Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University


A culture defines itself by the stories it tells. In the School of Communication and Creative Industries, we are committed to storytelling. As actors, animators, artists, curators, communication designers, filmmakers, performers, sound designers, theatre makers and television producers; and as communicators across advertising, journalism and public relations, we explore storytelling as a multitude of possibilities in an ever-changing cultural and technological landscape.  

The SCCI coordinates several platforms to support the creation and dissemination of new research. Just some of these include:

  • Fusion Journal, an international, online scholarly journal for the communication, creative industries and media arts disciplines;
  • The H.R. Gallop Gallery, a non-commercial, competitively programmed gallery space committed to supporting a diverse program of art and research;
  • The Ponton Theater in Bathurst and the CSU Riverina Playhouse in Wagga Wagga.

Acknowledging the culture and insight of Indigenous Australians, research across the SCCI is grounded in Charles Sturt University’s ethos described by the Wiradjuri phrase, ‘Yindyamarra Winhanganha’ (‘the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in’). Derived from this ethos, our researchers make contributions from their unique practical backgrounds to the three interdisciplinary research spheres at the heart of Charles Sturt University’s research narrative: Resilient People, Flourishing Communities, and Sustainable Environments.

SCCI Researchers

  • Dr Sam Bowker explores how Australians interact with global cultures: he studies representations of the Middle East, and 'othering' in visual culture. For the 40th anniversary of Edward Said’s book Orientalism, Sam has curated the touring exhibition, ELSEWHERE.>
  • Ros Cox has researched the immunisation issue in Australia as a case study to explore crisis management in the online environment.
  • Timothy Crutchett is an artist and musician. His interdisciplinary practice includes digital imaging technologies, visualisation, sound manipulation and performance. He is working collaboratively with James Farley to explore the manipulation and application of sound in place-based generative performances.
  • Victoria Erskine researches in practitioner resilience in communication practice. Her most recent work explores individual qualities of resilience and their relationship to enhancing organisation capability.
  • Dr James Farley is an artist, curator and researcher. His practice explores contemporary practice in the expanded field of photography, particularly regarding representations of climate change in regional and remote Australia. James has exhibited extensively throughout Australia and abroad. Current projects include Image Ecologies, a collaborative series of residencies and publications exploring the post-industrial transformation of regional communities through arts, culture, and renewable energy.
  • Dr Bruce Fell researches storytelling for communicating on Climate Change and social equality. He has won a Varuna/Text Publication Fellowship to develop a manuscript on these issues.
  • Professor Eleanor Gates-Stuart's research focus is primarily on scientific exploration and technology, both in the advancement of innovation and in communicating artistic practice in new and innovative ways, questioning and engaging audience in art, science and technology. Research includes interactive exhibits and the application of innovative materials.
  • Andrew Hagan is combining his expertise in motion capture animation – with Robert and Dominique’s acting practice - to create a zero-wall actor training pedagogy.
  • Dr Jamie Holcombe's practice-led PhD investigated the concept of melancholy in the photograph, and included major solo exhibitions exploring this concept through urban landscapes across regional Australia.  These large-scale photographs investigated the nexus between our impact on our environment and the subsequent sadness elicited from visual depictions of that impact.  It focused on the premise that photographs can have an inherent melancholic quality, driven by the contextual relationship between the representation, and subsequent interpretation, of an image's content.
  • Dr Travis Holland’s research spans fan studies, digital media, television and local government. A recent paper explored how Pok√©mon GO facilitated relationships to space.
  • Dr Robert Lewis is working collaboratively with Dr Dominique Sweeney to develop a place-centered Australian Acting Pedagogy. In collaboration with theatre-maker Lisa-Mare Syron, Robert and Dominique are also working with local council and the Wiradjuri community to provide acting workshops for Wiradjuri students. Robert is also contributing his expertise in human body movement to RMIT’s V-X-LAB work developing the Baxter robot.
  • Dr James Mairata published a book in May 2018 on Steven Spielberg’s film storytelling style and methods. James is also developing a feature length screenplay – and researching a new book on Francis Coppola.
  • Kay Nankervis is investigating the non-Aboriginal playwright’s role in Reconciliation narratives: how colonialist power manifests on Australian stages.
  • Chris Orchard’s interweaving, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research explores: decolonisation and re-inhabitation, place based pedagogies, stewardship models, wild yeasts & Indigenous Australia, ecopsychology, and embedded design thinking.
  • Dr Sharon Schoenmaker is investigating social media’s role in cultivating online relationships and social interaction; the value of narrative inquiry in public relations; employer needs of the emerging practitioner, and how useful crisis simulations are for undergraduate learning.
  • Associate Professor Peter Simmons studies attitudes to managing and living with wildlife – including kangaroo culling and shark controls – plus he researches ways social media can indicate community thinking on policy.
  • Dr Dominique Sweeney’s A.R.C. project researches digital archive management - with four Aboriginal cultural organisations in northwest Australia – to enhance intellectual property control of traditional performance.
  • Dr Willhemina Wahlin is researching the role of the designer in “difficult exhibitions”: those involving contested histories, war, genocide, gender violence, colonialism or death. Willie has published on DESIGN and over the past decade has designed numerous exhibitions that have travelled to Europe, Australia, Asia and the United States.
  • Rachel Walls is an active filmmaker/animator. Her work with Tokyo University of Science explores Jewish refugees’ protection during the second world war within Japan, and subsequent migration to Australia. Rachel’s PhD is in abstract animation and its contribution to modern screen language.
  • Dr Soseh Yekanians is a director and actor-trainer researching how theatre and directing can help culturally displaced individuals find belonging and identity. Soseh is publishing on actor-training in Australia, and repercussions some methods may have on actors’ psychological well-being.