Kirsty Gillespie

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

  • Pacific languages
  • Music 
  • Intangible cultural heritage
  • Applied ethnomusicology
  • Museum studies


BA (Hons1) (ANU), PhD (ANU), Grad Cert Higher Ed (UQ), Grad Cert General and Applied Linguistics (ANU)

Researcher's projects


Kirsty joined CHL in November 2022 as a research fellow on the project 'Modelling Pacific Creole Languages'. 

Kirsty has been conducting research on aspects of Pacific culture since 2003. Her doctoral thesis, a study of the musical practices of the Duna people of Hela Province, PNG, was awarded by the ANU in 2008. The research was subsequently published in the book 'Steep Slopes: Music and Change in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea' (ANU Press, 2010).

From 2011-2015 Kirsty was a Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland (UQ). During her time at UQ Kirsty worked on a cultural heritage program in the Lihir Islands of PNG in the context of large-scale gold mining.

Prior to returning to ANU, Kirsty was Senior Curator in Anthropology at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, Townsville, a joint appointment with James Cook University, and Honorary Research Fellow at the Southbank Brisbane campus of the Queensland Museum.

Expertise Areas

  • Pacific Peoples culture, language and history
  • Language studies
  • Linguistics
  • Musicology and ethnomusicology


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