The School of Journalism, Australian and Indigenous Studies is based at the Caulfield campus and houses the Journalism program, the National Centre for Australian Studies and the Monash Indigenous Centre.
The School has an innovative teaching and research culture with strong performance in competitive grants and publications. It has a particularly strong record in collaborative research with partners from government and industry, and staff in the School have leading roles in three of the Faculty of Art’s ten Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grants. Examples of current projects include:
- a centenary history of ANZAC Day, led by Professor Bruce Scates (in partnership with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs);
- a major biography of Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, by Professor Jenny Hocking (in partnership with the National Library of Australia and the National Archives);
- a detailed study of heritage tourism and the historical landscapes of Australia, Asia and the Pacific by Monash Fellow Dr Keir Reeves; and
- an ARC Discovery project on Aboriginal visual histories by Professor Lynette Russell and ARC Future Fellow Dr Jane Lydon.
The School is highly interdisciplinary, with research strengths including: areas of media practice; journalism and democracy; investigative journalism; the media reporting of climate change; Indigenous history and contemporary issues; Australian studies; biography and biographical studies; tourism and heritage; sport and society; communication and media studies; publishing studies; cultural policy and creative industries.
The School has a strong commitment to public engagement, staging major public events and contributing regularly to public forums, journalism and media commentary. The National Centre for Australian Studies has a program of National Conversations, the Journalism area has established a high profile in public journalism and the Monash Indigenous Centre plays an important role in public engagement around indigenous issues. Recent books published within the school have gained major public attention, notably Professor Jenny Hocking’s Gough Whitlam: People, Party, Politics and Dr Tony Moore’s Death or Liberty: Rebels and Radicals Transported to Australia 1788-1868, both of which were listed for non-fiction book prizes. Research fellow, Dr Tim Soutphommasane is a senior project leader at the think tank Per Capita and a regular columnist for the Weekend Australian.
International collaboration is also seen as a key aspect of the school’s activities in particular through Journalism’s Global Environmental Journalism Initiative linking eight Australian and European universities and through the international collaborative teaching engagements fostered by Journalism and the National Centre for Australian Studies.
The success of JAIS in its mission to provide excellent teaching in its wide range of programs is measured by student enrolments, which are very strong across all of the School’s offerings, and by student satisfaction as measured by regular surveys conducted independently by the University.
The School’s strong commitment to teaching has seen a number of staff recognised for their efforts at both University and Faculty level. Associate Professor Philip Chubb, for example, received a Dean’s commendation in 2010 for his teaching of Environmental Journalism, which is a popular third year unit that provides students with the knowledge and skills to write on climate change at the local and global level. The 2011 students went one step further and the unit was evaluated as such a success that it was placed in the top three per cent university-wide.