The Fulbright Program has more than 370,000 alumni from over 160 countries worldwide. Fulbright alumni include 33 current or former heads of state or government, 54 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 29 MacArthur Foundation Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors. Five thousand of those alumni belong to the Australian-American program and received their Fulbright awards from the 1950s on. You are a part of this roll call of excellence.

We aspire to deepen and expand our connection with you. We want you to be committed and contributing partners in the fostering of mutual understanding through academic and cultural exchange between Australia and the U.S. that the Fulbright Program promotes.

Some of our alumni

Martin Thoms Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionUniversity of New England
Host InstitutionWinona State University
Award NameSenior Scholarship
DisciplineEcosystems Resilience
Award Year2012

“The world’s floodplain-­rivers are valuable but threatened ecosystems. Questions on how resilient these ecosystems are to a range of impacts remain unanswered and the satisfactory resolution of how to manage these areas is a major challenge for the nation.”

Professor Martin Thoms, the Head of the Geography Department at the University of New England, has won a Fulbright Senior Scholarship to go to the U.S. Geological Survey Organisation in La Crosse and the Large River Lab based at Winona State University for five months. Through his scholarship Martin extend an existing collaboration to examine the resilience of river ecosystems in relation to climate change.

Martin’s project will build on his already extensive work into floodplain river ecosystems. He will identify opportunities to: 1) use nuclear technologies to solve important environmental issues; 2) prevent rivers moving towards negative change; 3) promote rivers towards positive change; and, 4) maintain rivers in a desirable state.

“Strategic adaptive management improves the resilience capacity of rivers and their ability to recover from the impacts of disturbances, like climate change. However information on how close rivers are to tipping points and the factors that push them towards tipping points is important in determining their resilience,” Martin said.

His project will address significant knowledge gaps in relation to changing trophic structure of floodplain-rivers by reconstructing past and present food webs in aquatic ecosystems of lowland rivers of the Murray Basin and Upper Mississippi River.

Martin has a BSc and an MSc in geomorphology from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and a PhD in Environmental Sciences from the University of Technology, Loughborough, U.K. His achievements include being appointed as independent scientific auditor to Murray Darling Basin Authority; a UN International Scientific Team member for river studies in the Kingdom of Lesotho; President (elect) of the International Society for River Sciences; several International Association for Hydrological Sciences research prizes; and, the Binghamton International Geomorphology Prize for innovation in geomorphology. His interests include mountain biking, aboriginal art and his two energetic retrievers.

Dr Chris Dixon Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionThe University of Queensland
Host InstitutionEdward A. Clark Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies,The University of Texas at Austin
Award NameFulbright Professional Scholarship in Australia-United States Alliance Studies, Sponsored by the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Award Year2016

Chris is a Reader in History at the University of Queensland’s School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts (Honors) and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Western Australia he completed his PhD at the University of New South Wales. Prior to his appointment at the University of Queensland, he held academic positions at the University of Sydney, Massey University, and the University of Newcastle. He has served two terms as President of the Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association.

Believing passionately that history provides a window to the world, present as well as past, Chris has sought, through both his teaching and his research, to help others gaze through and open that window. As well as teaching undergraduate courses on US history, he has supervised 15 PhD and Masters students, and over 60 Honors students, to successful completion. He has also served as his Faculty’s Associate Dean, with particular responsibility for Research Higher Degree matters.

Chris’s own research focuses on two themes: the history of race relations, especially African American history; and the Pacific War. Having completed Hollywood’s South Seas and the Pacific War: Searching for Dorothy Lamour (co-authored with Professor Sean Brawley) he is currently writing African Americans and the Pacific War for Cambridge University Press.

When he’s not pursuing his interests in American history and politics, Chris enjoys supporting the mighty Hawthorn Football Club. A keen runner, he has completed 50 marathons, including the Boston Marathon and the 90 kilometer Comrades Ultramarathon in South Africa. Chris has traveled widely and in 2009 trekked the Kokoda Trail with his twelve year-old son, Sam.

The Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Australia-U.S. Alliance Studies will enable Chris to explore the experiences of the 100,000 African-Americans who spent time in Australia during World War Two. This project will shed light on the social and cultural bases of the wartime relationship between the US and Australia – which was the platform upon which the postwar ANZUS alliance was forged. The University of Texas at Austin’s Edward A. Clark Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies provides an ideal base for conducting this research, and will also enable Chris to work with the University’s internationally-renowned scholars in History and African American Studies. In deepening our understanding of the alliance between Australia and the US, Chris’s project will also foster closer scholarly relations between the two nations.

Laura Crommelin Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionUniversity of New South Wales
Host InstitutionUniversity of New South Wales
Award NameUniversity of Michigan
DisciplineImage, identity & urban change
Award Year2012

“With three quarters of all Australians living in major urban areas, the health of our cities is imperative to our nation’s future well-being. As a result, cities are the context in which a growing range of political and social issues are being debated.”

Ms Laura Crommelin, a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Built Environment at UNSW, is this year’s winner of the Fulbright NSW Scholarship, which is sponsored by the NSW Government and NSW universities.

Through her Fulbright Scholarship Laura will research the relationship between image, identity and urban change in Detroit, Michigan at the University of Michigan. Through this work she will examine how a city’s image and identity are linked to its physical, economic and social form; why our perceptions of cities change; and whether different regeneration practices can help to shift such perceptions. Her research will focus on these issues in ‘post-industrial’ cities, where practices like urban branding and grassroots urbanism are becoming increasingly popular.

Detroit is a case study for Laura’s Ph.D., along with Newcastle, Australia, as both cities are looking to reshape their image following industrial decline.

“While Newcastle’s economic challenges have not been as severe as Detroit’s, both cities have had to grapple with the shifting relationship between their economy, their identity and their image. Newcastle has experienced significant economic restructuring since the BHP steelworks closed, and recently launched a branding campaign in the hopes of promoting a new image for the city. Lessons from the U.S. about innovative and effective ways to reshape urban image and identity are therefore highly pertinent to Newcastle,” Laura said.

“My comparative research considers the role and effectiveness of place marketing and branding in this recovery process, addressing current debates around whether top-down regeneration practices like urban branding can truly help to reshape image and identity; whether urban branding is incompatible with local, grassroots responses to decline; and how different urban populations are involved in the creation of a more image-conscious ‘branded’ post-industrial city,” Laura said.

Laura has a M. Litt, US Studies Centre, University of Sydney and a BA/LLB (Hons), University of Melbourne. She has won awards and prizes including the Sir George Turner Exhibition for Constitutional and Administrative Law, at the University of Melbourne Law School, 2002; and a Universitas 21 Language Exchange Scholarship for study at McGill University, Montreal. In her spare time she enjoys netball, travel, long distance running, attending the theatre.



James Riggall Postgraduate Students

James Riggal
Home InstitutionBitlink
Host InstitutionBellevue College
Award NameFulbright Scholar-in-Residence
DisciplineInformation Technology
Award Year2017

James is currently the Managing Director of Bitlink a company that specialises in STEM education and teacher training.  He is also currently the President of Startup Tasmania and is one of the founders of the Battery Shed, a community hackerspace in Launceston, Tasmania.

James will use his Fulbright Scholarship to travel to Seattle and work with Bellevue College to establish their own on-campus hackerspace, the Collaboratory.  This project has evolved, in part, out of an ongoing collaboration between James and staff at Bellevue College.  The Fulbright Scholarship will enable this partnership to be further developed and for James to work with the team at Bellevue College, and other partners, to undertake research into how to best teach STEM subjects in a collaborative, project-based way, where teaching staff and project partners are distributed all over the world.

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