Alumni Profiles

John Pluske Distinguished Chair

Home InstitutionThe University of Western Australia
Host InstitutionKansas State University
Award NameFulbright-Kansas State University Distinguished Chair in Agriculture and Life Sciences
DisciplineAgriculture (Swine Nutrition)
Award Year2014

“I am excited by the prospect of participating in bilateral learning, appreciation and understanding”.

Professor John Pluske is a Professor in the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences at Murdoch University and a graduate of The University of Western Australia, earning both a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) and Doctor of Philosophy from that institution. He will study at Kansas State University, Kansas, from August 2014 to January 2015, focusing on antibiotic resistant populations of selected bacteria in the gut of swine associated with the use of alternative antimicrobial feed additives.

John Pluske graduated with both a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) and a Doctor of Philosophy from The University of Western Australia. He will study at Kansas State University, Kansas, from August 2014 to January 2015, focussing on antibiotic resistant populations of selected bacteria in the gut of swine associated with the use of alternative antimicrobial feed additives. This research will allow for informed decision making in relation to prudent use of these alternatives on antimicrobial resistance and provide a platform for future research.

“I will benefit enormously from interactions with staff in the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry and the College of Veterinary Medicine that will equip me with new skills and techniques for translation into the Australian pig industry. I am excited by the prospect of participating in bilateral learning, appreciation and understanding not only in my specific field of research, but also from the wider perspective of agricultural and rural issues that affect societies in both the U.S.A and Australia.”

Robert Shellie Distinguished Chair

Home InstitutionUniversity of Tasmania
Host InstitutionPurdue University
Award NameTasmania State Senior Scholarship
DisciplineChemistry – Analytical Chemistry
Award Year2013

“Chemical measurement usually involves taking samples to a laboratory where an analyst makes measurements using specialized scientific instrumentation. However, a preferred tactic in many circumstances may be to employ miniaturized instrumentation, permitting the analyst to ‘bring the laboratory to the sample’.”

Associate Professor Robert Shellie, ARC Australian Research Fellow, with the University of Tasmania (UTAS) is this year’s winner of the Fulbright Tasmania Scholarship sponsored by the Tasmanian State Government and UTAS. Robert will go to Purdue University for three months to further his work in the development of an in-situ system for chemical measurement of environmental pollutants in remote locations. This could be used in locations such as Antarctica, the sub-Antarctic, and by extension industrial sites, and remote communities.

Robert has led research into developing instrumentation for environmental monitoring of fuel spills in Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic, and this is what sparked his interest in the development of this technology.

“Having performed work in the AAD laboratory at Macquarie Island as part of Australia’s 2007-2008 Antarctic Program, I became acutely aware of the need to develop readily transportable instrumentation for performing chemical analysis in remote locations,” Robert said.

“I have since developed a significant interest in miniaturized instrumentation and my research group is currently developing and testing field-transportable instrumentation. In the future I aim to intensify development of miniaturized instrumentation for chemical analysis of complex mixtures in my research group.”

Robert has a BAppSc and a PhD in chemistry from RMIT University. He has won awards and prizes including a Australian Research Council Australian Research Fellowship; a Royal Australian Chemical Institute Robert Cattrall Medal;  Australian Institute of Policy and Science Tasmanian Young Tall Poppy of the Year; and a University of Tasmania Vice Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence. He has also published extensively. His interests include music, art, and renovating.

The prestigious Fulbright program is the largest educational scholarship of its kind, created by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright and the U.S. Government in 1946. Aimed at promoting mutual understanding through educational exchange, it operates between the U.S. and 155 countries. In Australia, the scholarships are funded by the Australian and U.S. Governments and corporate partners and administered by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission in Canberra.

Professor Kate Dolan PhD Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionUniversity of New South Wales
Host InstitutionKansas State University
Award NameFulbright Scholar Award Funded by Kansas State University
DisciplinePrison Health Care
Award Year2019

Kate is the Head of the Program of International Research and Training at the University of New South Wales. During her Fulbright Scholarship, she will spend six months in Kansas, establishing a formal partnership between her research centre and Kansas State University (K-State). This partnership, as well as the existing partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, will address many of the health issues facing prisoners in the U.S, Australia and in the developing world. Kate will use her time at K-State to build professional networks in the prison health care and research fields, to enhance her knowledge and to commence collaborative projects between the two institutions.

Olivia Shen Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionDepartment of Home Affairs
Host InstitutionCenter for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Award NameFulbright Professional Scholarship in Australia-United States Alliance Studies Funded by DFAT
DisciplinePublic Policy
Award Year2019

Olivia holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney and a Master of Public Policy from the Australian National University, where she graduated top of her class. In 2013, Olivia was a Congressional Research Fellow at the United States Senate. In 2015, Olivia was the Thawley Scholar at the Lowy Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
With a decade of experience in the public service, Olivia is currently the Director of Domestic Counter-Terrorism Policy in the Department of Home Affairs.

Olivia is interested in the nexus between technology and national security and will use her time in the U.S. to meet with think tanks, academics and industry experts to explore the ethical and policy challenges of artificial intelligence. She hopes her research will inform an Australian national strategy on AI and forge new AI partnerships between Australia and the United States.

Dr Jeremy Baldwin Postdoctoral Scholars

Home InstitutionQueensland University of Technology
Host InstitutionNational Cancer Institute / National Institute of Health, Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch
Award NameFulbright Future Scholarship Funded by The Kinghorn Foundation
DisciplineRegenerative Medicine
Award Year2019

Jeremy is a post-doctoral researcher in the field of tissue engineering and cancer research at the Centre in Regenerative Medicine in Brisbane. In 2015 Jeremy received an ANZ Board of Trustees scholarship to complete a PhD at the Queensland University of Technology focusing on bone tissue engineering. In addition to his doctoral studies he also completed a master of research management and commercialisation. In 2018 he received both an Endeavour Research Fellowship and a Sir Winston Churchill Fellowship to complete post-doctoral training in the field of immunology. Jeremy hopes to combine his background in both tissue engineering and immunology to help translate the next generation of cancer immunotherapies from the lab to the clinic.

During his Fulbright Future Scholarship, Jeremy will work at the National Institute of Health focusing on metabolically reprogramming T-cells for applications in cancer immunotherapies. The metabolic activity of a cell is controlled by tiny organelles, called mitochondria, which act like batteries providing the cells with energy to function. Improving mitochondrial content and activity has been shown to increase the long-term survival and anti-tumour activity of T-cells.

Mark McHenry Postdoctoral Scholars

Home InstitutionMurdoch University
Host InstitutionSandia National Laboratories
Award NameSandia National Laboratories
DisciplineClimate Change Mitigation Technologies
Award Year2012

“Increasing freshwater and energy demands and corresponding decreases in supply quantity and quality is stimulating cross-disciplinary investment in the energy-water nexus.”

Dr Mark McHenry, researching climate change mitigation technologies at Murdoch University, is the winner of the 2012 Fulbright WA Scholarship. The W.A. scholarship is supported through a fund established by donations from the W.A. government, W.A. based universities, companies, foundations and individuals.

Through his Fulbright Mark will carry out a project on waste energy, carbon, and water systems for inland industrial process mitigation with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for six months.

“My project seeks to critically review and model new waste energy, carbon and water intensive technologies that can be retrofitted to inland industrial facilities,” Mark said.

The project scope is narrowed to three new technologies that have a high potential to co-produce agricultural/aquacultural production inputs for inland regions: microalgal biofuels, thermal desalination, and solution mining. This work quantifies physical ‘energy and material flow’ data for ‘retrofitting’ new technologies for reduced net emissions, fresh water consumption, and energy waste from inland industrial processes, including electricity generators.

Mark has a BSc and PhD in physics from Murdoch University. He has won various awards and prizes including a Postdoctoral Endeavour Award Fellowship from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and a Science and Innovation Award for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in 2007. He is also a founding member of the Rural Research and Development Council, and has published extensively. He is involved with various non-governmental organisations, and undertakes specialist research regarding renewable energy, carbon sequestration, and rural activities, technologies, and policies.


Graham Akhurst Postgraduate Students

Graham Akhurst
Home InstitutionThe University of Queensland
Host InstitutionHunter College
Award NameFulbright W.G. Walker Queensland Scholarship
DisciplineCreative Writing
Award Year2019

Graham is an Aboriginal writer and academic hailing from the Kokomini of Northern Queensland. He has been published in Mascara Literary Review and Westerly for creative non-fiction, and the Australian Book Review, Cordite, VerityLa, Off the Coast (Maine America), Red Ink (Arizona State University Press) Australian Poetry Journal, and Artlines for poetry. He contributed to the Brisbane Poetry Map (2015) and was the poet of the week for the Australian Book Review in early April 2016. Graham has been a featured reader at the Queensland Poetry Festival, Clancestry, Woodford Folk Festival, UQ Art Museum, Queensland Art Gallery, Ruckus Slam, and Dark Mofo. Graham’s poetry was exhibited alongside contemporary Indigenous photography and published in the catalogue for UQ Art Museum’s Over the Fence. exhibition. He was also the first featured seasonal artist for QAGOMA’s Australian Collection. Graham received an Australia Council Grant for the creation of new work to complete his debut novel Borderland, which will be published with Hachette in 2019. He is also a participant in Australia Council for the Arts Future Leaders Program for 2018. Graham was a participant on the Aurora study tour in 2015. He was valedictorian of his graduating year (2014) and completed his writing honours with a first class result at The University of Queensland (2015). He is currently enrolled in an MPhil of Creative Writing at UQ with an APA scholarship. Graham also teaches Indigenous Studies at the University of Queensland.

Graham will use his time in America to write his second novel through a Master of Fine Arts Program. He hopes to engage in a cultural exchange with first nations people in America while also exposing and establishing a foreign readership for Indigenous Australian works of literature

Margit Bowler Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionReed College
Host InstitutionAustralian National University
Award Name2011 Fulbright Postgraduate Scholar
Award Year2011

“Although Warlpiri is one of the most widely spoken Australian Aboriginal languages it, like many Indigenous languages, is at a high risk of language extinction.”

Ms Margit Bowler, a recent graduate from Reed College, has won a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship to come to the Australian National University to study some aspects of Warlpiri, which is an Australian Indigenous language.

“Several unusual linguistic properties of Warlpiri pose challenges to traditionally accepted linguistic theories,” Margit said. “To date, there is still no agreement within the linguistic community on a single analysis of Warlpiri.”

Margit will research the syntax and semantics of sentences in Warlpiri with respect to quantifiers, which are words such as “each” and “all”.

“Warlpiri belongs to a very small subset of “non-configurational” languages that potentially do not possess a hierarchical internal structure,” Margit said.

“Furthermore, the words in a Warlpiri sentence can occur in almost any order. It is unclear what effect these features have on how quantifiers are interpreted in the language.”

Margit will supplement her research by attending courses at the Australian National University, through a mentorship under Dr. Jane Simpson at ANU and she will also conduct fieldwork in the Northern Territory within communities that have a significant Warlpiri speaking population.

Margit has a BA in linguistics from Reed College. She has won various awards and prizes including commendations in scholastic excellence from Reed, a National Science Foundation REU grant to complete an internship at the Oregon Health & Science University’s Center for Spoken Language Understanding in Beaverton, Oregon and a North Oregon Coast scholarship, and she has been a Rotary exchange student in Austria. She will enter a PhD program in linguistics at UCLA, with a Chancellor’s Fellowship, upon completion of her Fulbright. In her spare time she enjoys traditional Scandinavian dance and is a keen musician, playing the violin and Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle.

Joshua Dunne Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionThe University of Western Australia
Host InstitutionGeorgetown University
Award NameFulbright Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplinePolitical Science / International Relations
Award Year2019

Joshua graduated from the University of Western Australia in 2018 with a Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours), having written his Honours dissertation on the subject of competing French and Chinese political influence within the North African state of Algeria. Joshua will utilise his Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a Masters’ Degree in International Security, consolidating his understanding of the modern threats and challenges facing states throughout the developing world, while retaining his personal focus on the ever-changing yet always relevant region of the Middle East and North Africa. Joshua hopes to apply his understanding of regional security challenges in a professional setting through a role within the Australian diplomatic corps, drawing upon his passion for interstate relationships and cross-cultural cooperation to help surmount the obstacles and challenges facing the developing world in the 21st century.

Sadie Heckenberg Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionMonash University and University of South Australia
Host InstitutionUniversity of Hawai’i
Award NameIndigenous Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineArts (Indigenous Oral History)
Award Year2014

“I am truly excited to be able to study with some of the best minds in the Indigenous Oral History field.”

Sadie Heckenberg is currently undertaking a PhD specialising in Indigenous Oral History, including research undertaken at Monash University and the David Unaipon College of Indigenous Education and Research at the University of South Australia. She will study at the University of Hawaii Manoa, Honolulu, from August 2014 at the Centre for Oral History.

This research aims to address the ever-growing need to protect Indigenous spoken cultural knowledge. By developing her knowledge of Indigenous epistemologies of the Pacific, she will in turn, build the depth and strength of research to bring back into the Wiradjuri community (NSW).

“I am truly excited to be able to study with some of the best minds in the Indigenous Oral History field. The Hawaiian knowledge systems have been nurtured and maintained by wise Eldership reflected not only through the achievements of Hawaiian academic research but in society itself.”

Molly Jones Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionGeorgetown University
Host InstitutionAustralian National University
Award NameFulbright-Anne Wexler Masters in Public Policy Scholarship
DisciplinePublic Policy
Award Year2014

Molly Jones is the 2014 American Anne Wexler Scholar. She received her undergraduate degree in Science, Technology, and International Affairs from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. In 2014, she will complete a Master of Public Policy at the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy. She will focus on shared political interests and cooperation between the US and Australia in trade, security, and development; with a particular focus on environmental security as a priority issue in the Asia Pacific.

Both the US and Australia are pursuing increased involvement and leadership in the Asia Pacific. Within the Obama administration, the US has pivoted, or rebalanced, its foreign policy to the Asia Pacific. To date, this effort has been primarily through the sectors of security and trade. Despite these efforts, US policymakers agree that the rebalance needs to include a greater number of Asia Pacific nations and address a greater breadth of policies beyond security and trade. Complementary to this, Australia is also shifting its foreign policy to be more focused on the Asia Pacific.

A critical factor for stability and continued growth in the Asia Pacific is its environmental security. Finite natural resources, energy supply and geopolitics, climate change, and environmental degradation all pose a serious threat to the growth and stability of the region. Many of these environmental conditions are considered threat multipliers, which are conditions that lead to instability and make conflict over other issues more likely to erupt. Other environmental conditions prevent growth and prosperity. Policymakers and the business community can work together to improve the environmental outlook of the region, promote growth, and ensure stability and prosperity.

“One of my primary goals is to promote natural resource security in the Asia Pacific. The US and Australia have the potential to be great partners in this endeavor – strengthening both the Asia Pacific region as well as their diplomatic and economic ties. Through the Anne Wexler Scholarship, I will develop the skills to make a meaningful contribution to the US-Australian collaboration in this area.”

Daniel Wodak Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionThe University of Sydney
Host InstitutionPrinceton University
Award Name2011 Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship
Award Year2011

“I am interested in how philosophy of language can be applied to meta-ethical debates, drawing from emerging methodologies like experimental philosophy, and the implications this has for morality and law.”

Daniel Wodak, who recently graduated in Arts and Law from The University of Sydney, has won a Fulbright Scholarship, which he will use to undertake a PhD in philosophy at in the United States, specialising in moral philosophy.

“My interests in moral philosophy are fairly broad, ranging from meta-ethical questions about how moral obligations provide reasons for action, to questions in normative ethics about what our moral obligations are, to debates in semantics (philosophy of language), jurisprudence (philosophy of law) and philosophy of happiness,” Daniel said.

“Moral philosophy is something people often engage in on a regular basis, because disagreement about important moral issues is everywhere. Philosophers just take these debates to greater and greater levels of abstraction. It’s important to keep in mind that however abstract you get – and many of the meta-ethical debates that I’m interested are pretty abstract – the arguments involved have serious real world implications. Daniel says that America has a strong tradition of making these implications apparent.

This is largely due to “a stronger culture of philosophers being engaged in political commentary and debate.” Also, “professors of philosophy are often involved in teaching and writing about law, and vice versa. This makes law students all the more likely to be critically engaged in philosophical debates about what law is, and what it ought to be.” Daniel’s interest in philosophy began when he enrolled in Mind and Morality, in his penultimate year of High School. He continued this study through his university years. Over the last two years he has lectured and tutored in philosophy at the University of Sydney while completing his Bachelor of Laws, with a particular focus on jurisprudence.

Daniel has a BA and LLB (First Class Honours) from The University of Sydney. He was awarded the University Medal and the John Anderson Prize for Best Thesis in Philosophy. In addition to Philosophy Daniel is interested in debating, swimming, cycling, reading, theatre, film and art. He has edited a range of student publications including Honi Soit, The Bull, The Sydney Globalist and Dissent, and interned at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency and the Refugee Advice and Casework Service.

The prestigious Fulbright program is the largest educational scholarship of its kind, created by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright and the U.S. Government in 1946. Aimed at promoting mutual understanding through educational exchange, it operates between the U.S. and 155 countries. In Australia, the scholarships are funded by the Australian and U.S. Governments and corporate partners and administered by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission in Canberra. Daniel is one of 26 talented Australians to be recognised as a Fulbright Scholar in 2011.



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