Staff Profile


Career Summary


Dr Hardy is an historian and former social worker and has a strong commitment to cultural heritage and historical research of the Hunter region. She collaborates and engages with community and cultural groups to develop new knowledge, specialising in archival research. Her key research interests are Newcastle's 'Coal River',  'asylums' in Australia, health history, and association between cultural heritage and well-being. Currently she is research assitant on the University of Newcastle's 50 year commemorations, and Administrative Officer for the University's Coal River Working Party.  In 2014 she developed content for the NewcastleWOW App that is currently under construction with developers, this is a collaborative project between the University of Newcastle and the National Trust of Australia (NSW). Ann is also chief Research Assistant for Associate Professor Marguerite Johnson's 'Antipodean Antiquities' project to be launched shortly. 

Ann continues her current research interests in the association of historical research, archival sources and new digital media, collaborating with other academics to write journal articles, book chapters and present at conferences.



  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle, 06/03/2014
  • Bachelor of Social Work, Charles Sturt University, 22/04/1988
  • Graduate Diploma in Applied Heritage Studies, Curtin University of Technology, 09/02/2007


Research keywords

  • Australian Asylum History
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Heritage & Well-being
  • History of Institutionalisation
  • Newcastle History

Research expertise

My Doctural research investigates visual and written sources to interpret early Newcastle, NSW. Thesis titled “. . . here is an Asylum open . . .” Constructing a Culture of Government Care in Australia 1801 – 2014" examines the Newcastle Government Domain (NGD) the site for Government House, convict administrative centre, military barracks, then Girl's Industrial School and Reformatory and finally as a 'lunatic asylum' and later psychiatric hospital. Research explores transition of the NGD from active health care campus to heritage site tracing and exploring contemporary issues in heritage, the role of interdisciplinary non-governmental organisations in heritage advocacy and the possibility of overtly recognising the positive benefits of heritage conservation for mental wellbeing at this and other sites. The diverse strands of my research are taken into new directions that are of importance for debates in the field of history and heritage and historical archaeology. I have an interest in the links between cultural heritage and well-being.


  • English

Fields of Research

210303Australian History (Excl. Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander History)50
210202Heritage And Cultural Conservation30
219999History And Archaeology Not Elsewhere Classified20


Committee/Associations (relevant to research).

  • Member - National Trust of Australia (NSW)
  • Member - University of Newcastle’s Coal River Working Party
  • Member - Hunter Heritage Network
  • Member - Australian Association of Archivists
  • Member - Professional Historians Association of NSW



20142014 Newcastle Volunteer Service Award - University of Newcastle’s Coal River Working Party
Commonwealth of Australia (Australia)
Ann has undertaken research and prepared applications and submissions with regards to acknowledging Newcastle’s historical achievements and contribution to the making of Australia as a nation. Ann is a great advocate for our City and its unique history. She is known as an excellent collaborator, working with staff and families of those connected to the former James Fletcher Hospital and preserving the history of that site. Ann has undertaken historical research relating to the James Fletcher Hospital in particular, has helped in acknowledging the site’s contribution to the innovative medicine and psychological advances pioneered right here in Newcastle.

Research Award.

2010Newcastle Council Prize for Historical Research
City of Newcastle (Australia)
Newcastle Council Prize for Historical Research
2010Hunter Bonafide Award from Hunter Heritage Network
Hunter Heritage Network (Australia)
Hunter Bonafide Award from Hunter Heritage Network


Administrative expertise

Adminstrative Officer of the University of Newcastle's Coal River Working Party (CRWP), a multi-disciplinary research and special interest group investigating history and cultural heritage of Newcastle, NSW. Members come from a variety of backgrounds including history, engineering, geology, surveying, archaeology, creative arts and education, as well as representatives from local Aboriginal community, various corporations and government departments to collaborate in research, projects and events.




Teaching expertise

Tutoring in Australian History.



For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Chapter (2 outputs)

2015Hardy AV, di Gravio G, 'Nobbys Whibayganba: Saving the giant kangaroo', Radical Newcastle, NewSouth Publishing, Sydney 24-31 (2015)
2011Hardy AV, 'Treasure Trove at the Government Domain', Wood, Brick & Stone : The Making of the Hunter, Catchfire Press, Dangar, NSW 226-232 (2011)

Journal article (2 outputs)

2015Hardy AV, Eklund E, 'Multidisciplinary Approach to University - Community Engagement', The Australasian Journal of University-Community Engagement, vol. 9 77-99 (2015)
2009Hardy AV, 'Attending madness: At work in the Australian colonial asylum', Labour History, - 244-245 (2009) [C3]

Conference (2 outputs)

2014Hardy AV, 'Shared Heritage Care- Multi-disciplinary Approach in Cultural Heritage',, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA (2014)
2009Hardy AV, 'Official Lunacy Policy and Frontier reality in Colonial New South Wales- Who was admitted to the Newcastle Asylum for Imbeciles?', ., University of Western Australia, Perth WA (2009) [E3]

Creative Work (10 outputs)

2012Hardy AV, Henry M, National Trust Innovation and Invention in the Hunter Forum, Newcastle City Hall (2012)
2012Hardy AV, Hardy V, Art of Ideas - National Trust Exhibition, John Paynter Gallery, Newcastle (2012)
2011Hardy AV, Hardy V, Amazing Stories - National Trust Exhibition, John Paynter Gallery,Newcastle (2011)
2010Hardy AV, Henry M, Macquarie Years- National Trust Forum with three distinguished speakers Dr Grace Karskens, Mr Robin Walsh & Ms Lisa Slade, Newcastle City Hall (2010)
2010Hardy AV, Hardy V, The Making of a Nation - National Trust Exhibition, John Paynter Gallery, Newcastle, (2010)
2009Hardy AV, Hardy V, Interpretations - Our Place in Space-Under the Southern Cross National Trust Exhibition, John Paynter Gallery, Newcastle (2009)
2009Hardy AV, di Gravio G, Hardy V, Hale C, Milgate E, Azzi S, Breath of Life -Back to the City Project, Obelisk Hill, Newcastle, Sydney (2009)
2008Hardy AV, di Gravio G, Newcastle On the Edge - Panoramic Visions of Newcastle on the Coquun - Hunter River, Maritime Centre, Newcastle (2008)
2008Hardy AV, Breath of Life, Potts Point (2008)
2008Hardy AV, Hardy V, Our Place - National Trust Exhibition, John Paynter Gallery, Newcastle (2008)
Show 7 more

Report (2 outputs)

2009Hardy AV, 'Coal River (Mulubinba) Cultural Landscape', University of Newcastle's Coal River Working Party (2009)
2008Hardy AV, 'Newcastle Government House & Domain', University of Newcastle's Coal River Working Party (2008)

Thesis / Dissertation (2 outputs)

2014Hardy AV, '. . . here is an Asylum open . . .' Constructing a Culture of Government Care in Australia 1801 ¿ 2014, University of Newcastle (2014)
2006Hardy AV, Government House, Newcastle, New South Wales: A description of the Government House site from an analysis of historical maps and artworks from 1804 to 1885., Curtin University of Technology, WA (2006)

Grants and Funding

No funding.


Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions0

No Supervisions.


Dr Ann Hardy

Work Phone(02) 4921 5824
Cell / Mobile Phone0438509139
PositionsCasual General Library Assistant
University Library
Academic Division
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Research Assistant
University Library
Academic Division
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaHistory
Cultural Collections L216,
Auchmuty Library,
University Drive
Callaghan NSW 2308