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Professor Catharine Coleborne

Catharine Coleborne is a Professor of History and Head of the School of Humanities and Social Science/Dean of Arts at the University of Newcastle. Her research into the histories of medicine and mental health, the regulation of human mobility, and colonial societies and cultures is internationally recognised. Her books include ‘Madness’ in the family: Insanity and institutions in the Australasian colonial world 1860s-1914 (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and Insanity, Identity and Empire: Colonial institutional confinement in Australia and New Zealand, 1870-1910 (Manchester UK: Manchester University Press, 2015). Her most recent book is Why Talk about Madness? Bringing History into the Conversation (2020, Palgrave Pivot).


Dr Robyn Dunlop

Robyn's research focuses on the history of community psychiatry, with a special interest in mental health services in Newcastle (1960s-1980s) and their impacts. Her research draws upon archival sources and oral histories.

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Dr Ann Hardy

Dr Ann Hardy is Co-ordinator at the University of Newcastle Library’s GLAMˣ Lab (Special Collections). She is a former social worker and has worked in mental health and has a PhD (History) and Grad. Dip. Heritage Studies. Her thesis looked at the history of regional institutional care using case study of the Newcastle Asylum (Australia). She been associated with Hunter Living Histories since 2006 and collaborated with various communities to  share the region’s diverse collections, archives and stories. Her key areas of interest are researching health/welfare and social histories, regional cultural heritage, and oral history programs.

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Dr Effie Karageorgos (she/her)

Effie Karageorgos is a historian at the University of Newcastle and Deputy Convenor of the University's Future of Madness Network. Her research is in the social history of war and gender-based violence, focussing particularly on masculinity and trauma. Her monograph Australian Soldiers in South Africa and Vietnam: Words from the Battlefield, was published in March 2016. She is an editor of the ANZSHM journal Health and History.

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Dr Alexandra Lewis

Dr Alexandra Lewis is Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Newcastle. She has taught, supervised, and held research fellowships at the University of Cambridge; Goldsmiths College London; School of Advanced Study London; University of Warwick; and University of Aberdeen, where she was Senior Lecturer and Director of the Centre for the Novel. Alexandra has published widely on literature and psychology/medicine. Recent publications include Wuthering Heights: Norton Critical Edition and an edited collection for Cambridge University Press, The Brontës and the Idea of the Human: Science, Ethics, and the Victorian Imagination. Current projects include a monograph on trauma and memory; work on creative aging; and a short story collection and novel.

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Heather Lyle (she/her)

After a rewarding career as a Registered Nurse Heather sought out a career change.  She is now a History PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle and her thesis explores the experience of malaria in Australia prior to World War 2.  Heather is particularly interested in the community perceptions of the disease before the major breakthroughs in malaria research in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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Dr Jan McLeod

Dr Jan McLeod is a historian who worked in academic and professional roles across various faculties at the University of Newcastle. Dr McLeod’s first book, Shadows on the Track: Australia’s Medical War in Papua 1942-1943, was published in 2019.  In 2020, she was awarded an Australian Army History Research Grant to assist with the writing of Mopping up the casualties: Caring for Australian soldiers in the South-West Pacific Area 1943-1945.  This forthcoming companion piece to Shadows on the Track will be published through the Australian Army History Unit.  She is currently researching and writing All the Broken Soldiers: Private Kennedy’s War, which will be published by Big Sky Publishing in 2022.

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Dr Georgia McWhinney

Dr Georgia McWhinney is an Honorary Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of History and Archaeology at Macquarie University, and social media coordinator and NSW Branch Vice President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine. Her work examines the intersections between medicine, the vernacular, and the British imperial world.


Dr Elizabeth Roberts-Pedersen

Elizabeth’s research focuses on the cultural and social histories of warfare in the modern world and, increasingly, the broader history of psychiatry, psychiatric patients and treatment regimes. Her ARC DECRA project ‘Unquiet Minds: Psychiatry in World War Two and its aftermaths’ provided the first comprehensive account of the consequences of that conflict for psychiatric theory and practice by focusing on the ways in which the stringencies of total war forged new patient cohorts on the battlefield and the home front and thus implicated psychiatry in the social and economic projects of the post-war world.


Dr Meredith Tavener

Dr Meredith Tavener is a qualitative researcher and educator who aims to put people at the centre of research. She has 20 years+ experience as a qualitative health researcher, conducting and advocating for, authentic qualitative research as an integral part of implementation science. Dr Tavener’s work builds on the importance of data and numbers to give context to the people that healthcare professionals are trying to help. She’s helping people give a voice to research.

Conference Organising Committee: Speakers
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