Researcher biography

Aboriginal languages, morphology, languages in contact, pidgin and creole languages

I studied at the University of Queensland between 1995-2001. Between 2001-04, I worked as a community linguist at Diwurruwurru-jaru Aboriginal Corporation facilitating revitalisation programs for Bilinarra and Ngarinyman people. I joined the Aboriginal Child Language project (University of Melbourne) in 2004 as a PhD student. I completed my PhD in 2008 and continued documenting Gurindji, Bilinarra and Gurindji Kriol as a part of the Jaminjungan and Eastern Ngumpin DOBES project, then with my own ELDP grant at the University of Manchester and finally returned to UQ with an ARC APD and then an ARC DECRA.

I currently hold a Future Fellowship and an ARC DP which focus on language evolution and contact processes across northern Australia. I am also a CI on the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language.

I am the author of Case-Marking in Contact (Benjamins, 2011), Bilinarra to English Dictionary (Batchelor Press, 2013) and a co-author of A Grammar of Bilinarra (Mouton, 2013, with Rachel Nordlinger), Gurindji to English Dictionary (Batchelor Press, 2013 with Patrick McConvell, Erika Charola, Norm McNair, Helen McNair and Lauren Campbell) and Bilinarra, Gurindji and Malngin Plants and Animals (LRM, 2012 with Glenn Wightman). I am also the co-editor of Loss and Renewal: Australian Languages since Colonisation (Mouton, 2016, with Carmel O'Shannessy), Yijarni: True Stories from Gurindji Country (2016, Aboriginal Studies Press, with Erika Charola) and Mayarni-kari Yurrk: More Stories from Gurindji Country (2016, Batchelor Press, with Erika Charola).

All of this work has been the result of fieldwork over the last 17 years in northern Australia.

Areas of research