Celebrating success

Creativity in the COVID-19 era has brought out the best in Flinders staff and graduates – with an award for a short film, innovative online literary discussions and virtual book launch. 

Graduate wins Home Alone Film Fest 

A video still from A Very Lockdown Birthday by Lucy Gale

Emerging filmmaker and Flinders University graduate Lucy Gale has been awarded the $7,000 top prize in the Helpmann Academy’s Home Alone Film Fest, for her stop-motion animation A Very Lockdown Birthday.

The Helpmann Academy’s Home Alone Film Fest – generously supported by the Nunn Dimos Foundation – was an online, short-film competition that called on eligible South Australian filmmakers to produce a short piece (under seven minutes) addressing the theme of ‘creativity in isolation’.

Lucy Gale’s short film was selected as the overall winner by a panel of esteemed judges, including multi-award winning director (and Flinders University alumnus) Scott Hicks; director of the Emmy award winning comedy documentary Nanette Madeleine Parry; Adelaide Film Festival CEO/Creative Director Mat Kesting; award winning documentary director Maya Newell (In My Blood It Runs) and acclaimed film/television director, producer and writer Richard Jasek.

The judges commended the stop-motion short for being beautifully made and providing a very Australian expression of the impact of isolation. “Lucy Gale’s A Very Lockdown Birthday is an honest, well-executed reflection of the experience of COVID-19 in Australia for many,” said the judges. “It was thoughtful and entertaining, with a wonderful emotional pay off at the end.”

Lucy says recognition from the judges and the prize money will help her career to move forward. “It’s really rewarding to receive recognition for something that I spent so many hours working on in the storage room of my house,” says Lucy. “I’ve been treating this project as my full-time job. It’s meant I have stayed really productive and been able to learn and grow during the coronavirus lockdown despite losing my other work. The prize really doubles down on these positives and I feel extremely motivated to keep creating.”

Her video can be viewed on the Helpmann Academy’s Facebook page.

Elevation to global council for aid to education

Dr Mark Keough.

Dr Mark Keough, an adjunct senior lecturer at the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work, has been made the Asia Pacific Fellow of the Council for Aid to Education, a New York-based NGO with connections to the OECD and a range of philanthropic organisations. CAE Fellows are selected based upon their expertise in the fields of education and assessment – with Dr Keough’s particular expertise being in learner engagement and recognition, and the latest educational technologies. His responsibilities as a CAE Fellow will include recruitment of institutions, presenting at regional conferences, and reporting regional updates during project meetings, particularly those sponsored by the OECD.


Authors address First Contact issues via video discussion

Dr Danielle Clode (centre) and Dr Gillian Dooley (right), co-editors of The First Wave.

As an appropriate addition to Reconciliation Week activities, author and senior research fellow with the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Dr Danielle Clode, has presented a video discussion on The First Wave: A new approach to exploring early coastal contact history in Australia – an influential book about re-assessing first contact with Indigenous Australians that she co-wrote with Flinders University colleague Dr Gillian Dooley.

The video discussion replaces a talk that the two authors had been scheduled to give for the Friends of the Barr Smith Library – but thanks to Dr Clode’s swift embrace of video editing skills to create this piece during COVID-19 lockdown, the 23-minute discussion is now publicly available through Dr Clode’s Youtube channel.

Dr Clode will be exploring video presentation further, as she and Flinders’ Dr Christele Maizonniaux have been awarded one of the SA Science Week Community Grants to do a video on French scientific exploration in Australia. They aim to have this completed in time for Science Week in late August.

Dr Clode is also preparing to release her next book – In Search of the Woman Who Sailed The World – which Picador has scheduled for release in October 2020.


Virtual launch for new novel

Dr Patrick Allington.

Dr Patrick Allington, senior lecturer in English and Creative Writing, has had his new novel Rise and Shine released to popular acclaim, and will celebrate its launch with a virtual presentation tonight via Zoom, hosted by Matilda Bookshop.

His novel is a Kafkaesque fable of hope about a future where eight billion souls have perished and the survivors, huddled in the city-states of Rise and Shine, wage perpetual war against each other. Yet this war, far from representing their doom, is their means of survival, for their leaders have found the key to life when crops, livestock, and the very future have been blighted — a key that turns on each citizen being moved by human suffering. The question is, with memories still bright of all the friends they’ve lost, all the experience they’ll never know, do they have the emotional capacity to sustain themselves?

Senior editor David Golding, who acquired the novel for Melbourne-based publisher Scribe, says “This is a singular and special novel, lively in its telling and not only trenchant in its conception but ultimately genuinely moving. Patrick raises questions about climate change, war, survival, and compassion with a light, suggestive touch.”

Dr Allington’s other published fiction includes the novel Figurehead, which was longlisted for the 2010 Miles Franklin award, as well as short fiction published in MeanjinGriffith Review and The Big Issue.

Portrait of a successful young curator

Ben Parslow.

Ben Parslow, who completed his PhD at Flinders this year, has embarked on a great career by taking the position of invertebrate curator at the South Australian Museum, and has just had his latest research featured on the cover of Invertebrate Systematics journal, through CSIRO publishing. The striking close-up image of a wasp, taken by Jenny A. Thynne, points to the publication this month of Ben’s paper on wasp studies – Phylogeny and divergence estimates for the gasteruptiid wasps (Hymenoptera : Evanioidea) reveals a correlation with hosts.

Posted in