Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop Fellowships

An award given annually to a young Australian committed to making a lasting contribution to Australia-Asia relations. The Fellowship provides support to participants of the Asialink Leaders Program.

The Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop Asialink Fellowships now provide financial support to participants of the Asialink Leaders Program.  

Past Fellows have conducted projects in the fields of environmental science, veterinary science, peace-keeping, public health, journalism and the arts.

Explore the work of past fellows below.


Martin Potter
Filmmaker, Cambodia
Project - Exploring and facilitating participatory media in Cambodia

Martin Potter’s residency built on more than two and a half years work using media and art for development in the Cambodian context. Martin first moved to Cambodia in 2009, where he worked across a variety of participatory media projects for UN agencies, international NGOs and produced digital media projects with the support of media institutions including National Film Board of Canada, EU Media and Screen Australia.

For his Asialink project, Martin worked with emerging filmmakers and artists - young people under 30 who are expanding conservative views of Cambodian culture and history and seeking to define their identities beyond the tragedies of the past 40 years. With the financial support of Asialink, the Ian Potter Cultural Trust, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) Fund, along with in-kind support from the Bophana Centre in Phnom Penh, Martin was able to work in Cambodia with independent Khmer artists and filmmakers who are pushing the boundaries of creative self expression and exploring new forms of articulating their culture for Cambodian and international audiences.

Draft Final Report: Participatory media in Cambodia: An exploration of relational film, documentary and art


Zena Kells
Community Theatre Advisor, Knua Buka Hatene, East Timor
Project - Ita nia uma iha ne'eb (Where is your home?)

With the support of the Sir Edward Weary Dunlop fellowship, Zena will return to East Timor in 2011 to develop and tour a verbatim theatre show based on interviews conducted with former East Timorese citizens who are living in poverty in refugee camps in West Timor. Although the East Timorese Government supports the return of these ex-refugees, their former land and homes are now being used by other people, making repatriation challenging. These people live in limbo, unable to assimilate and rise from poverty in their new homeland and afraid of reprisals and having nothing to come back to in East Timor. They have no place to call home.

The project’s implementation also aims to build the creative and administrative capacity of Timorese students and artists of the local organisation, through a comprehensive training program that will result in the production of a short documentary about the project.

Zena is interested in the sphere between theatre and media and how she can fluidly combine these mediums to give life to stories from voiceless communities. She has spent the last twelve months doing just this in Dili, East Timor. As a Community Theatre Advisor to a local organisation, Knua Buka Hatene (the place of learning) Zena worked with the Expressional Arts Project staff to create educational theatre and radio shows, develop a free creative arts program for Dili’s unemployed youth and build the organisations operational capacity. With constant blackouts and the Timorese flexibility towards time, there was plenty of opportunities for Zena to expand her creative skills outside of the workplace - making two award winning short films; directing contestants in the ‘Mr. Timor’ pageant and stage managing the Dili Marathon Awards Ceremony.

Zena studied Theatre/Media at Charles Sturt University and she has also worked for Griffin Theatre Company, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival & the “One Van” International Festival of Puppetry.

Read the report: Where is your home?


Benjamin Gilmour
Filmmaker and Paramedic
Project - Cultural bridges and understanding are the best foundation to alleviate human suffering

Australian paramedic and accomplished filmmaker, Benjamin Gilmour, navigated the often chaotic ambulance services of the cities of Pakistan to complete a study of pre-hospital care in the country. Reporting on his return in February 2010, he described how security issues forced him to shift focus from the tribal areas of Pakistan to the cities.  Benjamin assisted in training of ambulance officers, consulted on the development of services, and identified challenges in improving the quality of care provided.

Benjamin was previously involved in the development of the first advanced life support ambulance service in Lahore, Pakistan.  He is also director of “Son of a Lion” – winner of the Independent Spirit Award in 2008. The film also won Best Music at the Inside Film Awards in 2008 and the soundtrack was nominated for an ARIA award in 2009.

Read the report: Paramedics in Pakistan


Dr Sam Prince

Founder, Emagine Foundation

'Being a dunlop fellow has been an amazing opportunity and distinguished honour. As my work straddles the medical, business and aid work fields I have found that the fellowship has opened many doors and is well recognised in these distinct spheres. The fellowship gave me a great foundation in which to launch my foundation (The Emagine Foundation) on a global scale, with 15 scools now built in the Asia Pacific region and a new Australian health initiative to eliminate one disease from Australia, the foundation grew from a humble beginning that very much owes a great deal of thanks to the Sir Edward Weary Dunlop fellowship.'

In June 2009 Dr Sam Prince and colleague, foundation director, Stuart Cook, completed IT centres in 10 Sri Lankan schools. Their goal is 100 for Sri Lanka and in 2010 to shift the focus to Mexico.

Dr Sam Prince is 26. He is a practicing medical doctor, a budding documentary filmmaker, and has his own chain of Mexican restaurants, Zambreros, which he started in 2005. His story would be a surprising one if it stopped there. But Sam is also a philanthropist - a social entrepreneur channeling all profits from Zambreros into improving conditions for underprivileged children, currently in Sri Lanka, and expanding to Mexico in 2010. His E-magine Foundation funds IT infrastructure and training in remote and disadvantaged schools, as part of his ambition to reduce what he sees as a growing digital divide.


Two fellowships were awarded in 2008

Lucinda Hartley
Landscape Architect

Lucinda completed an internship with the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR) Secretariat in Bangkok and worked on an ACHR field project in Vietnam with the objective to establish a Future Design Leaders Studio in Melbourne, to engage young professionals in social design and climate change adaptation strategies.

Read the report: Reconceptualising Architecture & Landscape: Exploring Architecture and Community Development in Asian Cities

Anna Helme
Multimedia Advocate

Anna partnered with Komas in Malaysia and Ruangrupa in Indonesia to build these organizations' capacities to distribute their videos on human rights, social and environmental issues utilising open source software  in maximising the new space created by the internet.

Read the report:


Three fellowships were awarded in 2007

Dr Ben Saul
Lawyer and academic

'My Dunlop Fellowship enabled me to contribute in a small way towards efforts to rebuild the law and justice system in Cambodia, by serving as a visiting professor at the Royal University of Law and Economics in Phnom Penh. The Khmer Rouge regime virtually destroyed the Cambodian judicial and legal systems, including by eliminating many lawyers, judges and teachers. The use of foreign academics at the law school provides specialist teaching expertise for the students, and exposes Khmer academic colleagues to contemporary teaching and research practices. Some of the Cambodian students go on to study for advanced degrees at foreign universities, including in Australia. My participation helped to build and support future links between Australian and Cambodian lawyers and the justice system. Personally my time in Cambodia was immensely rewarding and my links there continue to this day. The Dunlop Fellowship played a vital role in allowing me to undertake this work in Cambodia.'

Ben travelled to Cambodia to teach (pro bono) an international law course to 45 students in the Bachelor of Law Degree in English at The Royal University of Law and Economics.  Whilst in Phnom Penh he directed students on an original research project on the Constitutional Council’s jurisprudence on the 1993 Constitution.

Hugo Moline

Hugo travelled to Thailand to gain experience collaborating with local architects who are working creatively, sensitively and above all collaboratively with communities of informal settlers on the improvement of their housing and living conditions.

Read the report: Working with the informal, learning from the informal

Jonathan Ehsani
Public Health Specialist

Jonathan also travelled to Thailand to gain familiarity with strategies and approaches in injury prevention through experiential learning at The Alliance for Safe Children (TASC) headquarters.  This included: assisting with capacity building activities, transferring knowledge, developing proficiency in the use of statistical methods relevant to country level surveys conducted by TASC and identifying gaps in knowledge to refine a PhD topic.


Two fellowships were awarded in 2006

Ms Olivia Georgina Lavis
Teacher - Irene McCormack Catholic College

Ms Lavis worked in East Timor with NGO "Leewin Care" which offered services including a youth training centre, a medical clinic, youth programs and a distribution services for basic aid materials.

Her project aimed to assist Leeuwin Care strengthen its capacity to achieve a level of sustainability; consolidate its work and strategically plan for the future; increase the skills of staff members and benefit the local community of Eraulo by increasing the capacity of Leeuwin Care to meet their identified needs.

Ms Tanzi Smith
PhD Candidate - Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF), University of Technology, Sydney

Ms Smith's project focused on helping validate the impact of Green Productivity of Integrated Community Development (GP-ICD). This organization has had great success in alleviating poverty and assisting communities to achieve sustainability through over 100 GP- ICD rural villages in 23 provinces.

She provided institutional support to the Centre for Sustainability (CERD) which acts as a Resource Centre for GP-ICD in Vietnam.

Her project included identifying new opportunities to build CERD's local, regional and international networks and funding sources, collecting and analysing research data in order to find ways to make CERD and GP - ICD more effective.


Ms Jeni Crump
Project Coordinator

Jeni's project involved working with Dr Aruna Uprety and the Rural Education Health Service Trust (RHEST), based in Kathmandu, on issues concerning the gynaecological health of nepali women of the lowest castes. Work involved undertaking further research into the issues, needs assessments and raising the profile of the issues in Nepal. Three rural and conflict affected areas were targeted for education and training, health camps for several hundred women, and treatment and operations. Jeni secured further funding for about 50 operations.

In Nepal, gynaecological issues such as prolapsed uterus and cervical cancer are the leading causes of death and suffering for nepali women, with little treatment available. Estimates indicate that Nepal may have the highest rates of cervical cancer in the world, with little or no screening or treatment at this stage. It is also estimated by health workers that 25% of women coming to health camps in rural areas suffer from some degree of prolapsed uterus, usually accompanied by significant social disability and stigma, including being outcast from their families. Little has been done to address these issues.


Two fellowships were awarded in 2004

Ms Lia Kent
Researcher - University of Melbourne, Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law

Lia’s project was concerned with East Timor’s Commission for Truth Reception and Reconciliation (Commission), an independent statutory body in East Timor.

Her project focused on documenting the experience and views of those who have testified before the Commission and interviewed the reconciliation panel members, Commission staff and government representatives at district and national level.

The project aimed to document lessons, both positive and negative, in order to provide recommendations to assist the Commissions’ future work as well as provide useful insights to other societies considering appropriate mechanisms to assist them recover from periods of political violence.

Mr Brendan Boucher
Coordinator & Manager - Cambodian Rural Development Team

Brendan’s project implemented an environmentally sustainable rural development package that sought to dramatically improve the living standards of the most impoverished and remote subsistence farmers.

The project centered around the installation, construction and provision of biodigesters, pump wells, fruits and vegetable gardens. When used in combination the rural development packages provided a catalyst to break the local cycle of poverty.

The project aimed to increase disposable incomes by replacing wood fuel, coal purchases and transportation costs, improve rice harvest quantity and the quality of yields (village/local benefits); enhance farming techniques, conserve local fauna and prevent soil erosion (direct district benefits); and improve and protect the natural environment and contribute to poverty alleviation (indirect national benefits).


Two fellowships were awarded in 2003

Mr Brendan Ross
Mining Advocacy Research Assistant for Oxfam Community Aid Abroad

Brendan's project focused on "Indigenous Communities and Mine closure: A case study of the Kelian Gold Mine".

Mines nearing the end of their operation life in the Asia Pacific Region, have created enormous human rights, socio-economic and environmental challenges for communities, governments and the miming industry. Limited research has been undertaken as to what this means for communities living near the mines and how they should deal with it. Brendan researched, recorded and documented the preparedness of the community for mine closure at the Rio Tino/PT Kelian Equatorial Mining Gold Mine in East Kalimantan, Indonesia and provided the communities impacted by the mine with realistic information on the potential impact of mine closure obtained through other mine closures.

Brendan assisted in formulating methods to achieve the best possible outcome for the communities impacted by the Kelian mine closure process and developed recommendation for mine closure processes that respect human rights, paying particular attention to gender issues and indigenous rights.

Ms Sangeetha Chandra Shekeren
Research and Policy Officer (Sexual Offences Reference) for the Victorian Law Reform Commission

Sangeetha's project involved working with two organizations based in Jakarta, the National Commission on Violence Against Women and the Women's Justice Section of the Legal Aid Institute. She shared some of her experiences of the benefits of working with police to protect women from violence and also learned about the unique problems facing women reporting sexual assault in Indonesia.

The primary benefit of Sangeetha's project was an enhanced understanding of the challenges facing the Indonesian legal system in dealing with violence again women and links built within Indonesian civil society working on the reform of the legal system. Legal agencies throughout the region benefited greatly from a constructive dialogue on democratic reform and governance.


Two fellowships were awarded in 2002

Mr Michael Crestani
PhD researcher at the University of Melbourne

Michael’s project was an ethnography of a community of agricultural scientists in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. It was about many things: how researchers understand what they do as opposed to how it may be represented; how the Institute sees itself in relation to modernity and change; and the different sciences - academic, State and commercial - each with their peculiar rewards, traditions and rituals. What of the next ‘generation’ of researchers? How is their work gendered? What of a socialist or Asian science? Do the social aspects of ‘the project’ and ‘the experiment’ influence them as fact generating spaces? The work sought to capture the voices of a little heard of community in considering what is Vietnamese about the agricultural sciences today. One chapter focusesed on farmers and the Institute. Farmers and the farming life are central to Institutional ideology and its mandate. Their relationship presents as an interesting social space, inscribed with meanings, that nobody calls home.

While farmers are often depicted as a disempowered and needy collectivity, and not least by their research partners, the lives of scientists largely remain a mystery outside the collegial and familial circles in which they move. This becomes all the more fascinating when one considers the ultimately public and influential nature of their work. Agricultural scientists can be partly credited with shaping notions of progress, tradition and value in their societies. To date anthropologists have focused on hi-tech fields (the ‘new’ biology, particle physics, information systems), and then ostensively in Western settings. Surprisingly little work has been done with scientists in societies of strikingly different cultural and political traditions, much less the more ‘humble’ agricultural sector. This research is new for Vietnam and the agricultural sector more broadly. It is best considered basic research - conclusions are those the reader finds meaningful.

Ms Lauren Bain
PhD researcher at the University of Tasmania and a tutor in the Politics Department at the University of Melbourne.

Lauren undertook her Fellowship project in partnership with the Kelola Foundation in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia, researched and developed initiatives in the area of cultural policy. This built on work which Lauren had done with the Kelola Foundation over a prior eighteen month period.

Lauren: "The Cultural Policy project contributed to the building of an Indonesian society which is tolerant of difference, confident in its plurality and supportive of creativity. Central to the Cultural Policy Project was the idea that 'culture' is inseparable from the debate about the development of civil society in Indonesia. She worked with communities and provincial governments in several provinces in Indonesia to begin the process of articulating a cultural policy agenda at the local level".

With a relatively new government and Cabinet in place and various key reforms underway, the timing was right for Lauren's project. She said "our fear is that if we do not act soon, the momentum of change will be lost and a return to a government imposed and Jakarta - centric approach to cultural 'development' becomes more likely".


William Young
PhD researcher at The University of Melbourne, consulting engineer, and Director of Project Management Services Pty Ltd.

William's fellowship was carried out over a nine-month period in Indonesia and Vietnam, where he identified strategic ways to improve the management of engineering projects in these countries. William was a strong advocate of the huge benefits of effective management and how it can help governments, communities, corporations and individuals transform ideas into fruitful outcomes. His project addressesed the need for effective management training in the developing regions of Asia. Two areas that were targeted in his project were the institutional strengthening of professional engineering and engineering management associations, and the development of widespread educational programs both at University and industry practitioner level.

William shared the knowledge and findings of his PhD research "Engineering Project Management in developing countries - focused on the Republic of Indonesia and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam" with those most capable of implementing recommendations, namely leaders in the engineering and business sectors. He facilitated discussion with key local participants; conducted practical workshops; and helped develop vision, strategies and networks to enable the process to be sustainable.


John Dore
Phd candidate, The Australian National University

John's fellowship addressed resolving one of the most critical issues facing Southeast Asia into the future - the management of water resources.

John undertakook a detailed analysis of transboundary organisations involved in the management of the Mekong River Basin including the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The project contributed to international cooperation between the six sovereign nations with the Mekong River Basin, namely Cambodia, Yunnan Province in China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.

As the project's Research Manager, John worked with the World Resources Institute and Stockholm Environment over a five-year period.


Ms Hazel Lang
Phd candidate, Department of International Relations at The Australian National University
The Future of the Burmese Refugees in Thailand

Hazel's project was an extension on her doctoral work, and looked at prospects for the Burmese refugees along the Thai-Burma border. Hazel gathered the perspectives of the broad spectrum of organisations and governments involved in resolving the situation, including the Thai civil and military authorities, the Burmese authorities, the UNHCR, indigenous refugee committees, the consortium of non-governmental organisations working for the refugees and displaced people. She reviewed prospects for the future in view of each of these, and incorporated the principles of international refugee protection and future peace building in Burma.

Some 115,000 displaced Burmese live in Thai-based camps. The first camps were established in 1984 when some 10,000 displaced people were unable to return to their homes in Burma following the dry-season military campaign in their hometowns. Whilst some refugees have been repatriated, Thailand has become a long-term host for the refugees and is eager to see a solution to their plight. There is substantial pressure for the refugees to return to Burma and since 1995 cross-border raids have made shelter in the camps increasingly difficult and dangerous.

Hazel has spent considerable time in the past visiting the Thai-Burma border and is personally involved in the issue at a community level. The results of her project will inform policy makers and those charged with responsibility for determining the future of the refugees.

Mr David O'Brien
Lecturer in the Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning, The University of Melbourne

David works as a volunteer designer for projects funded by Australian aid organisations including Ausaid.

David aimed to develop housing prototypes for low-income families in Buri Ram Province, Southeastern Thailand. Buri Ram is one of the least developed provinces in Thailand. His project responded to environmental, climatic, economic and cultural needs of rural Thai communities.

Depletion of timber used in the construction of traditional wooden housing, has resulted in contemporary houses being constructed of concrete blocks, that does not engage with the traditional climatic, environmental and cultural housing typology. This in turn has had substantial impact on rural lifestyles. David developed alternatives to traditional wooden and contemporary concrete housing and empowered rural communities through innovative and appropriate architectural design.

David conducted research and development in collaboration with Silpakorn University and Population and Community Development Association, a local NGO chaired by Khun Mechai Viravaidya that undertakes projects aimed at strengthening rural communities. Once developed, these housing prototypes may be able to be used in other countries in the region.


Two fellowships were awarded in 1997

Ms Robyn Slarke
Paralegal trainer

Robyn drew on her experience of several years in running paralegal training for village women in Papua New Guinea. Her projec aimed to give women the ability to understand and utilise, where necessary, legal avenues for protection against domestic violence in PNG.

Ms Sue Downie
Journalist and author

Sue conducted training for journalists in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. She focused on the reporting of environmental, health and gender issues and also encompassed human rights and journalism ethics. Her project aimed to upgrade the skills of experienced journalists and information officers in Indochina and to encourage closer links between journalists in these countries and Australia.


Ms Kate McGregor
Doctoral candidate, The University of Melbourne

Researched the representation of the Indonesian military and its heroes found in museums, films, monuments, oral history, and military historical works. Also interviewed military figures and examined how the military view themselves and how they wish the public to see them.

Mr Dave Burrows
Deputy Director for Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations

Worked with a number of projects in India assisting in the planning and providing of educational initiatives for AIDS and HIV prevention. This is based on work done in Australia and Manila with injecting drug users. Attending the 4th International Conference on AIDS in Manila.


Mr David Kilkullen

Researched a case study of the development of local government infrastructure and political culture in West Java, Indonesia following a period of twenty-eight years of war and insurgency.

Mr Peter Bartu
Doctoral candidate

Researched the campaign history of the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Cambodia between 1991 and 1993.


Ms Sophie McIntyre
Masters candidate, Dept. of Fine Arts , The University of Sydney

Language study and research into contemporary Taiwanese art post-1980 in Taipei, Taiwan.

Ms Jenny Ann Lee
Doctoral candidate, Dept of Farm Animal Medicine & Production, The University of Queensland

Epidemiological study of smallholder pig production in the Philippines.