School of Arts

Graeme Williams

CRCAH doctoral candidate

Graeme's PhD thesis looks at the impact and influence of the Australian Academy of Art on Australia's cultural landscape in the 1930s and 40s and to what extent the politics of the time were driving its formation and that of the Contemporary Art Society.

This research offers the opportunity to examine the complex relationships within the Australian art community in the early twentieth century with Solicitor-General, Robert Menzies, of the United Australia Party, championing the formation of the Academy of Art, and prominent Australian Labor Party MP H. V. (Doc) Evatt, supporting the modernist ideals of the Contemporary Art Society. 

Graeme has worked as an Architect, Building Surveyor and Land Economist and for a short while headed the Special Projects Unit of the Victorian Tourism Commission. He has a Fellowship Diploma in Architecture (RMIT), holds qualifications in Building Surveying (RMIT & Swinburne) and has both a Graduate Diploma and a Master of Business in Property (RMIT). His Master of Arts by Research thesis (Deakin) was titled A socio-cultural reading: the Melbourne Savage Club through its collections and looked at the cultural significance of a private fine art and ethnographic collection by tracing its evolvement over its first century. The thesis was awarded the Graeme Love Memorial Scholarship.


Establishment of the Museum of Chinese Australian History, Department of History, University of Melbourne – 2006
Menzies and the Australian Academy of Arts, Monday Forum, Melbourne Savage Club – 2010
The Significance of the Collections of the Melbourne Savage Club, Summer School, Deakin University – 2012
Savage Artists in the Great War, C.W. Bean Foundation, @ Melbourne Savage Club – 2012
Menzies: Never Underestimate, Freemasons Victoria, The Victorian Lodge of Research No. 218 – 2014