The Research Team

Rev Edward Griffith - Source: State Library of Queensland, Image number 34459

Our team is dedicated to researching social, economic, political, Indigenous and environmental histories through innovative digital approaches.

Founding Director (2016 - 2018)

Professor Regina Ganter

B Arts (Honours First Class), GCert in Higher Education, PhD Griffith University
Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities
Elected Member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
Professor, School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences

Regina Ganter is a historian specialising in interactions between indigenous, Asian and European peoples in Australia. Having published widely in the field of cross cultural encounters, she is the author of The Pearl Shellers of Torres Strait (1994), Mixed Relations (2006) and The Contest for Aboriginal Souls (2018). Ganter has also produced a web-directory of intercultural encounters between indigenous people and German missionaries in Queensland for the Queensland Sesquicentennial celebrations in 2009 (German Missionaries in Australia).


Professor Mark Finnane

B Arts (Honours First Class), PhD Australian National University
Griffith Criminology Institute

Mark is a Professor of History in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences and a member of the Griffith Criminology Institute.  He is a Fellow of the Academy of Humanities and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. Currently, he directs the Prosecution Project, investigating the history of the criminal trial in Australia. Mark has published widely on the history of policing, crime, the criminal law, punishment and the social history of mental illness.

Deputy Director

Dr Yorick Smaal

B Arts (Honours First Class), MPhil University of Queensland, PhD University of Queensland
Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research

Yorick is a senior lecturer in history in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science and a member of the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research. He is interested in the experiences of ordinary people and the institutions that govern their lives. Yorick is currently completing an ARC-funded DECRA project on ‘Boys, sex and crime’ and publishes on histories of sexuality and gender as well as crime and punishment and war and society.

Research Fellow

Dr Lee Butterworth

B Arts (Honours First Class), PhD Griffith University
School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science

Lee Butterworth is a Research Fellow at the Harry Gentle Resource Centre. She completed her PhD titled ‘What good is a coroner?: The transformation of the Queensland office of coroner 1859 – 1959’ at Griffith University in 2012. Lee has previously worked on the Find & Connect web resource, the Australian Women’s Archive Project and the Prosecution Project. Lee’s research interests focus on child welfare in Australia and Queensland colonial law and history.

Research Assistant

Constance Schoelch

Constance Schoelch completed a Bachelor of Arts in English Studies and Sociology at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt in 2017. Taking a gap year, Constance is spending 2018 in Australia during which time she hopes to gain academic work experience at an Australian University. As a Research Assistant she currently administers the HGRC website  and assists in researching and editing content. Constance is eager to increase her knowledge about Australian history and her work with the Centre will help meet that goal.

Visiting Fellow

Dr Annemarie McLaren

Annemarie McLaren’s PhD thesis from ANU, titled “Negotiating Entanglement: Reading Aboriginal-Colonial Exchanges in Early New South Wales, 1788–1835”, explored some of the people, networks, rituals, objects and activities through which the cross-cultural world of NSW was experienced and made. A focus on inter-cultural relations and ethnographic detail will also inform her project in the HGRC, “The Nundah Mission Project: Papers Relating to the German station, 1838–1848”. Her first article (awarded the 2017 Hakluyt Society Essay Prize) is forthcoming with Ethnohistory, and from August to January 2018, she will be an Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellow at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge. She is the Review Editor of Aboriginal History.

Visiting Fellow

Dr Jonathan Richards

B Arts (Hons), PhD Griffith University

Dr Jonathan Richards’ digital mapping project, as a Visiting Fellow in the HGRC in 2017, is based on Pre-Separation records of the Native Police held at the Queensland State Archives. Using historical maps and documents, and GPS software, Dr Richards is able to locate the places identified in these records, and therefore build a picture of Native Police movements and activities in Southeast Queensland.

Visiting Fellow

Dr Ray Kerkhove

Dr Ray Kerkhove‘s project, as a Visiting Fellow in the HGRC in 2017 and 2018, involves mapping the tide of frontier resistance across southern Queensland, pinpointing the details and locations of frontier ‘battles’. Dr Kerkhove merges ethnographic reports on Aboriginal war tactics with firsthand accounts and reminiscences to develop a more accurate image of the southern Queensland frontier and the conflicts that occurred there.

Visiting Fellow

Dr Anastasia Dukova

BArts (Hons) University of Toronto, PhD University of Dublin, Trinity College

Dr Anastasia Dukova’s project, as a Visiting Fellow in the HGRC in 2017, illuminates the key aspects of town life and policing of Brisbane in its transition years, from the arrival of the first immigrant ships at the Moreton Bay settlement in the 1840s, to the establishment of Brisbane as a colonial capital in 1859. Using an array of primary records, Dr Dukova will examine the challenges the nascent colonial town policemen faced.

Visiting Fellow

Dr Margaret Shield

BArts University of Queensland, GDip Ed University of Queensland, MEd. (LOTE) University of New England, EdD University of New England, PhD Griffith University

Dr. Margaret Shield, as a Visiting Fellow with the HGRC, is researching the appointment of Crown Land Commissioners and documenting their roles and responsibilities. The project will include biographies of Stephen Simpson, Christopher Rolleston, John Bidwill, Maurice O’Connell and William Wiseman who were among the first Commissioners appointed in the early years of the Moreton Bay Settlement and will draw on archival sources to describe their interactions with both settlers and Indigenous people, the difficulties they encountered in fulfilling their roles and the contribution they made to the settlement of the land. The project will also include maps of Pastoral Districts and the location of early settlements.

Visiting Fellow

Timothy Roberts

B Arts and M Arts University of Queensland, B Arts (Honours First Class) University of Sydney

Tim is a specialist in Australian art heritage, decorative arts and material culture to 1945. His project, Picturing the North: Representing Queensland before 1859, is the first major exploration of the art and artists of pre-separation Queensland. This project seeks to create an index of artworks created before 1859 that depict the people, places and events in the geographical region now known as Queensland; uncover biographical details of the artists that created the works; and provide a historical context to frame the art heritage during this formative period of Queensland’s development.

On completion, Picturing the North will feature as a project on the Harry Gentle Resource Centre website.




Emma Post

The Harry Gentle Resource Centre hosted Emma Post, a Griffith University Community Internship student, one day a week for 3 months in 2017. Emma, working under the supervision of Dr Ray Kerkhove, identified the 20 ‘most significant’ and most view-worthy sites of confrontation, injustice or conflict in the history of the Greater Brisbane area. The focus of the study was multicultural and multi-faith. Emma researched places and episodes that involved “outsider” groups – migrant communities, persons of non-Christian faiths, or Aboriginal groups that experienced injustices in integrating within the community.


Deklan Kelly

During Trimester 3 2017, Deklan Kelly, a Griffith University Community Internship student, undertook research for the Harry Gentle Resource Centre, under the supervision of Dr Margaret Shield. Deklan spent one day a week for 12 weeks transcribing and analysing archival documents from the NSW State Archives and Records related to the operation of the Border Police in pre-separation Queensland. He also conducted research at the Queensland State Archives on the impact of settlement on the Aboriginal inhabitants during the 1840s and 1850s. Deklan is a second year Bachelor of Arts student who is majoring in Literature Studies and History. He enjoyed his placement with the Harry Gentle Resource Centre and has volunteered to continue transcribing archival documents.


Amanda Spinks

Bachelor of Arts

Amanda graduated from Griffith University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History. Her work for the Harry Gentle Resource Centre as a Research Assistant (HGRC) under the Griffith University Humanities Undergraduate Research Intern Program made a valuable contribution to the Centre’s digital archive. During her time at the Centre, under the supervision of Dr Lee Butterworth, Amanda researched the lives of two prominent Aboriginal warriors, Multuggerah and Old Moppy. Their biographies, which she co-wrote with Dr Ray Kerkhove, are published on the HGRC website. Amanda’s time spent working at the HGRC helped to improve and refine her existing research skills and techniques in preparation for her future study.


Indyana Horobin

Bachelor of Arts (Honours 1st class)

Indyana graduated from Griffith University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts with first class Honours. He was awarded a research internship as part of the 2019-2020 Humanities Undergraduate Research Intern Program (HURIP), and completed a short-term internship with the Harry Gentle Resource Centre. Under the supervision of Dr Lee Butterworth, Indyana created 60 biographies for the female convicts sent to Moreton Bay Penal Colony between 1826-1839, from a list of 144 women listed in Jennifer Harrison’s publication Shackled: Female Convicts at Moreton Bay 1826-1839 (2017). This resource provided a sound foundation for Indyana’s further research. Indyana has made a valuable contribution to the HGRC project and we are confident he will be successful in his future endeavours.