History and heritage

The History and Heritage Research Priority Area brings together research strengths in humanities and social sciences under four main themes:

Australian history

Our research includes strength in goldfields history, Australians at war, cultural histories and regional histories.


Our staff are engaged with a number of heritage and allied organisations, including a collaboration with the World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asian and the Pacific Region (under the auspices of UNESCO) and the City of Ballarat exploring the implications of historic urban landscapes.

Historical justice

Our research includes strengths in historical justice and memory studies.

Community regional engagement

Our research agenda emphasises a research to practice approach that also ties in with our field base delivery of the Bachelor of Social Science.

Research projects

Rights in records by design

ARC Discovery Project 2017 – 2019 DP170100198 (Monash University and Federation University Australia)

This project aims to design and develop a Lifelong Living Archive for children who experience out-of-home care. Children cared for out-of-home need quality record-keeping systems to develop and nurture their sense of identity and connectedness; account for their care experiences throughout their lives; and detect, report, investigate and take action against child neglect and abuse. This research is expected to support children experiencing family dislocation through efficient, effective, and responsive record-keeping systems to ensure the highest standards and continuity of care. At the core of this is a consideration of historical justice for care leavers and how this can be accessed through the archives.

Former Clunes Free Lending Library Project

Hugh D Williamson Foundation, Creative Clunes, RBA and CRCAH Clunes Free Lending Library Project

Led by Professor Keir Reeves, the initial stage of this project will provide a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) by RBA heritage architects. Allied with this is architectural historical research into the building and the wider heritage significance of Clunes, and initial research into the development of a Hugh Williamson Room.

Higher Education for Care Leavers Strategy

La Trobe University and Federation University Australia

Associate Professor Jacqueline Wilson is the Federation University lead for this program, which provides outreach, academic and financial support to assist people who have spent time in foster, residential, or kinship care (care leavers) to succeed at university.

The project received the highly prestigious 2017 Equity and Opportunity award at the Australian Financial Review Higher Education Awards.

Regional Engagement Research

Our location in the Central Goldfields and Latrobe Valley regions of Victoria centres us in areas of great historical significance, and provides unique opportunities to engage with our communities throughout regional Victoria. Dr Tim Harrison spearheads a number of major research initiatives currently in progress in Horsham, Portland and the peri-urban fringe of Melbourne.

Further information

Professor Keir Reeves
(03)  5327 9699
Email: k.reeves@federation.edu.au