Meet the team

Dr Piers Kelly

Lead researcher (DECRA)

Dr Piers Kelly’s research is on graphic codes in small-scale societies. As an ARC DECRA fellow, Dr Kelly is examining rare message sticks in world collections and conducting fieldwork with senior knowledge holders in Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands.

Dr Lorina Barker

Research Associate

Dr Lorina Barker is a Muruwari and Wangkumara oral historian at the University of New England and CI of the Songlines of Country ARC Discovery Indigenous project. She has worked with Dr Kelly and the Australian Museum on the identification of Muruwari and Wangkumara message sticks, including participation in the First Inventors documentary series. She is reconstructing traditional styles and techniques of manufacture.

Hans-Jörg Bibiko

Data Scientist

Hans-Jörg Bibiko has been working as a computer scientist since 2004 with a focus on knowledge visualisation, applied computer science in the humanities, and digital cartography/GIS.

Junran Lei

Data Scientist

Junran Lei has been involved in many system development projects in Humanities research. She developed AUSTLANG, an Australian Indigenous language database with GIS mapping features,  OZBIB, a linguistic bibliography database, i‐Dig, a Fedora based search engine for harvested  collections, OCCAMS, an online cultural collection analysis and management system and a semantic web for museum prototype system.

Taragara Research Group

Research Associates

Taragara Researchers partner and collaborate with researchers, groups and community on projects that are mutually beneficial to Aboriginal communities. Taragara Researchers work closely with the Taragara Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal-led enterprise and cultural broker between the University, government, non-government entities and funding bodies and the Aboriginal communities in which Taragara researchers work. Taragara projects are responsive to Aboriginal communities’ aspirations from which research is generated and culturally tailored.

Nitzan Rotman

Research Assistant

Nitzan has been designing websites for the academic and private sectors for more than 10 years. He holds an MA in Public Policy & Management and is currently also involved in an AgTech project – the development and implementation of a robotic platform for glasshouses.

Past team members

Dr Alexandra Roginski

Dr Alexandra Roginski

Collections and Data Manager

Dr Roginski is an experienced Australian historian with expertise in provenance research. She analysed original sources including collection registers and other textual materials to populate the OCCAMS database. Dr Roginski also liaised with international institutions to ensure that collection data was accurately and ethically represented before it being stored securely online. She is currently employed at Lovell Chen.

A message stick from East Blythe River made by Jackie Djabalada and traced by Piper Young as a line drawing

Piper Young

Work Experience (volunteer high-school program), Image Editor

Ms. Piper Young has developed workflow and instructions for editing images of message sticks including photographs of conserved objects and historical sketches.