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Dr Ann Hardy

Living Histories Coordinator

University Library (History)

Career Summary


Ann Hardy is Historian, Living Histories Co-ordinator at the GLAMx Living histories Digitisation Lab in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library. 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, Indigenous histories, and interested in the association between cultural heritage and well-being.

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

Ann's 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 well-being 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. She has an interest in the links between cultural heritage and well-being. Also see Newcastle Government Domain - Wordpress

Teaching Expertise
Tutored in Australian History (2008-2011)

Administrative Expertise
Co-ordinator of the University of Newcastle's Hunter Living Histories Initiative, 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. 


  • 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
  • Digital Humanities
  • Heritage & Well-being
  • History of Institutionalisation
  • Newcastle History
  • Object based learning

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
210202 Heritage and Cultural Conservation 30
210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) 50
219999 History and Archaeology not elsewhere classified 20

Professional Experience

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2013 -  Membership - Australian Association of Archivists Australaian Association of Archivists
1/01/2013 -  Membership - Professional Historians Association of NSW Professional Historians Association of NSW
1/01/2011 - 31/12/2013 Membership - 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 Hunter Living Histories Initiative

The University of Newcastle’s Hunter (Living) Histories Initiative (previously Coal River Working Party) is a historical research group formed in 2003 by then Dr (now Professor) Erik Eklund in the Dept of History. Mr. Doug Lithgow, President of the Parks and Playgrounds Movement Inc. approached the University with the proposal to form a team of academic researchers dedicated to the investigation of the early history of Newcastle, with a view to safeguarding the heritage fabric of Newcastle’s birthplace, the Coal River Heritage Precinct.

Since 2016 the name change to Hunter Living Histories reflects the University’s Cultural Collections collaborations across the Hunter Regional communities. For further information see http://" target="_blank"> Hunter Living Histories .

University of Newcastle's Hunter (Living) Histories Initiative
Auchmuty Library, University of Newcastle


Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2016 - 1/01/2017 Membership- The Australian Historical Association The Australian Historical Association



Year Award
2014 2014 Newcastle Volunteer Service Award - University of Newcastles Coal River Working Party

Research Award

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


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

Chapter (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Hardy AV, di Gravio G, 'Nobbys Whibayganba: Saving the giant kangaroo', Radical Newcastle, NewSouth Publishing, Sydney 24-31 (2015) [B1]
2011 Hardy AV, 'Treasure Trove at the Government Domain', Wood, Brick & Stone : The Making of the Hunter, Catchfire Press, Dangar, NSW 226-232 (2011)

Journal article (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Hardy AV, 'Australian Coal Mining industry (1797- 1820s): beginnings, history and the vanished industrial heritage of early Newcastle.', Australian Engineering Heritage Journal, 1-8 (2015)
2014 Hardy AV, Eklund E, 'Multidisciplinary Approach to University - Community Engagement', The Australasian Journal of University-Community Engagement, vol. 9 77-99 (2014)
2009 Hardy AV, 'Attending madness: At work in the Australian colonial asylum', Labour History, - 244-245 (2009) [C3]

Conference (8 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Hardy AV, di Gravio G, Martin C, Rigby R, Davidson T, 'Newcastle Time Machine ¿ A multidisciplinary approach to digital cultural heritage', Newcastle Time Machine ¿ A multidisciplinary approach to digital cultural heritage (2017)
2016 Hardy AV, di Gravio G, 'Talking Rings of contemporary archives, speaking history and social sound platforms', (2016)
2015 Hardy AV, di Gravio G, Robertson B, 'Indigenising the City: Embodying Aboriginal knowledge and wisdom into planning frameworks to create sustainable cities of the future', (2015) [O1]
2015 Hardy AV, 'Australian Coal Mining industry (1797- 1820s): beginnings, history and the vanished industrial heritage of early Newcastle', From the Past to the Future: 18th Australian Engineering Heritage Conference 2015 (2015) [E1]
2015 Hardy AV, 'Islands of the Insane Our Records, Perceptions and the Lost Voices from the Asylum' (2015) [E3]
2015 Hardy AV, di Gravio G, 'Turning the Smell of an Oily Rag into the Perfumed Garden of Memory' (2015) [E3]
2014 Hardy AV, 'Shared Heritage Care- Multi-disciplinary Approach in Cultural Heritage', (2014) [E3]
2009 Hardy AV, 'Official Lunacy Policy and Frontier reality in Colonial New South Wales- Who was admitted to the Newcastle Asylum for Imbeciles?', . (2009) [E3]
Show 5 more conferences

Creative Work (10 outputs)

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

Other (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Hardy 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) [O1]

Report (2 outputs)

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

Thesis / Dissertation (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Hardy AV, '. . . here is an Asylum open . . .' Constructing a Culture of Government Care in Australia 1801 ¿ 2014, University of Newcastle (2014)
2006 Hardy 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


Living Histories Coordinator
Hunter (Living) Histories Initiative
University Library
Academic Division

Focus area


Contact Details

Phone (02) 49854594.
Mobile 0438509139
Links Personal Blogs


Room Cultural Collections L329
Building Auchmuty Library
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308