Meet the ADM Fellows & Senior Fellows

 

Meet the 2018 ADM Fellows

Following a competitive application process, six women were selected to receive ADM Fellowships in 2018.  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).

 
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Kirsty Beilharz

ADM Senior Creative Fellow

Kirsty is a composer and researcher using music to improve the quality of life for people with dementia, chronic pain and those receiving palliative care. Kirsty is the Director of Music Engagement at HammondCare, Visiting Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, researcher of the Kolling Institute, and a conjoint academic at the University of NSW. She is former Professor of Music and Interaction Design at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and was the Digital Media Program Director at the University of Sydney Design Lab. Kirsty has completed a PhD at the University of Sydney and postdoctoral studies at the University of York in music composition, and she is currently completing a PhD in trinitarian theology at the Sydney College of Divinity. Her music has been performed by orchestras worldwide, and her interactive installations have been exhibited in Bondi Sculpture by the Sea and international art events. Her work has been recognised with a Churchill Memorial Fellowship, Matsumae Fellowship, Asialink Artist Residency and Young Australian of the Year Arts Category Award. She represented Australia in the Paris Rostrum, Gaudeamus New Music Days in Amsterdam, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne Forum in Montreal, and Paris Cité Internationale des Arts and IRCAM electronic music course. Following the publication of her book, Music Remembers Me: Connection and Wellbeing in Dementia, in 2017, this Senior Fellowship will provide scope to develop creative and practical resources that utilise the therapeutic capacity of music to care for people by integrating music, health and spirituality.

Website: www.kirstybeilharz.com.au

 

Meaningful and memorable: Music vigil

'Meaningful and memorable: Music vigil' is a creative project to compose and record instrumental music, intended as a vigil to support emotional and spiritual needs of the person at the end of life, as well as their family and friends. The aim is to help people experience a serene, dignified death. Drawing from cross-cultural palliative care and clinical musicianship experience, this project develops a digital recording using instruments traditionally associated with healing (harp, recorder, Japanese shakuhachi flute, and viola). The musical vigil is a sacred space for contemplation, relaxation, reconciliation and dying well. Music has been shown to reduce pain, agitation, anxiety, and to provide an atmosphere for deep calm reverie and emotional expression, especially if words have gone due to dementia, frailty, medication or disease progression. Music can be restorative and peaceful for the embodied soul. Socially, we are poor at preparing for and talking about death, and dying can instil fear and mystery. Its setting may vary from home palliative care, to a nursing home, hospice or hospital, however most people are unanimous that the ideal death for those in palliative care should be dignified – that is, safe, relaxed, accepting, free from suffering, memorable for those around and spiritually significant. This resource is intended for use by medical staff, pastoral carers, clergy, family and friends to enable someone to live richly until their very last breath. While music therapy is sometimes engaged earlier in healthcare, there is an absence of supportive music for the specific, delicate and significant time of passing from life to death.


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KIRSTEN BIRKETT

ADM Senior Research Fellow

Kirsten is a lecturer in ethics and philosophy at Oak Hill Theological College, London, where she also teaches church history and doctrine. Her PhD was in English Reformation, and she has since then completed a Master’s in Higher Education, with a dissertation on training for resilience in Christian Ministry. She is also a Latimer Trust Research Fellow, and ordained within the Church of England as a theological lecturer. Kirsten has published books and articles on a range of issues exploring the interaction between theology and the secular world. She currently writes for the Creation Project, a research project in science and religion based at the Henry Centre, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Chicago, funded by the Templeton Foundation. Kirsten lives in London.

A Christian study of happiness

Happiness is a subject that is pursued obsessively by the non-Christian world. It is the assumed object and purpose of life. The popular material on gaining happiness, through lifestyle, mindfulness, freedom of choice or multiple other methods, is vast. Also, perhaps more surprisingly, this is more recently a prominent topic in the academic world. Where previous generations might have considered ‘happiness’ frivolous and not for serious academic study, that is no longer the case. There are peer-reviewed journals, research institutes and serious works written in a variety of disciplines (philosophy and psychology probably dominate). Yet there is not much biblical reflection in response. Bible-believing Christians will be affected by, and have questions about, such a dominant topic. As emotional, created beings we also want to be happy. Moreover, the Bible speaks about joy and rejoicing repeatedly – is that the same as being happy? This is a topic that needs exploring exegetically and theologically, with a philosophical and historical perspective, as well as a practical perspective on happiness: is it something Christians should care about? If so, what does it look like for Christians and how does one go about it? 


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Kate Bradford

ADM Senior Research Fellow

Kate is a chaplaincy lecturer and pastoral supervisor to chaplains, pastoral carers and theological students. Participants in her courses minister within churches, Christian NGOs, secular government institutions and different arms of the Defence Force. Kate completed her BTh at Moore College in 1992. In 1997, Kate, her husband Steve and their young family, went to a remote rural mission hospital, Berega, Tanzania, where they were CMS missionaries until 2006. During this time, Kate taught part time at the Bible College at Berega. 

Since 2007, Kate has ministered with Anglicare as an Anglican chaplain, primarily at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Westmead (2007-2015), and as a chaplain to theological students at Moore College from 2009. She completed an MA (Theology) 2013, MA (Chaplaincy) 2014 and Grad Cert (Pastoral Supervision) 2016. For the past seven years, Kate has been researching the tenuous relationship between movements in 20th century pastoral care and evangelical Christianity. She has also begun developing alternative course material (more aligned with evangelical practice) for chaplaincy and pastoral care training, both for Anglicare and Moore College. Kate has presented on pastoral care at CASE conferences at New College, UNSW, to medical students and at the US Paediatrics Chaplains Network Conference. Kate and Steve live in the Inner West of Sydney, with their teenage daughters, an adult son and a menagerie of a dog, cat, rabbit and two fish.

Providing faithful and hopeful pastoral care to a particular person, in a specific context at a specific time

Kate’s ADM Fellowship will focus on her postgraduate research through Moore College, where she is developing a framework for Reformed evangelical chaplaincy and pastoral care ministry. During the term of her Fellowship, Kate plans to complete three chapters and write an article for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. A second element of the project, flowing from the first, is to develop teaching modules. The modules will help to provide chaplains and pastoral carers with biblical scaffolds that support and aid their ministry, both within churches and the public space. Kate will undertake fieldwork within the Anglicare Centre for Pastoral Development, which will help her to develop focused teaching modules that can be used in different combinations for training chaplains, pastoral carers, theological students and volunteers. The modules will provide a simple framework for faithful, biblical pastoral practice, that offers profound hope. The modules give patterns for integrating Scripture and pastoral ministry to particular people, in specific contexts, at specific times.


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MONICA COOK

ADM Senior Research Fellow

Monica currently runs sex and fertility workshops for couples and is completing her Masters in Sexual and Reproductive Health (counselling) through University of Sydney. She is happily married and raising three lively young children (aged one, four and five). Her academic journey began in science research where she received First Class Honours in Immunology through the Australian National University after completing a prestigious PhB degree. Using this knowledge, she entered the world of science communication, completing a Graduate Diploma. She then travelled around rural parts of Australia with the Questacon Science Circus, translating complex topics into accessible and engaging programs (shows, workshops and exhibitions) for various audiences. Monica has since spoken on radio, written for science magazines, run seminars and developed and authored publications, while also working for the Sydney Children’s Hospital and the Museum of Human Disease (UNSW). After the birth of her first child, Monica’s focus shifted as she realised there was very little support and information available, both within the church and beyond, that addressed issues around sex, fertility and the unique journey from conception to birth and beyond. Armed with her love for God, academic expertise and skills in communication, Monica intends to translate the medical elements of fertility into something that is accessible and engaging. She aims to take a holistic approach, that recognises the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of a person during this time. In her ‘spare time’, Monica raises funds for A21 charity.  

 

What to expect before you’re expecting

Monica’s ADM Fellowship project aims to pre-emptively prepare couples for their journey towards having children. She will develop an interactive program that provides a safe space for couples to learn about the latest research on sex and fertility, and engage with complex issues on the topic within the context of a theological framework. When a couple starts considering children, there are many issues that can arise and potential obstacles that they may face, such as practical, ethical, and theological dilemmas around infertility, miscarriage, abnormal nuchal scans or assisted reproductive technology. Furthermore, they can arise unexpectedly, impacting on a couple both relationally and spiritually, and resulting in a feeling of isolation because of the personal nature of these topics. Even accessing accurate and clear information relating to getting pregnant naturally, fostering or adoption is difficult, despite being more relevant than ever in a context where many couples are waiting until they are older to marry and have families. An additional part of the project is to equip couples with strategies to support their sex life through such challenging times of pregnancy and as they raise young children. Monica’s hope is that this program not only empowers couples to face their journey with faith and strength, but that it also equips the larger body of Christ to provide a nurturing, supportive and safe environment for those in the church and broader community facing issues around sexuality and reproduction.


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Yixin Jiang Xu

ADM Senior Research Fellow

Yixin was awarded her PhD from the University of Sydney in 2017. Her doctoral thesis, which was on patterns of attachment behaviour in adult relationships and how they relate to personality and motivation, received the Australian Psychological Society’s Psychology of Relationships Thesis Award. Her area of research interest is attachment theory as applied to both parent-child bonds and adult romantic relationships. Currently, Yixin works as a researcher at the University of Sydney, looking at how to engage fathers in parenting programs. She is also involved in running parenting and relationship seminars at churches through an organisation called First Light Care, a Christian counselling and education centre. Yixin has a passion for family relationships research and public education, and believes that the family is one of the most important ministry contexts, as God is glorified in our most intimate relationships. Yixin is married to David.

Countercultural: Christian parenting in a Chinese context

Yixin’s ADM Fellowship Project aims to engage with cultural issues and challenges for parenting in Australian Chinese families. It aims to meet the growing needs of these families with psychological resources, as well as biblical wisdom. While for many in the Australian Chinese community there is a strong family-oriented culture, parenting for Chinese families is not without challenges. For example, often there can be an (over)emphasis on academic achievement, idolising children and materialism. Yixin is interested in conducting careful analysis of these challenges in the upbringing of children and related mental health issues. She contends that a Christian perspective offers countercultural ideas, such as unconditional love, grace, teaching children to love God, and instilling moral and spiritual values. The aim of Yixin’s project is to develop English-language resources, including an online blog, to disseminate psychological research and biblical wisdom that may be helpful to Chinese parents. Additionally, a key focus of the project will be preparing the foundation of a book on parenting for Chinese parents, again drawing upon both current research and biblical wisdom. The hope is that these resources will not only meet the need of addressing cultural challenges, but also enable both Christian and non-Christian Chinese parents to raise children in accordance with God’s will.


laura rademaker

ADM Senior Research Fellow

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Laura is an historian with a PhD from the Australian National University for her thesis about Aboriginal missions in the Northern Territory. Since being awarded her doctorate in 2015, she has worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at the Australian Catholic University, researching histories of race, gender and religion. She has published several academic articles in journals including Gender & History, Aboriginal History and Australian Feminist Studies. Her work has also been recognised with numerous prizes, including the ANU J.G. Crawford Prize, Australian Historical Association’s Serle Award and Council of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences Future Leaders Prize. Her 2016 article ‘Only Cuppa Tea Christians’ was awarded the Taylor and Francis prize for best article in History Australia. Laura is married to Phil and they have a son, Lucas.

Twitter: @laurarads

‘Crisis of faith? Gender and secularisation in Australia, 1960-1980’

Laura’s ADM Fellowship project will examine Australian women’s spirituality and shifts in Australian understandings of religion and gender in the 1960s and 1970s, in order to understand the rapid change in Australia’s religious cultures at the time. These years, which saw the introduction of the contraceptive pill, women’s liberation and calls for the opening of religious leadership for women, were also a period of sharp decline in church attendance and religious affiliation. Religious change was especially marked in women’s lives. While women were most likely to attend church and identify as religious in the 1950s, the rapid ‘falling away’ of younger women in the 1960s and 1970s points to a significant realignment in women’s experiences of church and religion. Laura will explore complementary questions of whether, and how, Australians’ ideas about femininity and religiosity changed, as well as how religious institutions perceived and reacted to changing Australian gender norms.

*Dr. Rademaker did not take up her ADM Fellowship as she was subsequently awarded, and accepted, a prestigious Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellowship at the Australia National University (ANU). To read more about what Laura is now up to at ANU, click here.

 


Meet the 2017 ADM Fellows

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).

 
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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. 

Twitter: @meredithlake1
https://sydney.academia.edu/MeredithLake 
http://faith-and-place.blogspot.com.au/

‘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. 


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jo chew

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.

Instagram: jochew_
http://www.jo-chew.com/
http://www.despard-gallery.com.au/artistprofiles/jo-chew/

‘Numbering Stars’
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.


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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.

https://sydney.academia.edu/AlixBeeston

‘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.  


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amelia schwarze

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.