Past Mittelheuser Scholars-in-Residence

The Mittelheuser Scholar-in-Residence is awarded annually to attract leading thinkers who will develop new ideas, tools, strategies and services that benefit both Queensland’s GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) sector and State Library of Queensland.

The recipient receives a stipend of $15,000, a personal work space within the Neil Roberts Research Lounge for 12 months and premium access to the extensive collections and expertise of library staff.

The Mittelheuser Scholar-in-Residence is supported by Dr Cathryn Mittelheuser AM through the Queensland Library Foundation

Ms Joanne Dreissens, recipient of the 2021 Mittelheuser Scholar in Residence.

The 2021 Mittelheuser Scholar-in-Residence was awarded to Ms Jo-Anne Driessens for her project Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lens perspectives.

Jo-Anne's project will aim to address two key needs identified in the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) sector:

  • Increased representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander material, depicting historical events, people and places in GLAM collections.
  • Increased capability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander photographers to maintain their own collections, to enable greater connection with community and GLAM organisations.

The outcomes and benefits of this project align to the State Library’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection Commitments. This will actively enhance the collection and diversity of material by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the promotion of our uniqueness and capabilities.

Jo-Anne is a descendant of the Koa people and a professional photographer and arts worker. Jo-Anne completed a cadetship at State Library and spent the next 15 years working as a staff photographer, she is passionate about supporting and mentoring the next generation of Aboriginal documentary photographers. Jo's photographs are available to view on State Library's OneSearch Catalogue and featured in the online exhibition Twenty: Two decades of Queensland Photography. You can watch an interview, Behind the Lens with Jo about her photography.

For more information on Jo-Anne's project watch her video below.

2021 Mittelheuser Scholar in Residence, Jo-Anne Driessens talks about her project.

The 2020 Mittelheuser Scholar-in-Residence was awarded to Meredith Garlick for her project Reel Times: Thirty Years of Queensland Filmmaking (1990-2020). 

“Reel Times” is a survey of Queensland filmmaking spanning the past 30 years. It looks at Queensland stories (factual or fictional), creatively driven and made by Queenslanders for local, national and international audiences. Meredith Garlick’s ambition is to understand what drives filmmakers to tell their stories, as well as to collate a complete picture of the way the state has represented itself.

Filmmaking is fundamentally a means by which we tell our stories and share our histories. Whether it is a straight-out observational documentary or a genre-bending online series, filmmakers seek to explore the world, to show us relatable characters and to shed light on forgotten, overlooked parts of our shared past. In the period of the intended research, the Queensland industry has professionalised and grown to a point where there is a rich vein of stories to explore. We might consider this the first generation of Queensland filmmaking.

Meredith Garlick, 2020 Mittelheuser Scholar-in-Residence.

The 2019 Mittelheuser Scholar-in-Residence was awarded to Seth Ellis for his project Sound as historical material: developing a new way of cataloguing, describing and accessing sound in the archive.

Seth’s project proposed to develop a new way of cataloguing sounds within the State Library’s collections - both historical, and newly collected.  This would make historical sound more searchable and perceptible by researchers and the general public.

In audio visual collections, a single sound recording can provide the same multilayered information as a photograph: a multiplicity of details about experience that is physical and emotional. The examination of sound in this way can provide a rich understanding of experience.


Seth Ellis, 2019 Mittelheuser Scholar-in-Residence.

Webinar: Research Reveals: sound as historical material.

The 2018 Mittelheuser Scholar-in-Residence was awarded to Eddie Jose to give a masterclass at State Library to our Preservation team and art conservators from across Australia on the construction and use of traditional Japanese drying boards, called Karibari

Ephraim (Eddie) Jose is an expert conservator and restorer of East Asian paintings, based in Seattle, USA. The masterpieces he has restored are in major museums and private collections worldwide including Ashmolean Museum, San Francisco Asian Art Museum, Honolulu Museum of Art, Tokyo National Museum, and Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties.  

After training for more than a decade under the tutelage of Japan’s most-respected master restorers, Eddie became the first non-Japanese conservator to be certified by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs to conserve and restore Japanese national treasures, Important Paintings (1989). He conserves Chinese, Japanese and Korean art on paper and fabric, ranging from scrolls, folding screens, and sliding doors to woodblock prints, books and textiles. He also restores Indian and Persian miniature paintings, and Western and contemporary art on paper. Additionally, he established and conducted bi-annual workshops training monks from monasteries across the country of Bhutan over ten years, in restoring sacred thangka paintings. 

A documentary film, 1000 Hands of the Guru: Saving Bhutan’s Sacred Arts, was released about Eddie Jose’s work to save and conserve Bhutanese Buddhist thangka paintings, while developing the preservation skills of their Buddhist caretakers in the remote Himalayas.


Eddie Jose teaching Bhutanese thangka conservation workshop participants. Image 2009, courtesy of Eddie Jose.

State Library Conservator, Jennifer Loubser working with Lopens (monks) Sonam Tshering and Tsering Dendup to place thangka on Japanese karibari drying board. Image 2011, courtesy of Eddie Jose.

The 2017 Mittelheuser Scholar-in-Residence was awarded to Tess Maunder for her project Curating ’Digital Futures’.

Curating ‘Digital Futures’ is a selection of International case-studies examining the relationship between ‘Digital Futures’ and contemporary curatorial practice. It will engage with the question as to how an expanded role of the curatorial can help in understanding to the growing digital climate and its future.

In the last twenty years, the curatorial field has expanded beyond a traditional art-historical or museological approach to practice. Contemporary Curating is now considered a new field with many courses, publications and public programs dedicated to the field. Today, curatorial labour can include exhibitions, public programs, discursive platforms, online engagements, residencies, editorial projects and critical writing. Historically, the basis for this recent shift in contemporary curatorial practice was derived from the practices emerging out of New Institutionalism; such the practices of Maria Lind and Charles Esche, alongside the rise in prominence of the international biennale curator; through figures such as Okwui Enwezor and Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev. Theorists and scholars in the field such as Paul O’Neill, Terry Smith, Irit Rogoff and Tirdad Zolghadr, to name a few, have each explored their own notions of this new idea of curating. But what is the relationship between contemporary curating and ‘digital futures’? This research project aims to explore the relationship between the two, using international case-studies as examples for how professionals working in the Gallery, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) sector may better be able to conceptualise and integrate digital methodologies into their every day practices. Through the exposure of these international case-studies, professionals working in the Queensland based GLAM sector may be able to apply the same concepts, systems and methodologies for use within a localised Queensland context.


Tess Maunder, 2017 Mittelheuser Scholar-in-Residence

Research Reveals: 2017 Mittelheuser Scholar in Residence, Tess Maunder discusses the role of the archival in creative and curatorial practice in a panel discussion with artists Sam Cranston, Elysha Rei, Lu Forsberg and Ryan Presley.