Five people stand outside the National Library building
Five of our current Fellows at the National Library. L-R:Warren Sun, Melanie Oppenheimer, Alison Holland, Madelyn Shaw, Faye Chan

Our distinguished Fellowships program supports researchers to make intensive use of the National Library’s rich and varied collections through residencies of three months. National Library of Australia Fellowships are made possible by generous philanthropic support.

Meet our new Fellows and learn about the projects they’re currently working on with Library collections. 

Therèsa Borg 

A woman with dark hair stands by the National Library building
Therèsa Borg. Image: National Library of Australia

Therèsa Borg is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts Theatre (Writing) and Opera Studio programs. Her directing credits include Sweeney Todd (2019) at Her Majesty’s Melbourne, and Resident Director of An American In Paris (2022). She has played principal roles for Cameron Mackintosh, The Really Useful Company, Opera Australia, and Victorian Opera.  

 Therèsa founded Melbourne production house Entertainment Store/Life Like Touring and over the course of two decades wrote and directed more than 20 family musicals for international studios. 

Therèsa is writing a triptych of Australian historical plays based on true untold stories investigating multiple intersections of oppression and discrimination in early twentieth century Australia. One of these plays, HYGEIA, is the focus of her research at the Library. 

Faye Chan 

A woman in glasses and a red coat stands by the National Library building
Faye Chan. Image: National Library of Australia

Faye Chan is a PhD student at the University of Melbourne. Her research project aims to study the legal status of Chinese Indonesian women, tracing the ways in which different governments have marginalised or ‘alienated’ them in order to exert social control. 

At the Library, she will consult the Indonesian language collection of statutes and laws to examine the legal instruments that regulate Chinese Indonesians. She will also assess a range of newspapers and Japanese occupation materials held on microfilm to contextualise the daily life of Chinese Indonesians under the Japanese military regime and find journalistic writings by contemporaneous Chinese Indonesians commenting on social, cultural and political issues of the day.  

Alison Holland 

A woman in blue and black clothing stands by the National Library building
Alison Holland. Image: National Library of Australia

Alison Holland is an Associate Professor in History and Archaeology at Macquarie University where she specialises in Australian History with research interests in Indigenous history, policy and governance, humanitarianism/human rights, social justice and citizenship. 

Alison completed her second monograph in November 2019. Titled Breaking the Silence: Aboriginal Defenders and the Settler State, 1905-1939 (Melbourne University Publishing), it recovered the conflicted politics around Indigenous affairs in the first half of the twentieth century. The research for this book was supported by the National Archives of Australia where she was the Frederick Watson Fellow in 2013/2014. 

At the Library she is exploring the significant collections relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission to work towards writing a history of the organisation. 

Melanie Oppenheimer 

A woman in a patterned scarf stands by the National Library building
Melanie Oppenheimer. Image: National Library of Australia

Melanie Oppenheimer is a Professor in the School of History at the Australian National University and Emeritus Professor at Flinders University, Adelaide. She is one of Australia’s leading historians of women, war and volunteering, the Red Cross Movement and League of Red Cross Societies. 

Melanie has an extensive and successful publication record in Australian history. She is the author of 14 sole authored and edited books. Melanie's book, All Work. No Pay. Australian Volunteers in War (2002) was the recipient of an AHA/National Centenary of Federation award. The book was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's History Prize in 2003.  

Melanie’s NLA Fellowship forms part of a larger biographical study about one of Australia’s most important early vice-regal couples, titled The imperial power couple: the personal and political lives of Helen and Ronald Munro Ferguson. Munro Ferguson was Australia’s sixth Governor General from 1914 to 1920. 

Madelyn Shaw 

A woman in a striped scarf stands by the National Library building
Madelyn Shaw. Image: National Library of Australia

Madelyn Shaw is a curator and writer specializing in the exploration of American history and culture through textiles and dress. 

She has held curatorial and administrative positions at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, New Bedford Whaling Museum, The Textile Museum (Washington DC), and the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. 

Her current project, in partnership with Dr. Trish FitzSimons (Griffith University) is Fabric of War: A Hidden History of the Global Wool Trade, which explores the links between wool as a strategic military commodity in the 20th century and our current global reliance on synthetic fibres. 

Warren Sun 

A man in a blue vest stands by the National Library building
Warren Sun. Image: National Library of Australia

Dr Warren Sun is Adjunct Associate Professor of Monash University, and holds a PhD in Chinese intellectual history from the Australian National University.  Since 1995, he has been Co-Chief Investigator on many significant ARC Research and Discovery projects on Chinese politics. 

Dr Sun received an Asia Study Grant for his project The Honest Bloke Who Turned China Around – A chronicle of Chairman Hua Guofeng’s political career (1971-1981). He will examine the political career of Chairman Hua Guofeng, the first legitimate leader and successor in post-Mao China, before being toppled in 1981 by the paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping.

Paul Turnbull 

A man in sunglasses stands by the National Library building
Paul Turnbull. Image: National Library of Australia

Professor Paul Turnbull is a historian who is known internationally for his research on the theft and scientific uses of the ancestral bodily remains of Australian and other Indigenous peoples. Since the early 1990s he has been a consultant researcher for Indigenous Australian representative organisations, Australian and overseas museums, and recently the Australian Government’s International Repatriation Program. 

Paul was recently appointed Emeritus Professor of History and Digital Humanities by the University of Tasmania. He is also an Honorary Professor at the Centre for Critical Heritage and Museum Studies of the Australian National University. 

 The aim of Paul’s Fellowship is to pursue research for a book and related essays exploring the interactions, experiences and relations between Indigenous people and settlers respecting each other’s dead.  

Anthony White 

A man in scarf and glasses stands by the National Library building
Anthony White. Image: National Library of Australia

Anthony White is an Australian artist who lives and works in Paris, France. Since graduating from the National Art School, Sydney, White has produced international exhibitions for galleries based primarily in Australia and in Hong Kong, London and France.   

White’s painting practice explores the intersection of historical and current social issues and how they relate to the production of contemporary images. His sustained enquiry focuses on the relationship between Modernism and colonialist concepts of Empire. In doing so, he asserts the role of the artist as inherently political and urges us to consider the role of artistic interventions in the current climate.  

As Creative Arts Fellow at the National Library, White has investigated material from the Sidney Nolan collection related to the creation of the Eureka Stockade mural commissioned by the Reserve Bank. This research will inform a new body of abstract paintings that incorporate painterly interventions and collage for exhibition.  

The National Library of Australia Fellowships program supports advanced research by scholars with an opportunity to undertake a residency at the Library in Canberra. 

The Creative Arts Fellowships support recipients to use Library collections to progress or complete a new artwork or body of work, including music, dance, visual arts or digital media. 

The Asia Study Grant program provides researchers and PhD students with the opportunity to research the Library’s Asian language and Asia-related collections. 

Learn more about Fellowships