Meet the Team

Katie Holmes photo

Katie Holmes

Katie Holmes is Professor of History and Director of La Trobe University’s Centre for the Study of the Inland. She is an environmental historian and environmental humanities scholar with a particular interest in how people make sense of the world around them and how this changes over time. Her work brings together different approaches including an interest in gender, oral history, mental illness, emotions and the history of gardens. Katie’s interest in the different ways in which people experience drought has been heightened by her research in Victoria’s Mallee region, and also her work on the different meanings people give to water. Some of Katie’s key books include: Mallee Country: Land, People, History (co-author, 2020); Between the Leaves: Stories of Australian women, writing and gardens (2011); Reading the Garden: the settlement of Australia (co-author, 2008); and Spaces in her Day: Women’s diaries of the 1920s and 1930s (1995)

Lawrie Zion

Lawrie Zion is Associate Provost, Research and Industry Engagement of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce and Professor of Journalism. He also leads the ARC-funded research project, New Beats, which is investigating the aftermath of job loss for journalists whose roles were made redundant. After graduating in History from the University of Melbourne in 1981, he completed a PhD at Monash University examining the pop music scene in Australia during the 1960s. He has over 25 years of experience in the media, including a nine-year stint at ABC radio, where he was based at Triple J, setting up the station’s Hottest 100 listener poll and presenting the arts and entertainment program, Creatures of the Spotlight. He also worked as a writer, researcher and interviewer for ABC TV documentary series ‘Long Way To The Top’ and ‘Love Is In The Air’. From 2004 to 2006 he was the film writer for The Australian, prior to which he wrote for a range of publications including The Age, the US-based trade paper, The Hollywood Reporter, and Rolling Stone Australia. He was also a regular guest on the Ten Network’s ‘The Panel.’ He is the writer and researcher of a one-hour documentary about the 2007 documentary, ‘The Sounds of Aus’ that told the story of the Australian accent. In 2008 it was awarded Chicago’s Hugo prize for best international documentary. HIs 2017 book, The Weather Obsession (MUP) examines how digital media has changed the way we connect to the weather. He is also the co-editor of Ethics for Digital Journalists: Emerging Best Practices (Routledge: 2015).

Sue Martin

Sue Martin is Emeritus Professor in English and former Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) for the College of Arts, Social Sciences & Commerce (2015-2019). Her background is in Literary Studies and she is a specialist in 19th-Century Australian fiction. She has worked on reading culture, women’s writing, gender studies and theory, spatial theory, garden history/culture, 19th-Century Victorian English fiction and the teaching of Australian literature. She is a member of the MLA, former member of DASSH, an ERA REC (Research Excellence Committee) 2018 member, and a Past President of ASAL (the Association for the Study of Australian Literature). Sue is also a member of her local Landcare group and the CFA.

Jacqueline Millner

Jacqueline Millner is Associate Professor of Visual Arts at La Trobe University. She has published widely on contemporary Australian and international art in key anthologies, journals and catalogues of national and international galleries and museums. Her books include Conceptual Beauty: Perspectives on Australian Contemporary Art (Artspace, 2010), Australian Artists in the Contemporary Museum (Ashgate, with Jennifer Barrett, 2014), Fashionable Art (Bloomsbury, with Adam Geczy, 2015), Feminist Perspectives on Art: Contemporary Outtakes, (Routledge, co-edited with Catriona Moore, 2018), Contemporary Art and Feminism (Routledge, 2021 with Catriona Moore) and Care Ethics and Art (Routledge, 2021, co-edited with Gretchen Coombs). She has curated major multi-venue exhibitions and received prestigious research grants from the Australian Research Council, Australia Council, and Arts NSW. She is currently leading the research project Care: Feminism, Art, Ethics in the age of neoliberalism (2019-2022). Central to her research is theorising the link between art and social change and analysing how art and visual culture can offer ethical perspectives on critical issues including climate emergency and inequality.


Linden Ashcroft

Linden Ashcroft grew up in country Victoria on the lands of the Yorta Yorta people and is a lecturer in climate science and science communication at The University of Melbourne. She is also a historical climatologist, and uses pre-1900 documents and weather observations to explore the climate of Australia’s past to help us better prepare for the future. Linden’s career has spanned the academic, non for profit and government sectors, including a stint at the Bureau of Meteorology. She is a regular on community radio, gives frequent public talks, and was featured in the 2019 Best Australian Science Writing Anthology. Linden was a 2019–2020 Science and Technology Australia Superstar of STEM, received the 2020 Australian and Meteorological Society Science Outreach award, and was selected as a Victorian Tall Poppy by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science in 2021 for her excellence in scientific research and outreach.

You can learn more about Linden’s work at and follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @lindenashcroft.

Thomas H. Ford

Thomas H. Ford did his graduate study at the University of Chicago and then worked at a number of Australian universities before joining La Trobe in 2019. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on Romanticism, poetics, Australian literature and the environmental humanities, amongst other topics and fields. His books include “How to Read a Poem: Seven Steps” (Routledge, 2021); “Wordsworth and the Poetics of Air” (Cambridge, 2018), which won the British Association for Romantic Studies first book prize; and, a volume co-edited with Tom Bristow, “A Cultural History of Climate Change” (Routledge, 2016). He is currently working on two book projects: “On the Natural History of Poetry,” and, with Justin Clemens, “Barron Field: The Poetics of Terra Nullius”. He tweets at

Karen Twigg

Karen Twigg is an environmental historian with strong interests in oral history, gender and rural settlement. Her passion for exploring people’s interactions with a changing rural landscape has been inspired by her own upbringing in regional Victoria on Dja Dja Wurrung country. Her work seeks to better understand the dynamic web of relationships that humans share with non-human kin – soil, climate, plants, animals. Karen’s doctoral thesis, which was conferred in 2020, won the Nancy Millis Award (La Trobe University). In 2020, she also won the Jill Roe Prize (Australian History Association) and Mike Smith Prize (National Museum of Australia and the Australian Academy of Science) for two separate articles. Prior to entering academia, Karen worked for two decades as a public historian and has published on a diverse range of topics as well as collaborated with practitioners across the history spectrum, including archivists, librarians, Indigenous groups, local history volunteers, and heritage officers. She is currently the Project Officer for the Parched project.

Rochelle Schoff

Rochelle is a recent addition to the Parched team as a graduate researcher completing her PhD at La Trobe University. She grew up in Wiradjuri Country on a farm north of the Murray River and her enthusiasm for her home region has inspired her research into rural environmental histories. As a part of the Parched team, she is currently researching how border communities along the Murray River experienced and responded to the WWII drought and south-eastern Australian Dust Bowl. Rochelle completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the Australian Catholic University in 2021, studying how regional identity in the Riverina has been shaped through interwar political movements and cultural celebrations.  

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