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Personal profile


I am the Director of Research and Innovation in the Department of Media, Communications, Creative Arts, Language and Literature.

After being awarded the University Medal for Modern History in 1992, I completed a PhD in Modern History at Macquarie University in 1996. I held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Sydney before returning to Macquarie in 2003. I held ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellowships in the Department of Modern History and Politics, joining MCCALL as a Professor of Media in 2013 and an ARC Future Fellow in 2014.

I specialise in the history of the media, particularly the Australian media, and am the author of The House of Packer: The Making of a Media Empire (1999), Sir Frank Packer (2000, 2014), Party Games: Australian Politicians and the Media from War to Dismissal (2003), Changing Stations: The Story of Australian Commercial Radio (2009), which was shortlisted for the Ashurst Business Literature Prize and longlisted for the Walkley Book Award, and Australian Radio Listeners and Television Viewers: Historical Perspectives (2020).

My field defining reference work A Companion to the Australian Media (2014) is the first comprehensive, authoritative study of Australia's press, broadcasting and new media sectors, featuring 300 contributors, and is available via AustLit. WithSue Turnbull, I am now co-editing the 5th edition of The Media and Communications in Australia, to be published by Rooutledge in late 2023.

I was the founding Director of the Centre for Media History at Macquarie, and co-ordinated the Media Archives Project. I served as a board member of the State Library of New South Wales (2003-12), historical consultant to the television mini-series Power Games: The Packer–Murdoch Story (2013) and a selector for the Australian Media Hall of Fame (2015-19).

I am a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and head of its Cultural and Communication Studies section. I chair the New South Wales section of the Australian Dictionary of Biography and am a member of the Sounds of Australia expert advisory panel for the National Film and Sound Archive. I serve on the editorial boards of the ADB, Palgrave Studies in the History of the Media, Media History, the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, and the Australian Journal of Politics and History.

Education/Academic qualification

Modern History, PhD, The Packer Press: A History of Consolidated Press, 1936–1974, Macquarie University


Modern History, BA Hons, Macquarie University


Modern History & English, BA, Macquarie University


External positions

Head of Cultural and Communication Studies section, Australian Academy of the Humanities

2020 → …

Council, Australian Academy of the Humanities

1 Jan 201731 Dec 2019

Selector, Australian Media Hall of Fame


Member, Education & Scholarship Advisory Board, Library Council of NSW

1 Jan 201431 Dec 2018

Fellow, Australian Academy of the Humanities

2011 → …


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