Ms Phillipa Deveson

Ms Phillipa Deveson

Position: Visiting Fellow
School and/or Centres: School of Archaeology and Anthropology


Phone: 6125 4462

From 1981 to 1984, Pip worked with Ian Dunlop on the Yirrkala Film Project, focussing on the Yolngu Aboriginal community of northeast Arnhem Land. From 1994 to 1996, she was editor/writer for the Yirrkala Video Project, funded by Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and Film Australia. She and Ian Dunlop shared the Royal Anthropological Institute Film Prize in 1996 for the film Conversations with Dundiwuy Wanambi. In 2007 she was awarded the National Archives Frederick Watson Fellowship to undertake further research on the Yirrkala Film collection. During that time she also worked on a Film Australia DVD and educational website, featuring a ceremony recorded by the Yirrkala Film Project.

Pip's association with the Research School of Humanities and the Arts (formerly the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research) dates back to 1999 when she worked with Howard Morphy on Yingapungapu, one of the opening exhibitions at the National Museum of Australia. She went on to work with Morphy on a multi-media biography (on CD-ROM) of the renowned Yolngu artist, Narritjin Maymuru.

More recently, Pip has been working on a series of projects funded by the Australian Research Council.

Pip has a long-standing interest in Yolngu culture developed though a long involvement with the Yolngu community at Yirrkala, work on the Yirrkala Film Project and subsequent research on Yolngu art and knowledge systems. With Howard Morphy and Katie Hayne, she co-authored The Art of Narritjin Maymuru, a multi-media biography of a major Yolngu artist. More recently she and Hayne have produced the Living Knowledge Website as part of an ARC funded linkage project titled Indigenous knowledge and western science pedagogy: a comparative approach. The website was part of an investigation of the potential for using networked curriculum materials to introduce aspects of Indigenous knowledge into the NSW school science curriculum.

Pip has a ongoing interest in the history of Yolngu engagements with the outside world and the motivations behind these engagements. Of particular interest is the agency of Yolngu in determining the shape of anthropological and film collections and the reflexive process through which Yolngu participate both in recording their culture for future generations and in educating outsiders about their culture and interests.

Digital Media

1995 with H. Morphy and K. Hayne, The Art of Narritjin Maymuru (CD-Rom), ANU E-Press in association with Buku Larrnggay Mulka and Film Australia.



In May 2008 Pip attended the Visual Cultures and Colonialism conference run by Monash University. She spoke with Wukun Wanambi, Director of the Mulka Project media centre at Yirrkala, on The Agency of the Subject.


Pip is currently working with Howard Morphy and Louise Hamby on an ARC Discovery project: Contexts of Collection— a dialogic approach to understanding the making of the material record of Yolngu cultures.

She is also working with Fred Myers, at New York University, Peter Thorley, at the National Museum of Australia, and Nicolas Peterson (ANU) on an ARC Linkage project: Pintupi Dialogues - reconstructing memories of art, land and community through the visual record.

Awards 1996 Royal Anthropological Institute Film Prize 1996, for the film Conversations with Dundiwuy Wanambi, sharing prize with Ian Dunlop.

In 2007 Pip was awarded a National Archives of Australia Frederick Watson Fellowship to continue her work on Ian Dunlop's Yirrkala Film Project collection.

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Pip teaches a number of graduate courses in the Visual Culture Research stream of the Master of Liberal Arts program.

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