Our staff

Director – Assoc. Prof. Nick Thieberger

Nick Thieberger set up the Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre in the late 1980s, then worked at AIATSIS on developing the Aboriginal Studies Electronic Data Archive. He lived in Vanuatu for three years and wrote a grammatical description of South Efate, one of the indigenous languages of Central Vanuatu. In order to write a grammatical description of the language based on his field recordings he developed a tool (Audiamus) that allowed him to present his PhD thesis together with a DVD of example sentences and texts. Nick has a strong interest in using new tools to assist fieldworkers to produce data that can be reused in future.

Director, Sydney Unit -
Dr. Amanda Harris

Amanda Harris is the Director of the PARADISEC Sydney Unit and Research Fellow at Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Her research focuses on gender, music and cross-cultural histories. Currently, she is working on the ARC Discovery Project ‘Reclaiming Performance Under Assimilation in southeast Australia, 1935-75’

Founding Director and Steering Committee Member –
Professor Linda Barwick

Professor Linda Barwick has undertaken field research in Central and Northern Australia, Italy and the Philippines. She is a great believer in collaborative research, and enjoys working with communities and linguists to produce well-documented published recordings of sung traditions. On the academic side Linda is particularly interested in song language, musical analysis and aesthetics of non-Western song traditions, and the implications of emerging digital and networking technologies for establishing community access points to research results.

Senior Data Manager, Language Data Commons of Australia (LDaCA) at ANU – Dr. Julia Miller

Dr. Julia Colleen Miller has been working with PARADISEC since 2010. Based at ANU, Julia is the Senior Data Manager for the Language Data Commons of Australia (LDaCA) at ANU. She also oversees the ANU PARADISEC unit, where she manages the digitisation studios as well as trains staff, students, and volunteers in archiving, digital preservation and data management. Julia received a PhD in Linguistics, which focused on acoustic phonetics within the context of a language documentation project.

Project Coordinator – Nick Ward

Nick Ward has been working for PARADISEC since 2007. He coordinates operations in the Sydney office, works on collections, and helps manage the PARADISEC catalog. With a background in linguistics and anthropology, Nick is excited to be contributing to preservation and revitalisation of endangered languages and cultures.

Laboratory Coordinator – Jodie Kell

Jodie Kell works at digitising and preserving media and the management of the PARADISEC catalog. She has a Diploma in Audio Engineering and is currently a doctoral student at The University of Sydney supervised by Linda Barwick. Her thesis is about the role of women in music making in the Maningrida region of Northern Australia.

Research Assistant – Steven Gagau

Steven Gagau joined PARADISEC in mid 2017 primarily to improve the metadata of Papua New Guinea (PNG) collections at the Sydney Unit. His work has extended to Vanuatu and Solomon Islands collections as part of Melanesian culture. He provides language support and culture assistance for metadata enrichment to enhancing the knowledge and information of materials held in the PARADISEC catalogue.

Working on the preservation and archival material of indigenous people, culture and languages at PARADISEC provides that vital information resource and repository for users to access and safeguards for future generations. He has an engineering science (MSc) background and now a management practitioner. He is involved more in social sciences, education, community and humanitarian space.

Honorary Associate – Dr. Linda Payi Ford

Dr Payi Linda Ford has joined the PARADISEC team of Honorary Associates. Payi was educated in traditional knowledge and practices growing up with her family as a member of the Rak Mak Mak Marranunggu people of the Finniss River and Reynold River regions of the Northern Territory, and has also been educated in various mainstream Australian education institutions, receiving her PhD from Deakin University. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow in the Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University. At PARADISEC she will be working with Prof Linda Barwick and Emeritus Prof Allan Marett to develop her research project “Caring about Ceremony: Indigenous Knowledge across Boundaries of Time, Space and Society”.