Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellows appointed

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    La Trobe University has appointed three exceptional researchers as Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellows.

    Dr Sianan Healy, Dr Kerry Fanson and Dr Jillian Garvey will receive Fellowships named in honour of an esteemed member of the Department of Archaeology and History, who passed away in 2017.

    Now in their third year, the Fellowships are one of the principal actions in the University’s SAGE Athena SWAN Action Plan to improve gender equality and diversity in higher education and research. They support staff who have demonstrated potential to be a future leader and who have major caring responsibilities.

    Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Industry Engagement), Professor Susan Dodds, said she was thrilled the University was supporting these three exceptional researchers with the Fellowship.

    “At La Trobe, we are committed to creating and supporting an equal and inclusive community,” Professor Dodds said.

    “We know that caring responsibilities can interrupt, delay or have other negative effects on a person’s career. Providing funding at this point can make a real difference.” Professor Dodds said.

    “It is fantastic to be able to support these researchers to maintain their career momentum and fulfil their potential.”

    Dr Sianan Healy
    Dr Healy is a historian whose previous work has spanned fields including Indigenous experiences of assimilation, education and housing, with a focus on themes of mobility, space/place and the built environment. She recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Centre for the Study of the Inland at La Trobe, during which she researched housing and Aboriginal assimilation policy in regional south-eastern Australia in the post-war period.

    During her Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellowship, Dr Healy will develop a new project on histories of Australian women’s experiences of infertility. The project seeks to examine how structural issues of gender, race and class have impacted on women’s agency, bodily autonomy and access to medical treatment. Medicalized definitions of infertility can hide the political, social and cultural ways in which being unable to bear children have defined women’s identities. Through an interdisciplinary approach to historicizing the concept of infertility, this project hopes to help women and those who work in health policy understand their experience in its full complexity.

    Dr Kerry Fanson
    Dr Fanson is a comparative endocrinologist whose research examines the dynamic interactions between stress and reproduction. Specifically, she is interested in how some of our assumptions about stress physiology may have hindered our ability to identify solutions for reproductive problems.

    During her Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellowship, Dr Fanson will develop a research program that challenges the current thinking about how glucocorticoids, often referred to as ‘stress hormones,’ are involved in female reproductive function. She will continue working with Zoos Victoria and other wildlife agencies to help improve reproductive success in threatened and endangered species and plans to develop new collaborations with medical and agricultural researchers.

    Dr Fanson hopes to generate novel insights about infertility that will ultimately improve human health, wildlife conservation, and animal welfare.

    Dr Jillian Garvey
    Dr Garvey is a senior research fellow whose research focuses on Australian Indigenous archaeology. She has active ARC research projects based at Neds Corner Station (owned by Trust for Nature) and the adjacent Murray-Sunset (Yanga Nowie) National Park in northwest Victoria, and in Tasmania.

    Dr Garvey specialises in zooarchaeology and has integrated her zoological background into her research on modern Australian vertebrates and invertebrates by conducting fatty acid nutritional analyses, economic utility or anatomy experiments, and butchery and cooking experiments. These modern experiments are combined with evidence from the ethnographic record to help interpret patterns in the archaeological record.

    During her Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellowship, Dr Garvey will focus on the tempo of past human occupation and use of the landscape in central and northwest Victoria. This involves collaborative research projects with the Yung Balug and Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Owners in the Lake Boort region (funded by a Transforming Human Society RFA grant), and with Ngintait and the First People of the Millewa Mallee Traditional Owners in northwest Victoria (funded by an ARC Discovery Project). These two projects complement and enhance one another by building a better understanding of how people used different parts of these important cultural landscapes during the late Quaternary.