Following a competitive application process, five women were selected to receive ADM Fellowships in 2017. You can read the profiles of these women, and about their Fellowship projects below.
(Please note: ADM does not endorse everything that ADM Fellows may say or do. Each Fellow represents herself and her own work).
Dr Meredith Lake
ADM Senior Research Fellow
Meredith is an historian with a PhD from the University of Sydney. Since completing her doctorate in 2008, she has worked as a sessional lecturer at Sydney University and Wesley Institute, and as a professional researcher and writer. She was employed by one of Australia’s top Christian charities, HammondCare, to produce a study in faith-based social welfare, Faith in Action (UNSW Press, 2013). She has also published a student guide to The Bible Down Under (Bible Society, 2016) and several academic articles. Her essay ‘Provincialising God: Anglicanism, Place and the Colonisation of Australian Land’ beat an international field to win the 2012 Bruce Mansfield prize for best contribution to the Journal of Religious History. For five years from 2009 she served as President of the Evangelical History Association. Meredith currently lives in Sydney's Inner West with her husband and their two young children.
‘The Bible in Australia’
Meredith’s ADM Fellowship Project involves telling true stories about how the Bible has mattered in Australia. It sketches the Bible’s substantial and often surprising influence in society and culture from convict days to the early Commonwealth to the Mabo land rights campaign. It addresses educated adults who may or may not be people of Christian faith. It aims to enable a deeper, more rigorous understanding of the Bible’s changing place in Australia – an understanding that can, in turn, prompt more serious engagement with scripture and enrich public conversation.
The centrepiece of the project is a full-length book, the first properly interpretive account of the Bible’s career in Australia. Meredith has been working on the manuscript for two years already and plans to finish it in time for publication in Spring 2017. The second element of the project involves using different media to engage audiences with the ideas and stories from the book. A third element lays a foundation for her intended longer-term work researching and conversing about the Bible in Australia.
ADM Creative Fellow
Jo became a Christian during her first year at the University of Tasmania, studying for a Bachelor of Fine Art. As an artist her work has been represented by Despard Gallery in Hobart, where she has had two solo exhibitions – It’s Gonna Be (Alright) in 2012 and Cain in 2014, and a number of group shows. Through her paintings she explores ideas that are concerned with what it is to be human – both as fallen or broken and as redeemed and hopeful. Jo believes that art is a unique, enduring, and very human way to convey ideas and express belief. Having lived in Sydney before, Jo’s current stint here has been for three years since her husband Paul took the role of Associate Minister at St Mark’s Anglican Church, Darling Point. She has two high-school aged kids, and three elderly cats.
For her ADM Fellowship Project, Jo is taking time to deeply consider the connection between the visual arts and Christian faith, and, in particular, how she can better use her practice as a painter to think through and speak to her faith as a Christian. The culmination of this project will be the development and creation of a major body of work, of 12–24 paintings to be exhibited in a solo exhibition in a gallery or project space in Sydney. Part of Jo’s research in developing these paintings involves looking at how particular artists and theologians have addressed the connection between art and faith. The title of the project is ‘Numbering Stars’. It is a reference to the key biblical story that poetically describes the certainty and vastness of God’s plan for salvation through God’s promises to Abraham. Using this story as a starting point Jo will create paintings that express something of the optimism, wonderment, and hope for a better reality that is seen in this story.
Dr Louise Gosbell
ADM Senior Research Fellow
Louise completed a Bachelor of Theology at Wesley Institute in 2000 and commenced an Honours year in 2001. After a break due to the birth of her first two daughters, she returned to study in 2004 to complete her Honours thesis. Due to the depth and scope of her research, she was awarded a Master of Theology (Honours) rather than a Bachelor of Theology (Honours). After a break from study with the birth of her third daughter, Louise returned to study in 2010 and completed a PhD in ancient history at Macquarie University in 2015. Throughout this time she has lectured in various New Testament subjects, as well as in disability in the Bible at Mary Andrews College, Excelsia College and Alphacrucis College. She also teaches a number of online courses with Alphacrucis and will commence lecturing an online subject with St Mark’s National Theological College in 2017. In 2016, Louise also began as a tutor at Sydney University and commenced a six-month research fellowship as a joint project between the Ancient Cultures Research Centre and the Cognitive Sciences department at Macquarie University. She is married to Mark who is a special educator and they have three daughters.
‘The Experiences of People Living with Disability in the Sydney Diocese of the Anglican Church’
The aim of Louise’s ADM Fellowship Project is to measure the impact of the 2009 Synod motion, Resolution 34/09 People Affected by Disability, on churches in the Sydney diocese of the Anglican Church. This research will be comprised of two sections: (a) The impact on church leadership. What impact, if any, has resolution 34/09 made on the methods and approaches of leadership in relation to disability inclusion in their parishes?; and (b) The experiences of people living with disability in Sydney Anglican churches. What impact, if any, has resolution 34/09 made on the experiences of people living with disability in churches? The second aim of Louise’s project is to create a handbook/manual on disability inclusion specific to the Sydney diocese, which could assist churches to move forward in this area. The manual would include information on building regulations, disability access and heritage-listed buildings, font size and style most appropriate for PowerPoint slides and printed material, Auslan interpreters, organisations who fit hearing loops, and so on. This handbook would be made available for free to all churches in the diocese and serve as a 'go to' for all issues of disability inclusion.
Dr Alix Beeston
ADM Senior Research Fellow
Alix is a scholar working at the nexus of literary analysis, visual culture studies, feminist scholarship, and critical race theory. She received her Ph.D. in 2015 from the University of Sydney, where she is a Research Fellow at the United States Studies Centre and a Sessional Lecturer and Tutor in the Department of English. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in international literary journals including PMLA, Modernism/modernity and Arizona Quarterly, and her first scholarly book is under contract with Oxford University Press. Alix’s research is animated by her belief in the ethical potential of the representational arts, which can serve to unveil the gendered, racialised and classed biases of our world – and, at the same time, initiate new forms of community across the lines of social difference. This scholarly philosophy is derived from her Christian faith, which has also shaped her leadership at Christ Church Inner West, where she has served as Director of Corporate Worship since 2011. Alix is married to Dave, a musician and music teacher, and they spend more time than they’d like to admit keeping the coffee shops of Sydney’s Inner West in business.
‘Unfinished: The Misadventures of Literary and Cultural History’
In addition to making the final preparations for the publication of her first scholarly book, Alix’s ADM Fellowship Project will see her begin substantive research toward a new book project. This project will represent the first full-length study of the genre of the unfinished text across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, primarily in the United States. In analysing a host of novels, plays, and films, this project will consider the ways in which the unfinished text, which subsists at the margins of literary and cultural history, exposes ideas and experiences – of women, of non-white subjects – that have traditionally been marginalised in these histories. Alix also plans to publish a number of articles in popular literary magazines in Australia and overseas, develop a major postdoctoral grant application for the continuance of her research, and spend time pursuing the connections between her faith and her scholarly work.
ADM Research Fellow
Amelia has worked for more than a decade in the public sector in mostly analytical, research and management roles. She completed a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of New South Wales.
She has been a Christian since her teens and has been active in writing, advocating and ministering to those impacted by domestic abuse for several years. Amelia also has an interest in Australian colonial and religious history. Amelia, her husband, and family live in Sydney and attend an Anglican church.
‘Domestic Abuse and the Church’
Amelia’s project will analyse the thorny issue of how domestic abuse presents in the church. It will address the history of domestic violence, influences on causation, handling of cases, mental health issues such as the role of personality disorders, as well as theological issues including those surrounding separation and divorce. It will explore how experience of domestic abuse in a church context strongly influences the person’s experience of Christianity, and their personal faith.
This project will culminate in the production of a book and potentially other resources of practical benefit to those experiencing abuse, their friends and family, but also ministers and church workers. Amelia’s aim is to enable the church to develop a much more nuanced understanding of the issue so that increasingly thoughtful and effective responses can be developed at denominational, congregational and personal levels.
Importantly, it will voice the experience of victims within the church and those who have left due to abuse and/or its mishandling. Amelia welcomes input from interested victims (and their supporting families), ministers, church members and health professionals dealing with the issue.