan Richardson

B Arts University of Melbourne, GradDipLocFamAppHist and MPhil University of New England

Jan Richardson, a Visiting Fellow with the HGRC in 2020-2021, will create a database of female convicts and ex-convicts, along with their husbands, partners and children, who were among some of the first settlers to arrive in Queensland after the closure of the Moreton Bay penal settlement in 1839. In addition, she will contribute their family trees, photographs and burial places to create a lasting biographical and photographic memorial attesting to the presence and legacy of ex-convict women and their families during Queensland’s early free settlement era.

Visiting Fellow

Rod Pratt

B Behavioural Science (USQ), Grad Dip Library Science (QUT), M Literary Studies (UQ)

My life-long fascination with Queensland history has led me to author and co-author almost fifty journal articles, books and book chapters, dealing with the roles of the military in Queensland. The topic of these publications range from the British red-coats posted to early Moreton Bay from 1824, the rise of Volunteer Forces in the 1860s, the Colony’s early school cadet movement, through to the service of Queensland Aborigines in the First A.I.F. My current project as Visiting Fellow with the Harry Gentle Resource Centre is, “The British Army at Moreton Bay, 1824 to 1850: a biographical and historical database”.

Visiting Fellow

Michael Farrell

PhD in English Literary Studies, University of Melbourne, M.A. in English Literary Studies, University of Melbourne, Post-graduate Diploma of Creative Writing, University of Melbourne, BA Professional Writing, University of Canberra.

Michael Farrell grew up in Bombala, NSW, and lives in Melbourne. His PhD research, undertaken at the University of Melbourne, was revised and published as Writing Australian Unsettlement: Modes of Poetic Invention 1796-1945 by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015, and shortlisted for the Walter McRae Russell Award, in 2017. His poetry has won awards, including, most significantly, the Queensland Literary Awards Judith Wright Calanthe Prize for I Love Poetry in 2018, and the Peter Porter Poetry Prize in 2012. Michael is currently a Juncture Fellow at Sydney Review of Books.

My project is a creative one that compiles an Index of figures and tropes of Queensland’s weather, as described in private and public documents (letters and journals; newspapers, newsletters, official and religious pamphlets etc., possibly including fictional materials also). Through hard copy and digital research, the Index collects and compiles early descriptions of weather (rain, wind, heat, lightning etc.: but also climate-related events, such as drought and fire) in pre-1850s Queensland, with a focus on the use of figural language: metaphor, metonymy, hyperbole, irony, pathos, personification. The resulting Index (or group of indexes), with a critical introduction, will be published on the Centre website, with links/references to sources/archival locations. The Index provides a resource for the Fellowship lecture, and for any poems responding to the Index. The Index, lecture, and poems, draw out the language textures of the cultural differentiation of commentators.

Visiting Fellow

Timothy Roberts

B Arts and M Arts University of Queensland, B Arts (Honours First Class) University of Sydney

Tim is a specialist in Australian art heritage, decorative arts and material culture to 1945. His project, Picturing the North: Representing Queensland before 1859, is the first major exploration of the art and artists of pre-separation Queensland. This project seeks to create an index of artworks created before 1859 that depict the people, places and events in the geographical region now known as Queensland; uncover biographical details of the artists that created the works; and provide a historical context to frame the art heritage during this formative period of Queensland’s development.On completion, Picturing the North will feature as a project on the Harry Gentle Resource Centre website.

Visiting Fellow

Dr Annemarie McLaren

Annemarie McLaren’s PhD thesis from ANU, titled “Negotiating Entanglement: Reading Aboriginal-Colonial Exchanges in Early New South Wales, 1788–1835”, explored some of the people, networks, rituals, objects and activities through which the cross-cultural world of NSW was experienced and made. A focus on inter-cultural relations and ethnographic detail will also inform her project in the HGRC, “The Nundah Mission Project: Papers Relating to the German station, 1838–1848”. Her first article (awarded the 2017 Hakluyt Society Essay Prize) is forthcoming with Ethnohistory, and from August to January 2018, she will be an Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellow at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge. She is the Review Editor of Aboriginal History.

Visiting Fellow

Margaret Shield

BArts University of Queensland, GDip Ed University of Queensland, MEd. (LOTE) University of New England, EdD University of New England, PhD Griffith University

Dr Margaret Shield, as a Visiting Fellow with the HGRC, is researching the appointment of Crown Land Commissioners and documenting their roles and responsibilities. The project will include biographies of Stephen Simpson, Christopher Rolleston, John Bidwill, Maurice O’Connell and William Wiseman who were among the first Commissioners appointed in the early years of the Moreton Bay Settlement and will draw on archival sources to describe their interactions with both settlers and Indigenous people, the difficulties they encountered in fulfilling their roles and the contribution they made to the settlement of the land. The project will also include maps of Pastoral Districts and the location of early settlements.

Visiting Fellow

Dr Jonathan Richards

B Arts (Hons), PhD Griffith University

Dr Jonathan Richards’ digital mapping project, as a Visiting Fellow in the HGRC in 2017, is based on Pre-Separation records of the Native Police held at the Queensland State Archives. Using historical maps and documents, and GPS software, Dr Richards is able to locate the places identified in these records, and therefore build a picture of Native Police movements and activities in Southeast Queensland.

Visiting Fellow

Dr Ray Kerkhove

Dr Ray Kerkhove‘s project, as a Visiting Fellow in the HGRC in 2017 and 2018, involves mapping the tide of frontier resistance across southern Queensland, pinpointing the details and locations of frontier ‘battles’. Dr Kerkhove merges ethnographic reports on Aboriginal war tactics with firsthand accounts and reminiscences to develop a more accurate image of the southern Queensland frontier and the conflicts that occurred there.

Visiting Fellow

Dr Anastasia Dukova

BArts (Hons) University of Toronto, PhD University of Dublin, Trinity College

Dr Anastasia Dukova’s project, as a Visiting Fellow in the HGRC in 2017, illuminates the key aspects of town life and policing of Brisbane in its transition years, from the arrival of the first immigrant ships at the Moreton Bay settlement in the 1840s, to the establishment of Brisbane as a colonial capital in 1859. Using an array of primary records, Dr Dukova will examine the challenges the nascent colonial town policemen faced.

Research Assistant

Constance Schoelch

Constance Schoelch completed a Bachelor of Arts in English Studies and Sociology at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt in 2017. Taking a gap year, Constance is spending 2018 in Australia during which time she hopes to gain academic work experience at an Australian University. As a Research Assistant she currently administers the HGRC website  and assists in researching and editing content. Constance is eager to increase her knowledge about Australian history and her work with the Centre will help meet that goal.


Emma Post

The Harry Gentle Resource Centre hosted Emma Post, a Griffith University Community Internship student, one day a week for 3 months in 2017. Emma, working under the supervision of Dr Ray Kerkhove, identified the 20 ‘most significant’ and most view-worthy sites of confrontation, injustice or conflict in the history of the Greater Brisbane area. The focus of the study was multicultural and multi-faith. Emma researched places and episodes that involved “outsider” groups – migrant communities, persons of non-Christian faiths, or Aboriginal groups that experienced injustices in integrating within the community.


Deklan Kelly

During Trimester 3 2017, Deklan Kelly, a Griffith University Community Internship student, undertook research for the Harry Gentle Resource Centre, under the supervision of Dr Margaret Shield. Deklan spent one day a week for 12 weeks transcribing and analysing archival documents from the NSW State Archives and Records related to the operation of the Border Police in pre-separation Queensland. He also conducted research at the Queensland State Archives on the impact of settlement on the Aboriginal inhabitants during the 1840s and 1850s. Deklan is a second year Bachelor of Arts student who is majoring in Literature Studies and History. He enjoyed his placement with the Harry Gentle Resource Centre and has volunteered to continue transcribing archival documents.


Amanda Spinks

Bachelor of Arts

Amanda graduated from Griffith University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History. Her work for the Harry Gentle Resource Centre as a Research Assistant (HGRC) under the Griffith University Humanities Undergraduate Research Intern Program made a valuable contribution to the Centre’s digital archive. During her time at the Centre, under the supervision of Dr Lee Butterworth, Amanda researched the lives of two prominent Aboriginal warriors, Multuggerah and Old Moppy. Their biographies, which she co-wrote with Dr Ray Kerkhove, are published on the HGRC website. Amanda’s time spent working at the HGRC helped to improve and refine her existing research skills and techniques in preparation for her future study.


Indyana Horobin

Bachelor of Arts (Honours 1st class)

Indyana graduated from Griffith University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts with first class Honours. He was awarded a research internship as part of the 2019-2020 Humanities Undergraduate Research Intern Program (HURIP), and completed a short-term internship with the Harry Gentle Resource Centre. Under the supervision of Dr Lee Butterworth, Indyana created 60 biographies for the female convicts sent to Moreton Bay Penal Colony between 1826-1839, from a list of 144 women listed in Jennifer Harrison’s publication Shackled: Female Convicts at Moreton Bay 1826-1839 (2017). This resource provided a sound foundation for Indyana’s further research. Indyana has made a valuable contribution to the HGRC project and we are confident he will be successful in his future endeavours.