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Dr Ann Hardy

Casual General Library Assistant

University Library (History)

Career Summary


Dr Hardy is an historian and former social worker and is employed as researcher at the University of Newcastle’s Cultural Collections . She has a strong commitment to historical and archival research of the Hunter region, collaborating with communities and cultural groups to develop new knowledge. Her key research areas are Newcastle's 'Coal River', Australian 'asylums', health history, she is also interested in the association between cultural heritage and well-being. Currently Ann is Administrative Officer for the University's Coal River Working Party, research assistant on the University of Newcastle's 50 year commemorations, and developing the NewcastleWOW app, a collaboration 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.

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.

Teaching Expertise
Tutoring in Australian History.

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. Visit Visit


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Social Work, Charles Sturt University
  • Graduate Diploma in Applied Heritage Studies, Curtin University of Technology


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

Fields of Research

210202Heritage and Cultural Conservation30
210303Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)50

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
27/02/2009 - 10/07/2009Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2013 - Membership - Professional Historians Association of NSWProfessional Historians Association of NSW
1/01/2013 - Membership - Australian Association of ArchivistsAustralian Association of Archivists
1/01/2011 - 31/12/2013Membership - National Trust of Australia (NSW)National Trust of Australia (NSW)
1/01/2008 - Membership - Hunter Heritage Network Hunter Heritage Network
1/01/2006 - Membership - University of Newcastle’s Coal River Working Party University of Newcastle’s Coal River Working Party



20142014 Newcastle Volunteer Service Award - University of Newcastle’s Coal River Working Party

Research Award

2010Newcastle Council Prize for Historical Research
2010Hunter Bonafide Award from Hunter Heritage Network


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

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) [E3]
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, Hardy V, Art of Ideas - National Trust Exhibition, John Paynter Gallery, Newcastle (2012)
2012Hardy AV, Henry M, National Trust Innovation and Invention in the Hunter Forum, Newcastle City Hall (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 creative works

Other (1 outputs)

2015Hardy AV, 'Newcastle's Way Forward Radical change, or cultural uniqueness', Winter Edition May - July 2015 ( pp.4-5): The National Trust of Australia (New South Wales) (2015)

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)

Dr Ann Hardy


Casual General Library Assistant
Coal River Working Party
University Library
Academic Division

Research Assistant
Coal River Working Party
University Library
Academic Division

Focus area


Contact Details
Phone(02) 4921 5824


RoomCultural Collections L216
BuildingAuchmuty Library
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308