Former research students who have worked under Professor May’s supervision.


Robyn Ballinger, PhD (2009), Created in our image: Victorian northern plains 1860-2003. Published as An Inch of Rain: A Water History of Northern Victoria (Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2010).

Tony Birch, PhD (2002), Framing Fitzroy: contesting and (De)constructing place and identity in a Melbourne suburb. Dennis-Wettenhall Prize Winner.

Joanna Clyne, PhD (2015), Lost property: the marginalization of the artifact in contemporary museum theatre.

Penny Edmonds, PhD (2005), Urban frontiers: the racialisation of colonial urban space in Melbourne, Victoria and Victoria, British Columbia, 1835 to 1871. Published as Urbanizing Frontiers: Indigenous Peoples and Settlers in 19th-Century Pacific Rim Cities (Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 2010). Dennis-Wettenhall Prize Winner.

Grace Gassin: ‘”I was a good-time Charlie”: social dance and community life in Sydney and Melbourne’s Chinese communities, 1850s-1970s’.



Leanne Howard: ‘Community involvement in cultural landscape management: reality or rhetoric?’ Website

Ai Kobayashi, PhD (2009), William Macmahon Ball and his place in 20th century Australian intellectual life. Published as W. Macmahon Ball: Politics for the People (Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2013).

Leo Martin, PhD (2011), Change and exchange: the Castlemaine Market Square, 1852-2002.

Cherie McKeich, PhD (2015), T.N. Mukharji and the exhibition of India, 1870-1900. Cherie is currently employed as a curatorial assistant at the State Library of Victoria.



Peter Minard, PhD (2015), A history of zoological acclimatisation in Victoria, 1858-1900.

Barbara Minchinton, PhD (2011), ‘That place’: nineteenth century land selection in the Otways, Victoria, Australia. Dennis-Wettenhall Prize Winner.

NicholBarbara Nichol, PhD (2012), The breath of the wok: Melbourne’s early Chinese restaurants. Community, culture & entrepreneurialism in the city, late 19th C to 1950s. In her thesis Barbara argued that the relationship between the early Chinese restaurant sector and the city’s socio-cultural, economic and political landscape was more complex than has generally been acknowledged. She has presented her research at a number of events, the most recent being a joint presentation with Sydney archivist, Julie Stacker, on Chinese restaurants and food culture and their role in the history of Chinese migration to Melbourne and Sydney, held in conjunction with the National Library of Australia’s exhibition, ‘Celestial Empire; life in China, 1644-1911’. She is currently revising her thesis for publication.

Thomas Rogers, PhD (2014), The civilisation of Port Phillip. Dennis-Wettenhall Prize Winner.

Rebecca Sanders, PhD (2016), A History of Churchill Island: Settlement, Land Use and the Making of a Heritage Site.

Sue Silberberg, PhD (2016), A networked community: Jewish immigration, colonial networks and the shaping of Melbourne 1835-1895.

WheelerJill Wheeler, PhD (2009), Who owns Linton’s past? Multiple histories in a goldfields town. Dennis-Wettenhall Prize Winner. Published as Linton makes history: An Australian goldfields town and its past (MUP 2015), which received a Commendation in the History Publication Award category at the Victorian Community History Awards in 2015. Jill has been the President of the Linton and District Historical Society since 2010. In the Golden Plains Shire Australia Day awards for 2016 Jill received a Citizen of the Year award for her services to local history preservation and promotion. She is currently working on a photographic history of Linton.


Liz Downes, MA (2010), Barrels on a beach: power, authority and the crew of the Trinity at Heard Island, 1880-1882.

Esther McGill, MA (2013), From idol to artform: missionaries and material culture in the Pacific.

Susan Reidy, MA (2010), A cultural history of Fairy Hills.

Michael Taffe, MA (2011), To grow a Garden City: The Ballarat Horticultural Society: A study in the formation of a civic image.

George Vanags, MA (2011), ‘Suburbs Unlimited’: the impact of progress associations as pressure groups on the development of Melbourne’s suburbs in the 1920s.

Damien Veltri, MA (2002), The Evolution of an outer suburb: a study of the Shire of Braybrook, 1888-1951.

MA (Public History)

Snjezana Cosic, MA (Public History, 2006), ‘Before You Head for That Friendly World’: Representations of Australia in Immigration Publicity, 1945-1960.

Laura Donati, MA (Public History, 2005), Almost pretty: a history of Sydney Road. Published as Almost pretty: a history of Sydney Road  (Publishing Solutions, 2005).

Peg Fraser, MA (Public History, 2008), Australian needlework samplers.

Claire Higgins, MA (Public History, 2007), Female migrant textile workers in Melbourne.

Kit Pollard (Luciano), MA (Public History, 2006), The role of single-focus museums.

Ember Parkin, MA (Public History, 2010), The effectiveness of projected sound as a tool for the display of history (and memory) in Australian museums.

Jane Rhodes, MA (Public History, 2008), Coles Book Arcade.

Caitlin Stone, MA (Public History, 2007), The dirtiest town in the world: domestic rubbish and its disposal in 19th and early 20th century Melbourne.

Honours and Postgraduate Diploma

Lars Alvik, Postgraduate Diploma (2012), The Integration of Scandinavian-Australians before and during World War I.

Ken Barelli, Honours (2014), The Vermont Elderly People’s Homes: a community response.

Joel Barnes, Honours (2011), A History of the Book Censorship Abolition League, 1934–37.

braceyLucy Bracey, Honours (2008), ‘Dangerous Streets and Dangerous Spaces’: Women, Morality and Melbourne 1870-1918. Lucy has been working as a professional historian since graduating with honours in 2008. Her previous roles include Assistant Curator at the City Museum and at the State Library of Victoria. Currently she is an Associate Historian with Way Back When: Consulting Historians where her main passion is digital story telling. She has produced several audio documentaries include two for Radio National’s Hindsight program. Lucy is actively engaged in Melbourne’s history scene as a member of Oral History Victoria, Professional Historians Association (Victoria), and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria. She has served as a committee member and President of PHA (Vic), a Councillor for RHSV and a judge for the National History Challenge. 

Madeleine Brennan, Honours (2007), The role of the Australian pioneer in the making of local and national history.

Andre Brett, Honours (2009), Scars in the country: infrastructure and the centralisation of New Zealand statehood.

Rebecca Carland, Honours (2006), ‘Illustrating absence. Arthur Bartholomew 1834-1909’.

Rafiq Copeland, Postgraduate Diploma (2007), Guided tour: History and the historical tourism industry’.

Nicholas Coyne, Honours (2015), The Performance of War: The City of Melbourne during The First World War.

Veryan Croggon, Honours (2008), A history of the Melbourne Chorale.

Sam Darling, Honours (2005), Command Relationships on the Kokoda Track: The Impact of Personality and Politics on the Australian Armed Forces in 1942.

Kate Davison, Honours (2005), Homosexuality, communism, and the Australian nation-state during the Cold War.

Patrick Dollard, Honours (2015), ‘Suburban War: The Carlton Association and their campaign against slum reclamation and urban renewal, 1969-1975’.

Grace Edwards, Honours (2010), ‘Classical enough in all conscience’: The New Zealand reception of the Russian Ballet tours to New Zealand of 1937 and 1939.

Kate Fielding, Honours (2003), Their hooks find hold deep in our flesh: nineteenth-century foundation narratives of south-west Victoria.

Tanja Golding, Honours (2009), ‘Tea tales: A history of the cultural and social significance of tea and tearooms in Melbourne and Australia’. Brian Fitzpatrick Prize for Best Honours Thesis in Australian History. Winner, Brian Fitzpatrick Prize for Best Honours Thesis in Australian History.

Maja Graham, Honours (2005), The right to protest in Australia.

Scott Hetherington, Honours (2010), The Geological Survey of Victoria 1852-1869.

Laura James, Honours (2010), A little piece of Australian in France: Memory, loyalty and nationalism in historicising the relationship between Victoria and Villers-Bretonneux.

Rachel Juhasz, Honours (2001), Australian Beatlemania: 1964.

James Lesh, Honours (2012), Scattering Urban Modernity: Early Colonial Melbourne and its Cremorne Pleasure Gardens.

David Llewellyn, Honours (2003), ‘The Batman treaty and Ripon rules’.

Vinka Low, Honours (2000), ‘Common ground: Transformations of public and private rights in the tenure of open land in nineteenth century Victoria’.

Elspeth Martini, Honours (2004), The Flagstaff Gardens Pioneer Memorial: memorialising the frontier.

Miriam McGarry, Honours (2010), ‘Participation, authority and digital technology in the contemporary museum: The case of the Immigration Museum, Melbourne’.

Kate McGrath, Honours (2014), ‘Women are Not Worthy of the Vine’: Gender and the Marginalisation of Women in the Victorian Wine industry 1834-2013.

Caitlin Mitropoulos, Honours (2014), Tourist Guidebooks and Mapping the Metropolis: Leisure, Recreation and Public Social Space in Late Nineteenth-Century Melbourne 1870-1910. After her honours year Caitlin completed a Master of Urban and Cultural Heritage. During her studies she had a part-time position at the Old Treasury Building museum, and began volunteering in the Collections and Interpretation Team at the National Trust, and shadowing heritage architect Samantha Westbrooke as part of the ICOMOS Young Professionals Mentorship program. After finishing her degree she was offered a part-time position at the National Trust helping coordinate the Heritage Festival. Her current role there is Community Advocate, focusing on a wide variety of planning and advocacy issues across Victoria.

Kali Myers, Honours (2012), Risking the Disorder Discourse, Power and Knowledge in Australian History and the Question of Indigenous Inclusion.

Barbara Nichol, Honours (2002), Chinese restaurants in Melbourne. Winner, RHSV Prize for Honours Thesis in Australian History.

Catherine McLennan, Honours (2008), Making rural women visible: a ‘living’ history of the Victorian Women on Farms Gathering (WOFG) Community.

Lyndel McLennan, (Honours 2002), The Bohemian identity of Brunswick Street.

Luke Miller, Honours (2004), The 1910-1912 British Antarctic Expedition.

Dan Prior, Honours (2008), A history of Two-Up.

Patrick Radecki, Honours (2013), The History of Italian soccer clubs in Victoria.

Jane Rhodes, Honours (2003), ‘Their mothers shopped here: Exploring nostalgia for the Myer department store, its development, rise, decline and rejuvenation in the retail environment of Bourke Street Melbourne’

Erin Richardson, Honours (2005), Media representations of rape and sexual violence against women in Australia.

Nicole Roberts, Honours (2003), ‘Ceremonial Melbourne, 1901-1916: The nerve-centre of the continent’.

Thomas Rogers, Honours (2009), ‘I am the Law’: Language, Power and Authority in the Rum Rebellion.

Belyndy Rowe, Honours (2005), ‘A lavish and vulgar symbol’: Colonial theatre in Melbourne, 1840-1860′. Winner, Brian Fitzpatrick Prize for Best Honours Thesis in Australian History.

Rebecca Sanders, Honours (2006), An appeal for help—making disaster public: Relief for Victims of the 1906 Fires

Clare Shepherd, Honours (2010), Illness and war: The impact of the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic on the outcome of the First World War.

Anton Sirianni, Honours (2009), Single male Italian immigrants in Melbourne, 1950s-1960s.

Tracy Smith, Honours (2001), A history of Melbourne Cemetery.

Peter Stell, Honours (2005), Cultural cringe’ – Irrelevant notion to the career of Sir Robert Helpmann (1909-1986)’.

Janet Sullivan, Honours (2002), ‘The cabmen of Melbourne: Reality and perception, 1849-1901’.

Michael Taffe, Honours (2006), ‘Victoria’s avenues of honour to the Great War lost to the landscape’.

Leah Tang, Honours (2005), A historical account of school uniforms in Victoria.

Brooke Treble, Honours (2014), Making History with Historical Archaeology.

Christopher Watkins, Honours (2001), The Labyrinth of Speculation: Citizenship, loyalty and identity at the University of Melbourne, 1914-1918.

Elisa Webb, Honours (2002), All that you can’t leave behind (the material culture of immigration).

Jill Wheeler, Honours (2001), Who’s in the glass case? Representations of indigenous culture in the Melbourne Museum. Winner, RHSV Prize for Honours Thesis in Australian History.

Cyrus Wong, Honours (2002), ‘Australian football culture and the culture of the Western Bulldogs (the football club formerly known as Footscray)’.