About Celebrating Australian Rock Music with AustLit

You are invited to join the launch of the Australian Writing and Rock Music dataset on AustLIt. 

This exciting launch is part of a larger project on the connections between texts and music by Chief Investigator A/Prof Margaret Henderson. The dataset collates bibliographical records of fiction, memoir, and critical essays written about Australian rock music. 

But what makes this dataset unique is the bibliographical network we have created by identifying authors, directors, illustrators and more who are or who have been rock musicians—people already included in AustLit for their creative outputs, but had not previously been connected through their shared heritage of rock.

We aim to produce an innovative, world-leading dataset that highlights the depth and breadth of writing about Australian rock music, and therefore the breadth and depth of Australian rock music itself.

We invite you to join us for the launch of this dataset and for a panel discussion on networks of connection in digital cultural heritage—as well as to test your knowledge of Australian rock music with Rusty the rock dog’s rock trivia.

Afternoon tea will be provided

This event was sponsored by the UQ School of Communication and Arts and the UQ Centre for Critical and Creative Writing. 

Event Details 

Event Date: Friday 9 June, 2023

Event Time: 2–5pm

Event Location:The Writers Studio, Level 6, Michie Building (9), UQ St Lucia

RSVP: FREE (registration required) 

After the event if you would like to join us for drinks (own expense), we will be continuing the celebration at Patina. 



2–3pm: Panel on Digital Cultural Heritage.  


  • AustLit as Digital Cultural Heritage

    Presented by: A/Prof Maggie Nolan, Australian Catholic University (and incoming Director of AustLit)

    Given the recent launch of Revive, the Australian Government’s new National Cultural Policy, the goal of which is to “ensure there is a place for every story, and a story for every place,” it seems to be a good time to be thinking about places not only where stories are created but also the places in which they are stored and where and how they can be accessed. This a story where archives, research infrastructure, institutions and scholarly and creative engagement intersect. This is more than just a story of writers and readers but of the much wider networks, materials and technologies that make such stories possible to be shared and held on to. As the incoming director of AustLit, these are some of the complex ways of understanding story that are currently on my mind. In this interactive presentation, I am keen to share some of my thoughts about possible trajectories for AustLit, but I am also really interested in hearing the views of participants about their understanding of what AustLit is and what it can do, as well as the role it can play in highlighting the vast landscape of Australian stories.

  •  Redefining the Role of Museums During a Crisis: Social Media as Digital Heritage

    Presented by Dr Caroline Wilson-Barnao, School of Communication and Arts; Craig Middleton, National Museum of Australia, and Lisa Enright, School of Communication and Arts

    Covid 19 has forced many museums to explore new technologies and approaches, highlighting their role spaces of community meaning making during a crisis. Based on an analysis of the National Museum of Australia and its digital engagement throughout the 2019/2020 bushfire season and the Covid-19 pandemic this paper will discuss some of the contemporary logics and mechanisms at play when connecting with communities and collecting during a crisis. Referencing “Momentous”, a purpose-built web site and two Facebook groups “Fridge Door Fire Stories” and “Bridging the Distance” we explore the content shared on these platforms by users and place this in conversation with the reflections of the cultural workers who created and maintained these online platforms. We suggest that historically museums have long responded to their communities by seeking out new ways to provide collection access but suggest that we are witnessing the emergence of new approaches enabled by technologies that allow communities to take a more active role in negotiating how the museum represents their experiences. 
  • Data to a Different Beat: Australian Writing and Rock Music

    Presented by Dr Catriona Mills and A/Prof Margaret Henderson, School of Communication and Arts

    Music and literature have always had a symbiotic relationship (ballads, the lyric, the sung epic, the scop, and Patti Smith), and the AustLit dataset “Australian Writing and Rock Music” was initiated to trace the ways in which Australian rock musicians have also been writers, either during or after their music careers. We wanted to explore whether one of the defining features of the 1970s US punk scene, in which members moved between various genres of creative practice (painters, poets, journalists forming bands, musos trying acting, drummers just drumming) also characterised the Australian rock music scene beginning in the 1950s, but particularly from punk onwards. 

    This paper outlines the transmedia creative networks of Australian rock musicians, with a particular focus on literary outputs, as revealed by AustLit’s twenty years of collecting data about Australian storytelling and creative practice. We demonstrate how the database’s networking and encoding of data offers a unique opportunity to show the potential of digital cultural heritage to make visible what is often unseen: the rich but invisible networks that connect Australian music, image, and text. Be amazed when you find out whether an Australian pop princess wrote the sequel to Notes from the Underground.

3.15–3.45pm: Afternoon tea, launch of AustLit dataset: Australian Writing and Rock Music

3.45–4.30pm: Thank you presentation to Summer Scholars and Rock Trivia. 

4.30–5.30pm: Patina for end of Semester drinks (own expense)