AuSI welcomes Visiting Fellow: Dr Geraldine Fela

AuSI welcomes Visiting Fellow: Dr Geraldine Fela
Dr Geraldine Fela
Friday 16 February 2024

The ANU Australian Studies Institute (AuSI) is pleased to welcome Dr Geraldine Fela, our latest Visiting Fellow from the 2023–24 Visiting Fellowship Program. Geraldine joins us from Macquarie University and will be using her Fellowship to investigate the 1998 waterfront dispute between Patrick Stevedores, the Coalition government, and the Maritime Union of Australia.

Throughout her Fellowship at The Australian National University (ANU), Geraldine will utilise the opportunity to undertake sustained and concentrated research in the ANU Noel Butlin Archives Centre, which is home to significant archival holdings and crucial documentary evidence relevant to the dispute. This includes the 1998 Maritime Dispute Archive—a unique ACTU-ASSLH collaborative collecting project on the dispute that was co-ordinated between the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History.

Geraldine’s research will lead towards the production of a significant monograph, the first book-length historical study of this watershed moment in Australia's political and industrial history, along with several other important scholarly outputs. The Fellowship will allow her to contribute to research culture at ANU and to collaborate with compatible ANU scholars, particularly those in the ANU School of History.

 “The AuSI Visiting Fellowship will give me the opportunity to spend sustained time in the Noel Butlin Archives Centre, examining archives related to the 1998 waterfront dispute – the subject of my postdoctoral research. This was a landmark dispute in Australia’s political and industrial history and one that is of great relevance today. As the cost of living crisis dominates our news cycle, now is an important time to re-examine a conflict that helped set the political and industrial stage on which everyday Australians live and work.”

- Dr Geraldine Fela, Visiting Fellow, ANU Australian Studies Institute

Dr Geraldine Fela is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Macquarie University in the Department of History and Archaeology. Her research sits at the intersection of labour history, gender and sexuality studies and social history. She is currently undertaking a project examining the 1998 waterfront dispute between the Maritime Union of Australia and Patrick Stevedores. Her first book, Critical Care: Nurses on the frontline of the AIDS crisis in Australia, will be released by UNSW Press in June 2024 and explores the role of Australian nurses and nursing unions in responding to the HIV and AIDS crisis.


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