Researcher biography

Kerry Kilner is Director of the major Australian literature and culture research, teaching, and publishing environment, AustLit ( Her involvement with AustLit extends to its inception in 1999. She has a long history in bibliographical research and was project manager and co-associate editor of the four volume print Bibliography of Australian Literature (published between 2001-2008). She worked at Monash University from 1993 until 1998 when she moved to UQ to steer the AustLit project into a web-based collaboration between multiple universities. Her work in developing teaching and learning resources in AustLit moved into the development of the Cirrus platform which enables text, image, video, and audio annotation tasks and the building of online exhibitions to be set on courses at UQ.

One of her major outcomes is the establishment and ongoing development of BlackWords the most comprehensive record of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Writers and Storytellers in the world. BlackWords is a key resource for teaching and research relating to First Nations Australians. It also forms the basis of regular Professional Development activities for school teachers that are delivered by the AustLit team and collaborators.


Her research interests and publications include Digital Humanities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing and cultures, and twentieth-century Australian drama, in which she has published articles,edited a volume of short plays written by Australian women in the 1920s and established the Australian Drama Archive, a growing collection of neglected 20th century plays. A significant outcome of the past few years has been the bringing back into the light the works and life of the under-acknowledged playwright and novelist, Dorothy Blewett.

She has been involved in many grant applications over the past two decades that have resulted in some $10 million.


Kilner convened the third year Research Methods course in the School of Communication and Arts from 2010 to 2016 (ENGL3000) and the third year Internships course (ENGL3020) since 2015. She enjoyed supporting emerging professional undertake internship experiences to build their professional skills while expanding their research skills.

Since 2017, Kerry has convened three Professional Development events for secondary level teachers and tearcher-librarians: two Teaching and Learning with BlackWords with Professor Anita Heiss and teacher educator, Lindsay Williams, and Teaching with Fantasy with Associate Professor Kim Wilkins.

In 2019, Kerry was appointed to the role of Reconciliation Action Coordinator in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science.