List of Examiners

This page represents a current list of HDR theses’ examiners from several disciplines encompassing creative writing, arts and the humanities. 

The AAWP hopes this this list will assist HDR supervisors in identifying suitable examiners.

The details in this list are maintained at the discretion of the individuals listed.

To be added to the list or to update your details, please email the AAWP Website Portfolio Manager, Sarah Giles:

Please include the following details in the body of your email:

  • Name (including academic title)
  • Institutional Affiliation (if applicable), including residential location 
  • Up to 6 key terms (outlining research interests / areas of expertise)
  • Preferred email address
  • Bio (< 100-words)

We particularly encourage recent graduates and early career academics to join this list.


Name: Associate Professor Julia Prendergast

Institutional Affiliation: Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia

Areas of Expertise: Realist Writing – Fiction – Creative Non-fiction – Hybrid Writing – Life Writing – Prose Poetry 

Bio: Julia lives in Melbourne, Australia, on unceded Wurundjeri land. Her novel, The Earth Does Not Get Fat (2018) was longlisted for the Indie Book Awards (debut fiction). Her short story collection: Bloodrust and other stories was published in 2022. Julia is a practice-led researcher – an enthusiastic supporter of transdisciplinary, collaborative research practices, with a particular interest in neuro|psychoanalytic approaches to writing and creativity. Julia is President|Chair of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP). She is Associate Professor and Discipline Leader (Creative Writing, Literature, and Publishing) at Swinburne University. 

Dr Ariella Van Luyn (she/they) is a senior lecturer in writing at the University of New England. She is the author of a historical novel, Treading Air (2016), and over 10 short stories published in literary magazines including IslandOverland and Southerly. Ariella’s practice-led research investigates the intersections of fiction, history and biography with particular focusing on feminist and queer approaches.


Institutional Affiliation: University of New England, Metro, Sydney, Australia

Research interests | areas of expertise: Historical fiction – Biofiction – Oral history – Queer fiction – Creative nonfiction – Short fiction – Editing

Professor Cassandra Atherton is one of the leading international scholars and experts on prose poetry and an award winning prose poet. She is also renowned for her work in the scholarly field of ekphrastic poetry and is celebrated for coining the terms dark poetry—for poetry that attempts to reanimate a dark event, and ballophrasis—for works based on dance.  She has written extensively on atomic bomb literature and the Hiroshima Maidens. Cassandra co-authored Prose Poetry: An Introduction (Princeton University Press, 2020) and co-edited the Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry (Melbourne University Press, 2020) with Paul Hetherington, and they are currently co-writing Ekphrastic Poetry: An Introduction (forthcoming Princeton UP).


Institutional Affiliation: Deakin University

Research interests | areas of expertise: Prose Poetry – Ekphrastic Poetry – Atomic Bomb Literature – Flash Fiction – Dark Poetry – Microliterature

Dr Carolyn Beasley (Senior Lecturer, Writing and Literature) has supervised over 20 students to completion and is an experienced examiner in both creative practice theses and traditional theses. As her school’s Academic Director for Research Training, she leads training and support for over 130 PhD and Masters students so understands the challenges students face when undertaking higher research degrees. She is the Course Director of the Master of Writing and also leads an interdisciplinary Creative Practice Seminar series. She is a multiple award-winning short story writer, screenwriter, and novelist.


Institutional Affiliation: Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne

Research interests | areas of expertise: Crime fiction – Popular fiction – Literary fiction – Scriptwriting – Short story – Incarceration

Dr Daniel Juckes is a writer from Perth, Western Australia. He is a lecturer in English & Literary Studies at UWA, Editor at Westerly Magazine, Deputy Chair of the AAWP, and holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Curtin University. His research investigates seamlessness in prose style and the potential of objects in stories about the past, and his creative and critical writing has been published in journals such as AxonKalliope X, Life Writing, M/C Journal, Meanjin, TEXT, and Westerly. His book The Moment of the Essay will be released this year by UWA Publishing.


Institutional Affiliation: The University of Western Australia

Research interests | areas of expertise: Creative Nonfiction – Life Writing – Personal Essay – Autofiction – Creativecritical/Hybrid Writing 

Donna Lee Brien, PhD (QUT), is Emeritus Professor, Central Queensland University, Australia. Donna has authored over 20 books and monographs and over 300 refereed published journal articles, book chapters, scholarly conference papers and creative works, many of which deal with writing, publishing and popular culture. Her latest books are Speculative Biography: Opportunities, Experiments and Provocations (2022) and Paradox, Image and Identity: The Shadow Side of Nursing (2020) both for Routledge, UK. Donna is currently writing a history of Bondi Beach.


Institutional Affiliation: Central Queensland University, Sydney, Australia

Research interests | areas of expertise: Biography and Speculative Biography – Memoir – Creative Non-fiction – History – Fact-based fiction – Food Writing

Dr Elizabeth Smyth is a research associate at the Roderick Centre for Australian Literature and Creative Writing, and book reviews editor for JASAL. Her writing is published in Meanjin, JASAL, TEXT, Tropical Writers anthologies, and Georgic Literature and the Environment: Working Land, Reworking Genre. In 2024, she was awarded a Medal for Excellence for a Research by Higher Degree Thesis for her 2023 PhD thesis titled Re-Imagining the Australian Farm Novel: Writing Magic Realism into the Georgic. Previously, Elizabeth has been awarded Varuna and QWC Maher fellowships and was selected for the FALS + Viva La Novella Editor Stepping Stone Program.


Institutional Affiliation: James Cook University, Cairns, Australia

Research interests | areas of expertise: Farm Novel – Fiction – Ecocriticism – Pastoralism/Georgic – Regionalism

Dr Eugen Bacon (Swinburne University alumni) is an African Australian author of several novels and collections. She’s a British Fantasy Award winner, a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award finalist, a Foreword Indies Award winner, and a twice World Fantasy Award finalist. Eugen was announced in the honor list of the Otherwise Fellowships for ‘doing exciting work in gender and speculative fiction’. Danged Black Thing made the Otherwise Award Honor List as a ‘sharp collection of Afro-Surrealist work’, and was a 2024 Philip K Dick Award nominee. Eugen’s creative work has appeared worldwide. Visit her at

Research interests | areas of expertise: Afrofuturism – Afrosurrealism – Black Speculative Fiction – Cultural identity – Futurism – Speculative fiction

Dr Ingrid Woodrow holds PhD and Master’s degrees in Writing and a BA (Hons) in Communications. She is also a journalist and editor who has worked with Newscorp and AAP, among others. She co-founded one of Australia’s first online creative writing journals, Mangrove (archived at NLA as a Site of National Significance) and her road novel Goddess and the Galaxy Boy (UQP) was shortlisted in the Australian/Vogel awards. Her work appears in national and international publications including MeanjinTEXT, Journal of Australian Studies and The Newcastle Short Story Award Anthology (2024). She teaches Creative Writing at Griffith University. Website:

Institutional Affiliation: Griffith University, Gold Coast

Research interests | areas of expertise: Creative Nonfiction – Fiction – Hybrid Writing – Life Writing – Exotic Dance Studies – Communication / Media / Journalism Studies

Dr Janice Caulfield lives in Sydney. She holds two doctorates, has had a long academic career where she taught at post-graduate levels, and has been an examiner for Hons, Masters and Ph.Ds.  Her most recent work is a biographical fiction novel about a famous writer from history.  Her interest and knowledge of history and politics combines well with her love of historical and bio-fiction writing.  She is a Curtin University Alumni, a member of AAWP, and of the Australian Association of Authors.  She has published widely.


Institutional Affiliation: Independent Scholar

Research interests | areas of expertise: Historical Fiction – Biographical Fiction – Hybrid Writing

Professor Jen Webb is Distinguished Professor of Creative Practice at the University of Canberra. Recent books include Gender and the Creative Labour Market (Palgrave 2022), Art and Human Rights: Contemporary Asian Contexts (Manchester UP, 2016); and the poetry collections Moving Targets (2018), Flight Mode (with Shé Hawke; RWP, 2020), and The Daily News (RWP, 2024). She is co-editor of the literary journal Meniscus, the scholarly journal Axon: Creative Explorations, and Bloomsbury Academic’s Research in Creative Writing series. Her scholarly work focuses on the field of creative practice; her poetry focuses on material poetics and questions of seeing and being.


Institutional Affiliation: University of Canberra, ACT, Australia

Research interests | areas of expertise: Poetry – Arts/health – Visual culture – Art and human rights – Creative research – Creative careers

Associate Professor Julia Prendergast lives in Melbourne, Australia, on unceded Wurundjeri land. Her novel, The Earth Does Not Get Fat (2018) was longlisted for the Indie Book Awards (debut fiction). Her short story collection: Bloodrust and other stories was published in 2022. Julia is a practice-led researcher—an enthusiastic supporter of transdisciplinary, collaborative research practices, with a particular interest in neuro|psychoanalytic approaches to writing and creativity. Julia is President|Chair of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP). She is Associate Professor and Discipline Leader (Creative Writing, Literature, and Publishing) at Swinburne University.


Institutional Affiliation: Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia

Research interests | areas of expertise: Realist Writing – Fiction – Creative Non-fiction – Hybrid Writing – Life Writing – Prose Poetry 

Associate Professor Julienne van Loon’s writing has been described as “surprising and resonant” (Jo Case), “raw, direct and passionate” (James Bradley) and “absolutely original” (Christopher Merrill, director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa). She is the author of four books, most recently the criticallyacclaimed nonfiction work, The Thinking Woman. Her first novel, Road Story, won The Australian/Vogel’saward and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Best First Book) and the WA Premier’sAward for Fiction. Her most recent work of fiction – “Instructions for a Steep Decline” – was a joint-winner of the Griffith Review Novella Prize.


Institutional Affiliation: School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Research interests | areas of expertise: Contemporary fiction – The essay – Posthuman feminism

Dr Laura Fulton is an Australian/American novelist, memoirist, essayist and researcher whose writing often considers themes of hope, strength, resilience, beauty within the mundane and the triumph of tiny heroes. A former columnist, staff writer, ghost writer and project writer, Laura has published commercial books and articles in the US, the UAE and Australia. Her creative and critical work has appeared in publications including Swamp Writing, TEXT, Qualitative Inquiry, Antithesis, The Watershed Review, The Incompleteness Book I and II and ACE III: Arresting Contemporary Stories by Emerging Writers. Laura’s career as an educator has spanned over thirty years and every age level, from pre-school, primary and high school substitute to full time high school teacher to university guest lecturer. She is currently seeking sessional university lecturing work in or around Naarm, where she lives and writes.


Institutional Affiliation: Independent Scholar

Research interests | areas of expertise: Fiction – Adoption Theory – Voice – Home/Origin – Autobiografiction – The creative field journal

Dr Lee McGowan is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Sunshine Coast. He lives in Meanjin (Brisbane) on unceded Turrbal land. He teaches in creative writing, literary studies, and screen media. His primary research interests are in the intersections of creative writing, sport (particularly football), and community engagement. His publications include four sole and co-authored monographs, a co-edited anthology, journal articles, book chapters, a digital history, fiction, and creative non-fiction. He’s now examined at least 8 PhD theses.


Institutional Affiliation: University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Research interests | areas of expertise: Practice as research – Creative writing – Fiction – Creative non-fiction – Sports writing – Genre studies – Distant reading – Community engagement

Dr Marina Deller is a writer and practice-researcher at Flinders University, where they completed their PhD in Life Writing. Their research concerns grief and trauma life narratives, material storytelling, and creative pedagogies. They write creatively about identity, bodies, grief, and public/private spheres most often in essay or memoir form. Marina also teaches Creative Writing and English Literature, is a learning designer, and is an active member of the Flinders Life Narrative Lab. They live and create on Kaurna land.


Institutional Affiliation: Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

Research interests | areas of expertise: Life writing – Grief memoir – Object and material-based storytelling – Contemporary literature

Dr Megan Anning lives on the Sunshine Coast near Brisbane, Australia. Her stories and poetry have appeared in Sudo JournalBurningwood LiteraryJournalText Journal, the West End MagazineOctober Hill MagazineThe Citron Review and The Closed Eye Open among others. She has a keen interest in Bohemianism, a term described as a literary phenomenon that originated in Paris in the 1800s with the publication of Henri Murger’s humorous semi-autobiographical sketches set in the Latin Quarter. Her PhD thesis in Creative Writing titled ‘Bohemianism in early 21st Century Australia’ explores iterations of Bohemianism in the early 2000s in Brisbane.

Institutional Affiliation: Independent Scholar

Research interests | areas of expertise: Life Writing – Radical Ficto-Memoir – Outsider Memoir – Feminist Writing – Postmodernism – Experimental Writing – Intertextuality – Hybrid Writing – Bohemianism – Surrealism – Dreamwork   

Special Lecturer Michael Salcman, M.D. is former chairman of neurosurgery, University of Maryland and president of The Contemporary Museum, a child of the Holocaust and a survivor of polio. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Poems and Essays in hundreds of journals like Neurosurgery, World Neurosurgery, Little Patuxent Review, Science, Harvard Review, Hopkins Review, Hudson Review, and Raritan. Seven Literary Books include Clock Made of Confetti (nominated for The Poets’ Prize), Poetry in Medicine, classic and contemporary poems on medicine (anthology), A Prague Spring (Sinclair Poetry Prize winner), Shades & Graces (winner Daniel Hoffman Book Prize), Necessary Speech: New & Selected Poems (2022) and Crossing the Tape (2024).

Institutional Affiliation: Towson University, Baltimore, Maryland

Research interests | areas of expertise: Poetry – Neuroscience – Brain – Modern & Contemporary Art – Art History

Dr Peta Murray is a writer-performer whose experience as a theatre-maker informs her playful practice-led work in interdisciplinary spaces such as the field of arts-and-health. As a playwright, Peta’s best-known works are Wallflowering and Salt. Peta’s queered and collaborative essays have been published in The Sydney Review of Books, Cordite, Speculative Nonfiction, and Unlikely. Peta is a member of The Symphony of Awkward collective, and one of the researchers on an ARC funded Discovery Project: Staging Australian Women’s Lives: Theatre, Feminism and Socially-Engaged Art. She was a co-editor and contributor on the Bloomsbury A-Z of Creative Writing Methods (2023).  Website  


Institutional Affiliation: RMIT University, Melbourne

Research interests | areas of expertise: Playwriting – Communal Practices – Maverick Methods – Queering – Essaying – Socially-Engaged Arts

Dr Rachel Morley is an award-winning teacher and practice-led researcher working across life writing, digital writing, narrative practice, and variations on therapeutic, participatory and/or collaborative storytelling practices. She has published across these fields. She is an experienced supervisor and examiner, and tends to be enthused by work that is innovative, reflexive and transdisciplinary. Rachel is Course Convenor for Creative Industries, member of the Writing and Society Research Centre at WSU, and an active ally for the ongoing development and recognition of Western Sydney’s thriving creative communities.

Institutional Affiliation
: Western Sydney University
Research interests | areas of expertise
: Life Writing (Memoir, Autobiography, Biography) – Creative Non-fiction – Hybrid Writing – Life Writing – Autoethnography – Experimental Fiction

Dr Sally Murphy, OAM is a children’s author, poet and academic, with research interests in verse novels, poetry for children, historical fiction for children, and creative practice in these areas.  


Institutional Affiliation: Curtin University, Perth, resident in Bunbury, WA

Research interests | areas of expertise: Writing for children – Children’s poetry – Verse novels – Historical fiction 


Dr Thom Conroy is the author of the novels The Salted Air and The Naturalist (Penguin Random-House) and the editor of the essay collection Home (Massey University Press). His short fiction, widely published in New Zealand and the US, has been recognised by Best American Short Stories and received other awards, including the Katherine Ann Porter Prize in Fiction. He is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Massey University, and the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Headland.


Institutional Affiliation: Massey University, New Zealand

Research interests | areas of expertise: The Novel – Short Fiction – Narrative Ethics – Narratology – American Literature – Creative Non-Fiction