A distinguished historian will join Charles Darwin University in August to head the Faculty of Law, Education, Business and Arts (LEBA).
Professor Giselle Byrnes will take up the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor of LEBA on August 15. She is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor (Postgraduate) at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, where she also holds the posts of Professor of History and Director of the Public History Research Unit.
CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover said Professor Byrnes was a respected senior member of the University of Waikato and, among her achievements, had overseen a substantial increase in the level of high-quality postgraduate research across the university.
Professor Glover said Professor Byrnes would bring strong leadership skills to the CDU position.
“She has been successful in meeting and exceeding targets for the recruitment and retention of postgraduate students and has developed productive networks and alliances locally, nationally and internationally,” he said.
Professor Byrnes’ research has centred on settler-indigenous histories, cross-cultural settlement histories, and the relationship between past histories and present realities.
Her PhD from the University of Auckland was titled, “Inventing New Zealand: Surveying, Science and the Construction of Cultural Space, 1840s – 1890s”.
She received the 2006 Fulbright Visiting Professor in New Zealand Studies Award, which allowed her to spend six months at Georgetown University, Washington DC.
Professor Byrnes has also served as National President of the New Zealand Historical Association.
She will take over the CDU role from Professor Gary Davis, who has accepted a position at Flinders University.