50th anniversary fellows here to make their mark

Christine Winter Matthew Flinders fellow
Historian Christine Winter

The first three 2016 Matthew Flinders Fellows will start making their mark on research at Flinders University this month.

Australia’s humanitarian effort in the Asia-Pacific is the focus of the first of 12 special Matthew Flinders Fellowship projects to mark the University’s 50th anniversary this year.

The research by Australian Research Council Future Fellow Associate Professor Christine Winter is at the forefront of the emerging new research field on medical humanitarianism, and will investigate developments beyond immediate crises through a regional focus.

The former University of Sydney historian joins genetic psychologist Dr Sarah Cohen-Woods and evolutionary biologist Dr Mike Lee to arrive at Flinders, with other fellowships to be announced later in the year.

“Analysing the Asia-Pacific from de-colonisation and Cold War to the post-Cold War period will offer new insights into Australia’s regional role in health research, infrastructure development and humanitarian intervention, that continues to change and evolve,” says Associate Professor Winter, who joins Flinders University’s School of History and International Relations.

“How have the, at times conflicting, aims of humanitarianism and security shaped global health strategies, research and policies in our region?”

The Matthew Flinders Fellows are research intensive positions which aim to strengthen Flinders’ ranking in the top 2% of research universities worldwide.

Dr Winter’s research project, entitled Humanitarianism or Security? The new global health, will see her build on her expertise in studies of race and ethnicity, legacies of colonialism, and international humanitarianism.

Her current ARC Future Fellowship concentrates on the history of people of multi-racial descent in the Southern Hemisphere – from Australasia, New Guinea and Samoa to German-speaking Namibia and southern Africa.

Previous research projects by Associate Professor Winter have focused on South Australia and its historical connections with the Pacific.

She has researched Australian, German and American Lutheran collaboration in mission work in New Guinea during the early 20th century, and how it changed due to the rise of National Socialism in Germany.

Associate Professor Winter also has collaborated with the SA Museum and Melbourne Museum on a history of ethnographic collecting during the First World War.

“Interestingly the first transient war memorials in Australia were shop window displays of war trophies and curios, collected and souvenired by members of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Forces, of which 500 came from South Australia.”

Insights into the period and the War Memorial Collection at the Melbourne Museum have been collected for a War Trophies or Curios? book, due out in March, and a special Museum Victoria exhibition.

A related exhibition is currently being developed in Adelaide and will open at the SA Museum later this year. Associate Professor Winter is working with SA Museum Foreign Ethnology Senior Curator Dr Barry Craig to present the World War One collections from New Guinea under the working title “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor.”

More details about Flinders’ anniversary can be found on our 50th website 50.flinders.edu.au or at www.flinders.edu.au

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