Academic Staff, Project Researchers and Workshop Members

AJMAndrew J. May is Professor of History in the School of Historical & Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne, where he has been a faculty member since 2000. As a social historian with broad interests across urban, colonial and imperial history, he has published widely on the social experience and cultures of the city—including Melbourne Street Life (1998), Espresso! Melbourne Coffee Stories (2001), and as co-editor The Encyclopedia of Melbourne (Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Dr Sophie Couchman is a curator and professional historian interested in Australia’s migration history. She has researched and published in the field of Chinese-Australian history for many years and was curator at the Chinese Museum for seven years. She has been involved in a diverse range of activities including developing exhibitions, walking tours, oral histories and online resources. Sophie is currently working with the MHW on the ARC-funded ‘Time-Layered Culture Map’ project. Website

Gretel Evans is a PhD candidate whose research focuses on migration and natural disasters. Her thesis investigates migrants’ memories of natural disasters in Australia, and what this reveals about identity and belonging within Australian society. Gretel is currently working as Project Officer on the ‘A Journal of the Plague Year: An Archive of Covid-19 project.

Dr Mitchell Harrop is an honorary research fellow in History in the School of Historical & Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. As a social scientist with a strong software engineering background he is a true generalist. Mitchell is working across a number of MHW projects including the ‘A Journal of the Plague Year: An Archive of Covid-19 project and the ARC-funded ‘Time-Layered Culture Map’ project.

Dr James Lesh researches urban history and heritage conservation at the University of Melbourne in The Australian Centre for Architectural History, Urban and Cultural Heritage (ACAHUCH), Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. His research examines twentieth- and twenty-first century Australian urban, planning and architectural conservation theory and practice. It also considers the capacity for cultural heritage to address urban challenges, such as enhanced community participation and design outcomes, by adopting methodological pluralism and evidence-based approaches. Another area of focus in the persistent urban historical relationship between cities, modernity, development and heritage.

Unimelb: ORCID:   Web Site:

Dr Lauren Piko completed her PhD in 2017 under Professor May’s supervision on ‘Mirroring England? Milton Keynes, decline and British landscape’, and is currently working with the MHW on the Errey Photographs project. Twitter

Dr Henry Reese completed his PhD in 2019 under the supervision of Professor David Goodman on ‘Cultures of sound recording and preservation in and around Australasia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries’, and is currently working with the MHW on the Postwar Apartments project. Website

Dr Sue Silberberg completed her PhD in 2016 under Professor May’s supervision and her book A networked community: Jewish Melbourne in the nineteenth century was published by Melbourne University Publishing in 2020. She is currently working with the MHW on the Postwar Apartments project.

Dr Roland S. Wettenhall completed his PhD under Professor May’s supervision in 2019 on ‘The translocation of the English Friendly Society movement to Victoria, 1835-1920’.

Helen Morgan is an historian, archivist, writer, editor and hands-off philatelist. She has worked on the Australian Women’s Archives Project since its inception in 2000, and is co-editor of the Australian Women’s Register. Her background in art history, professional writing, archival science and cultural informatics has given her an understanding of both the historical and technological aspects of research. Her interests include problematising sources and working with biographical, archival and bibliographical data in public domains, especially focusing on the forgotten stories of ordinary people. Helen has played a significant role in implementation of the Online Heritage Resource Manager in projects including eGold and eMelbourne.

Current Research Higher Degree Students

Professor May is available for supervision.

Cat Gay: ‘All life and usefulness: girls in Victoria 1870-1900’. Cat is a current recipient of the Hansen Trust PhD Scholarship.

s200_nicole.davisNicole Davis: ‘A fashionable promenade: arcades in Australia in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries’. Website

Ross Karavis: ‘Bon goût in the Antipodes: The impact of the globalisation of French taste on Australian culinary culture 1850 -1914’.

Susan Reidy: ‘Landscapes of virtue and vice: a social history of Australian urban parks 1816-2010’.

Mary Sheehan: ‘Community in crisis: Spanish influenza in Victoria’.