Batchelor Institute » Kirstie Close-Barry
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Dr Kirstie Close-Barry

Adjunct Research Fellow
Histories of colonialism, particularly the governance of Indigenous peoples, land and labour through state policy and Christian missions in Australia and the Pacific, and Indigenous experiences of the Pacific War

  • Name: Dr Kirstie Close-Barry
    Position: Contemporary History Lecturer – Deakin University and Visiting Fellow, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia program, Australian National University


    Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Master of Arts, Graduate Certificate in Commercialising Research, PhD

    Professional memberships and associations
    • Member of Professional Historians Association (Vic.)
    • Member Australian Historians Association
    • Member of Pacific History Association


    Over the past ten years, Dr Close-Barry has researched, written and taught Indigenous history in tertiary institutions in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

    While her research concentrates largely on the place of missions in the processes of colonialism, Close-Barry has also researched Indigenous experiences of the Pacific War in North Queensland, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, completing a Masters thesis on the WW2 evacuation of Hopevale (then Cape Bedford) Lutheran Mission in North Queensland and more recently assisting with an oral history project, recording memories of World War Two along and around the Kokoda Track.

    Close-Barry’s first book, A Mission Divided: Race, Culture and Colonialism in Fiji’s Methodist Mission will be published by the ANU Press in 2015, the result of several years of archival and ethnographic research. With articles in the Journal of Pacific History and the Journal of Religious History, Close-Barry has also written for The Guardian and the Lowy Institute’s Aus/PNG Network.

    Research Interests histories of colonialism, concepts of race and culture, anthropology, oral histories, ethnographic histories, Indigenous Christian missions, inter-Indigenous collaboration in Australia and the Pacific, histories of governance, imperial networks and empires.


    • Teaching and Learning Award for Excellence in Teaching, Deakin University
    • Deakin Postgraduate Scholarship
    • Commercialising Training Scheme (CTS) scholarship
    • Golden Key Literacy Leadership Award, 2008

  • Publications:

    In press: Close-Barry, Kirstie, Divided Mission: Race, Culture and Colonialism in Fiji’s Methodist Mission, Canberra, ANU Press, 2015.
    In press: Close-Barry, Kirstie, ‘Dorothy Delbridge: Doctor, missionary and social commentator, 1900-1977’, eds. Patricia Curthoys and William Emilson, Out of the Ordinary: Twelve Australian Methodist Biographies, Mediacom, 2015.
    Close-Barry, Kirstie, ‘The Reverend Setareki Tuilovoni: Mobile Pacific Leader in the Decolonisation Era’, The Journal of Pacific History, 5 April 2015,
    Close, Kirstie, ‘Fiji's Methodist Mission and its role in development through education, agriculture and medicine in the early twentieth century’, in Matthew Clarke eds. Missions and Development: God’s work or good works?, London, Continuum, 2012, pp. 51-66.
    Close, Kirstie, “Bicycle George”, Provenance, Victoria, Public Records Office of Victoria, 2010.
    Close, Kirstie, “Bertha’s Blood”, eds., Kirstie Close and Kate McDonnell. They are but Women: The Road to Female Suffrage in Victoria, Melbourne, School of Historical Studies, University of Melbourne Press, 2007, pp. 118-136.
    Close, Kirstie, “Struggle and Pride: The Black Power Movement”, Passim: The Magazine of the La Trobe University History Society, no 6, 2006.
    Working Papers

    Close-Barry, Kirstie, ‘Methodists and land in colonial Papua and New Guinea’, Papua New Guinea and the World: Papers from the 4th annual ADRI PNG Symposium, 15 September 2014, Working Paper no. 47, 1 June 2015, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation,

    Close-Barry, Kirstie, ‘2015 Waigani Seminar: “Celebrating the Past, Understanding the Present, and Charting the Future through Effective Leadership and Good Governance”’, Australia-PNG Network, Lowy Institute Field Notes, 2 September 2015,
    Close-Barry, Kirstie, ‘Remembering World War Two in Papua New Guinea: The Oral Histories Project’, Australia-PNG Network, Lowy Institute Field Notes, 31 July 2015,
    Close-Barry, Kirstie, ‘Papua New Guinea: Where the past and present intersect’, Australia-PNG Network, Lowy Institute Field Notes, 24 April 2015,
    Close-Barry, Kirstie and Victoria Stead, ‘Remembering Australia’s Wars: Hangings of Papua New Guineans by Australian Soldiers in WWII Complicate our National Narratives’, Australian Policy and History, 13 April 2015,
    Close-Barry, Kirstie, ‘Field notes: Learning through shared histories’, Australia-PNG network, Lowy Institute Field Notes, 5 March 2015, or
    Close-Barry, Kirstie, ‘Post colonial? Yes. But Fiji’s new flag will also be a break with the chief’s power’, The Guardian, 4 February 2015,
    Close-Barry, Kirstie, ‘What’s so anti-Christian about equality?’, Republika, October 2014, pp. 30-2. See
    Interview, for documentary ‘The Evacuation’. Documentary funded by the Hopevale Aboriginal Congress, produced by Turn Dog Quick Films (see
    Book Reviews

    Megg Kelham, ‘For Love and Punishment: Who Prepares the Prisoner’s Meals? Marking 100 Years of International Women’s Day and Commonwealth Control of the Northern Territory, 1911-2011’, National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame, Alice Springs, 2011, in Circa: The Journal of Professional Historians, no. 3, 2012, pp. 81-2.
    Ian Breward, Dr Harold Wood: A Notable Methodist, Preston, Vic., Uniting Academic Press, 2013, Journal of Religious History, vol 38, no 2, 2014, pp. 274-5.