Professor Paul Memmott

Professor

School of Architecture
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Professor

Institute for Social Science Research
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
p.memmott@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 53660

Overview

Professor Paul Memmott is an anthropologist and architect and is the Director of the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre (AERC) at the University of Queensland (School of Architecture and Institute for Social Science Research). Prof. Memmott was the first full-time architecutral-anthropological consultants in Australia, being principal of a research consultancy practice in Aboriginal projects during 1980 to 2008. His research interests encompass Aboriginal sustainable housing and settlement design, Aboriginal access to institutional architecture, Indigenous constructs of place and cultural heritage, vernacular architecture, social planning in Indigenous communities, cultural change and architectural anthropology.

Memmott’s scholarly research output includes over 230 publications (including 10 books and monographs), 215 applied research reports and 36 competitive grants. He has supervised 30 postgraduate students and has won a number of prestigious teaching awards in Indigenous education (including an Australian Award for University Teaching – AAUT). One of his books, titled 'Gunyah, Goondie + Wurley: Aboriginal Architecture of Australia', received three national book awards in 2008, including the prestigious Stanner Award from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

Prof Memmott also has extensive professional anthropological experience in Aboriginal land rights claims, Native Title claims and associated court work since 1980. He has presented evidence and been examined in a variety of Australian courts as an expert witness on a cross-section of Indigenous issues, in addition to the Native Title work.

Research Interests

  • Cross-cultural Study of the Ethno-environmental Relations of Indigenous Peoples
    Five strands of research have emerged from my early career foundations that shape my research interests. (1) Vernacular Architecture and Material Culture: I have studied traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander shelters, houses and settlements for 40 years. (2) Aboriginal housing and institutional architecture: Australian Aboriginal housing and settlement research with over 50 publications in this field. (3) Indigenous homelessness: I have carried out empirical research studies on Indigenous homelessness in Australia, with some 16 publications in this field. (4) Indigenous family violence: In this difficult field I have researched the phenomenon and authored a national overview report for the Australian Government, “Violence in Indigenous Australia” that formulated a national definition of Indigenous family violence and integrated causal explanations. (5) Geography of place and cultural landscapes: I have been engaged in research for Aboriginal land claims and native title claims for over 30 years; as well as carrying out sacred site recording for Cultural Heritage agencies. My knowledge of Aboriginal geography has been applied to urban planning research and I have been involved in land and sea management issues with Aboriginal people both in terms of assisting groups to develop management plans, and to protect cultural heritage sites.

Research Impacts

Five fields of applied research impacts in national and international fora:

(1) Vernacular Architecture and Material Culture

(2) Aboriginal Housing and Institutional Architecture

(3) Geography of place and cultural landscapes

(4) Indigenous homelessness and

5) Indigenous family violence.

In varied academic, industry and government sectors he presented applied and policy related research. Since 2008, he was an invited guest speaker at 20 conferences, and another 15 invited keynote addresses influencing government policy change, including Commonwealth ministerial and standing committees and policy forums, professional and industry symposiums, ‘think-tanks’ and ‘lock-ups’, public lectures, gallery openings and book launches.

The inter-disciplinary nature of his work and its indigenous-specific field, he is a specialist referee for national and international journals in architecture, urban policy, anthropology, archaeology, economics, demography, housing and medicine.

In addition to his research publications (including 230 journal papers, 10 books and monographs), I was commissioned to write 215 applied research reports and 36 competitive grants (incl. as Team Leader on two ARC Discovery).

Qualifications

  • Fellow, Australian Anthropological Society
  • Fellow, Royal Australian Institute of Architects
  • Bachelor of Architecture (Hons), The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Master Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Postgraduate proposals that examine the ways in which Indigenous people relate to and value significant places and cultural landscapes can be supervised. Such topics might extend into human geography, urban design, urban history, landscape architecture, town planning or cultural heritage. Topics may also relate to how buildings are but positioned into and expressed in this cultural landscape.

  • Research topics can be supervised in relation to forms of spatial behaviours of Indigenous groups including in relation to customary land tenure, territoriality, setting theory, crowding and privacy cognitive space and people-environment transactional theory.

  • Postgraduate proposals that address Indigenous architectural problems can be supervised. Such proposals might apply to Indigenous housing design, procurement, policy or management. Proposals might also include post-occupancy evaluation. Non-housing topics might embrace the architectural needs of Indigenous people in correctional centres, courts, hospitals, schools or clinics. Another research area embraces Indigenous cultural centres and museums.

    Other research topics on Indigenous architectural issues may relate to theories on customary behaviours, cultural change, cultural identity, material culture, architectural meaning and the role of tradition. Topics may pertain to either architect-designed buildings or vernacular buildings.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Kreutz, Angela and Memmott, Paul (2017). Architectural anthropology: developing a methodological framework for Indigenous wellbeing. In Helen Kopnina and Eleanor Shoreman-Ouimet (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Environmental Anthropology (pp. 90-104) Abbingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge.

  • Memmott, Paul C. and Bond, Alexander (2017). Early Aboriginal society. In James Davidson and Sam Bowstead (Ed.), Water futures: an integrated water and flood management plan for enhancing liveability in South East Queensland (pp. 15-16) South Brisbane, QLD, Australia: James Davidson Architect.

  • Memmott, Paul, Martin, Darren and Amiralian, Nasim (2017). Nanotechnology and the Dreamtime knowledge of spinifex grass. In Caroline Baillie and Randika Jayasinghe (Ed.), Green composites 2nd ed. (pp. 181-198) Duxford, United Kingdom: Woodhead Publishing. doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-100783-9.00008-3

  • Memmott, Paul, Round, Erich, Rosendahl, Daniel and Ulm, Sean (2016). Fission, fusion and syncretism: linguistic and environmental changes amongst the Tangkic people of the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Australia. In Jean-Christophe Verstraete and Hafner, Diane (Ed.), Land and language in Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf Country (pp. 105-136) Philadelphia, United States: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi:10.1075/clu.18.06mem

  • Memmott, Paul and Nash, Daphne (2016). Indigenous homelessness: Australian context. In Evelyn J. Peters and Julia Christensen (Ed.), Indigenous Homelessness: Perspectives from Canada, Australia and New Zealand (pp. 213-220) Winnipeg, Canada: University of Manitoba Press.

  • Memmott, Paul and Nash, Daphne (2016). Looking through the service lens: case studies in Indigenous homelessness in two regional Australian towns. In Evelyn J. Peters and Julia Christensen (Ed.), Indigenous Homelessness: Perspectives from Canada, Australia and New Zealand (pp. 245-269) Winnipeg, Canada: University of Manitoba Press.

  • Memmott, Paul (2016). Reviving culture on Mornington Island. In Mark Moran (Ed.), Serious Whitefella Stuff: When solutions became the problem in Australian Indigenous Affairs (pp. 73-101) Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: Melbourne University Press.

  • Greenop, Kelly and Memmott, Paul (2016). We are good-hearted people, we like to share: definitional dilemmas of crowding and homelessness in urban indigenous Australia. In Evelyn J. Peters and Julia Christensen (Ed.), Indigenous Homelessness: Perspectives from Canada, Australia and New Zealand (pp. 270-299) Winnipeg, Canada: University of Manitoba Press.

  • Memmott, Paul, Nash, Daphne and Passi, Charles (2015). Cultural Relativism and Indigenous Family Violence. In Andrew Day and Ephrem Fernandez (Ed.), Preventing violence in Australia: policy, practice and solutions (pp. 164-185) Annandale, NSW Austraila: Federation Press.

  • Memmott, Paul and Nash, Daphne (2014). Indigenous homelessness. In Chris Chamberlain, Guy Johnson and Catherine Robinson (Ed.), Homelessness in Australia, an introduction (pp. 155-178) Sydney, NSW, Australia: NewSouth Publishing.

  • Memmott, Paul (2014). Inside the remote-area Aboriginal house. In Dianne Smith, Marina Lommerse and Priya Metcalfe (Ed.), Perspectives on Social Sustainability and Interior Architecture: Life from the Inside 2nd ed. (pp. 93-99) Singapore: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-981-4585-39-2_7

  • Greenop,Kelly and Memmott, Paul (2013). Aboriginal identity and place in the intercultural settings of metropolitan Australia. In Evelyn Peters and Chris Anderson (Ed.), Indigenous in the city: contemporary identities and cultural innovation (pp. 256-281) Vancouver, Canada: UBC Press.

  • Trigger, David, Martin, David, Memmott, Paul, Winn, Phllip, Burke, Paul, Peterson, Nicolas, Veth, Peter, Holcombe, Sarah and Palmer, Kingsley (2013). Forensic social anthropology. In Ian R. Freckelton and Hugh Selby (Ed.), Expert Evidence: Law, Practice, Procedure and Advocacy 5th ed. (pp. 36.51-36.9058) Pyrmont, NSW, Australia: Thomson Reuters.

  • Memmott, Paul and Blackwood, Peter (2013). Managing mixed Indigenous land titles: Cape York case studies. In Toni Bauman, Lisa M. Strelein and Jessica K. Weir (Ed.), Living with native title: the experiences of registered native title corporations (pp. 217-251) Canberra, ACT, Australia: AIATSIS Research Publications (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies).

  • Memmott, Paul (2012). Aboriginal architecture. In Philip Goad and Julie Willis (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Australian architecture (pp. 1-4) Melbourne, VIC, Australia: Cambridge University Press.

  • Memmott, P. and Chambers, C. (2012). Homeless people: Indigenous/Aboriginal. In Lorna Fox O'Mahony, Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Robyn Dowling and Susan J. Smith (Ed.), International encyclopedia of housing and home (pp. 97-103) Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-047163-1.00335-0

  • Memmott, Paul (2012). Lanley, Larry (1927-1981). In Melanie Nolan and Paul Arthur (Ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography (pp. xx-xx) Carlton, VIC, Australia: Melbourne University Press.

  • Memmott, Paul (2012) Mission Architecture in Philip Goad and Julie Willis (eds.) The encyclopedia of Australian Architecture. Port Melbourne Vic., Australia: Cambridge University Press

  • Memmott, Paul, Greenop, Kelly, Clarke, Andrew, Go-Sam, Carroll, Birdsall-Jones, Christina, Harvey-Jones, William, Corunna, Vanessa and Western, Mark (2012). NATSISS crowding data: what does it assume and how can we challenge the orthodoxy?. In Boyd Hunter and Nicholas Biddle (Ed.), Survey Analysis for Indigenous Policy in Australia: Social Science Perspectives (pp. 241-279) Canberra, Australia: ANU E Press.

  • Memmott, Paul (2012). On Generating Culturally Sustainable Enterprises and Demand-Responsive Services in Remote Aboriginal Settings: A case study from north-west Queensland. In Natasha Fijn, Ian Keen, Christopher Lloyd and Michael Pickering (Ed.), Indigenous participation in Australian economies II : Historical engagements and current enterprises (pp. 243-260) Canberra A.C.T., Australia: ANU E Press.

  • Memmott, Paul (2012). Roughsey, Dick (Goobalathaldin) 1920-1985. In Melanie Nolan and Paul Arthur (Ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography (pp. xx-xx) Carlton, VIC, Australia: Melbourne University Press.

  • Memmott, Paul (2012) Torres Strait Island Architecture in Philip Goad and Julie Willis (eds.) The encyclopedia of Australian architecture. Port Melbourne Vic., Australia: Cambridge University Press

  • Memmott, Paul (2011). Inside the remote-area Aboriginal house. In Dianne Joy Smith, Marina Lommerse and Priya Metcalfe (Ed.), Life from the inside : Perspectives on social sustainability & interior architecture (pp. 124-131) Como, W.A., Australia: Paper and Pencil.

  • Memmott, Paul (2011). Modelling the continuity of Aboriginal Law in urban native tide claims: A practice example. In Toni Bauman and Gaynor Macdonald (Ed.), Unsettling anthropology: The demands of native title on worn concepts and changing lives (pp. 122-141) Australia: AIATSIS.

  • Roughsey, Labumore Elsie, Memmott, Paul and Watson, Christine (2009). Gununa is the land of my dreams that's rich in culture with its background. In Carole Ferrier and Deborah Jordan (Ed.), Hibiscus & Ti-Tree: Women in Queensland (pp. 19-29) St Lucia, Qld: Hecate Press.

  • Memmott, Paul (2009). On the kindness of Aboriginal country, camp and shelter. In Suzanne Davies (Ed.), Shelter: On Kindness (pp. 13-16) Melbourne, Australia: RMIT Gallery.

  • O'Rourke, Timothy and Memmott, Paul C. (2009). Sustaining Indigenous cultural tourism: Aboriginal pathways, cultural centres and dwellings in the Queensland wet tropics. In Pascal Tremblay, Aggie Wegner and Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism. (Ed.), Indigenous/Aboriginal tourism research in Australia (2000-2008): Industry lessons and future research needs (pp. 78-79) Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia: CRC for Sustainable Tourism.

  • Memmott, Paul C. and MCulloch, Susan (2008). At the Heart of Everything is the Land. In Nicholas Evans, Louise Martin-Chew and Paul Memmott (Ed.), The Heart of Everything: The Art and Artists of Mornington and Bentinck Islands (pp. 12-15) Fitzory, Vic.: McCulloch and McCulloch Australian Art Books.

  • Memmott, Paul C. (2008). Origins of the contemporary art movement. In Nicholas Evans, Louise Martin-Chew and Paul Memmott (Ed.), The Heart of Everything: The Art and Artists of Mornington and Bentinck Islands (pp. 16-30) Fitzroy: McCulloch and McCulloch Australian Art Books.

  • Memmott, Paul, Robins, Richard and Stock, Errol (2008). What exactly is a fish trap? Methodological issues for the study of Aboriginal intertidal rock-wall fish traps, Wellesley Islands region, Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. In James Connolly and Matthew Campbell (Ed.), Comparative island archaeologies 1 ed. (pp. 47-67) Oxford, U.K.: Archaeopress.

  • Memmott, Paul, Blackwood, Peter and McDougall, Scott (2007). A Regional Approach to Managing Aboriginal Land Title on Cape York. In J. F. Weiner and K. Glaskin (Ed.), Customary Land Tenure and Registration in Australia and Papua New Guinea: Anthropological Perspectives (pp. 273-297) Canberra, Australia: ANU E Press.

  • O'Rourke, Tim and Memmott, Paul (2007). Constructing cultural tourism opportunities in the Queensland wet tropics: Dyirbalngan campsites and dwellings. In J. Buultjens and D. Fuller (Ed.), Striving for Sustainability: Case Studies in Indigenous Tourism 1 ed. (pp. 371-402) Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University Press.

  • Grant, Elizabeth and Memmott, Paul C. (2007). Forty years of Aboriginal housing, public and community housing in South Australia from 1967 to 2007. In Gillespie, N. (Ed.), Reflections: 40 years on from the 1967 Referendum 1 ed. (pp. 79-96) Adelaide: Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement Inc..

  • Memmott, Paul C. and Go-Sam, Carroll (2007). Spinifex houses of the Western Desert. In Paul C. Memmott (Ed.), Gunyah, goondie & wurley: The Aboriginal architecture of Australia (pp. 208-231) St Lucia, Queensland, Australia: University of Qld Press.

  • Greenop, Kelly and Memmott, Paul (2007). Urban Aboriginal Place Values In Australian Metropolitan Cities: The Case Study Of Brisbane. In Caroline Miller and Michael Roche (Ed.), Past Matters: Heritage and Planning History - Case Study from the Pacific Rim (pp. 213-245) Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press.

  • Memmott, Paul C. (2006). Who are the Kaiadilt people, where do they come from, and where does their art come from?. In The Bentinck Project (pp. 23-26) Brisbane, QLD, Australia: Woolloongabba Art Gallery.

  • Memmott, P. C. (2005). Arrernte increase ceremonies (Central Australia). In Taylor, B., Kaplan and J. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature 1 ed. (pp. 106-107) Bristol, UK: Thoemmes Continuum.

  • Memmott, Paul and Meltzer, Anne (2005). Modelling Social Capital in a Remote Australian Indigenous Community. In Ann Dale and Jenny Onyx (Ed.), A Dynamic Balance: Social Capital & Sustainable Community Development (pp. 105-126) The University of British Columbia, Vancouver: UBC Press.

  • Memmott, P. C. (2005). Rainbow serpent (North Wellesley Islands, Australia). In Taylor, B., Kaplan and J. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature 1 ed. (pp. 1336-1337) Bristol, UK: Thoemmes Continuum.

  • Memmott, Paul C. and Fantin, Shaneen (2005). The study of indigenous ethno-architecture in Australia. In B. Rigsby and N. Peterson (Ed.), Donald Thomson: the man and scholar (pp. 185-210) Canberra, ACT, Australia: The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

  • Fantin, S. R. and Memmott, P. C. (2005). Yolngu ceremonial Architecture (Australia). In Taylor, B., Kaplan and J. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature 1 ed. (pp. 1786-1787) Bristol, UK: Thoemmes Continuum.

  • Memmott, Paul (2003). Customary Aboriginal behaviour patterns and housing design. In Paul Memmott and Catherine Chambers (Ed.), TAKE 2: housing design in Indigenous Australia (pp. 26-39) Canberra, Australia: The Royal Australian Institute of Architects.

  • Memmott, Paul and Go-Sam, Carroll (2003). Synthesizing indigenous housing paradigms: an introduction to Take 2. In P. Memmott and C. Chambers (Ed.), TAKE 2: Housing design in indigenous Australia (pp. 12-17) Canberra, Australia: The Royal Australian Institute of Architects.

  • Memmott, P. C. and Go-Sam, C. (2000). Aboriginal architecture. In Kleinert, S. and Neale, M. (Ed.), The Oxford Companion to Aboriginal Art and Culture (pp. 405-413) Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

  • Memmott, P. C. (2000). Establishing the factual basis for Native Title in accordance with the amended Native Title Act. In L. Strelein and K. Muir (Ed.), Native title in perspective: Selected papers from the Native Title Research Unit, 1998-2000 (pp. 87-100) Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.

  • Memmott, P. C. (2000). The way it was: Customary camps and houses in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria. In P. Read (Ed.), Settlement: A History of Australian Indigenous Housing (pp. 15-39) Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.

  • Memmott, P. C. (1999). Preface. In The Surat Aboriginal Family Oral History Group (Ed.), Houses and Humpies (pp. vii-ix) Surat, Qld: Surat Aboriginal Family History Group.

  • Memmott, Paul and Trigger, David S. (1998). Marine tenure in the Wellesley Islands region, Gulf of Carpentaria. In Bruce Rigsby and Nicholas Peterson (Ed.), Customary marine tenure in Australia (pp. 109-124) Sydney, NSW, Australia: Oceania Publications.

  • Memmott, P.C (1998). Tracking soakages in the Wakaya Desert with Yellowshirt. In Take power, like this old man here: An anthology of writings celebrating twenty years of land rights in Central Australia, 1977-1997 (pp. 205-211) Alice Springs, NT, Australia: IAD Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Memmott, Paul (2016). Shifting Australian Indigenous settlements. In: IASTE Conference, Kuwait City, Kuwait, (39-39). 17-20 December 2016.

  • Memmott, Paul (2015). Differing relations to tradition amongst Australian Indigenous homeless people. In: Nezar AlSayyad, Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments. Special Issue: Conference Abstracts. IASTE 2014: Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, (43-44). 14-17 December 2014.

  • Nash, Daphne and Memmott, Paul (2015). Transitional housing and conditionality for Indigenous social housing tenants in Mt Isa and Tennant Creek. In: National Housing Conference 2015, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Perth, Western Australia, (A288-A288). 28-30 October 2015.

  • Memmott, Paul (2014). In search of the Wakaya 'clever man' and research on social problems in Barkly Region, N.T. and Qld. In: Breaking Barriers in Indigenous Research and Thinking: 50 years on. Program. AIATSIS Indigenous Studies Conference 2014, Canberra, ACT, Australia, (51-51). 26-28 March, 2014.

  • O'Rourke, Timothy and Memmott, Paul (2014). Rejection and reuse of traditional building technologies: case studies of two Aboriginal thatching materials. In: Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments. Special Issue: Conference Abstracts. IASTE 2014: Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, (51-52). 14-17 December, 2014.

  • Memmott, Paul and Keys, Cathy (2014). Translating the design of behaviour settings for Aboriginal well-being. In: Christoph Schnoor, Translation: The 31st Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference. Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, (517-529). 2-5 July 2014.

  • Memmott, Paul (2013). Bio-architectural technology and the Dreamtime knowledge of spinifex grass. In: Stephen Kajewski, Karen Manley and Keith Hampson, Proceedings of the 19th CIB World Building Congress, Brisbane 2013: Construction and Society. CIB WBC13: 19th World Building Congress 2013, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, (1-14). 5-9 May, 2013.

  • Memmott, Paul (2013). Economic development and Indigenous housing: the post NRARIH challenge. In: National Housing Conference 2013: a new way home..., Adelaide, SA, Australia, (). 30 October-1 November, 2013.

  • Memmott, Paul (2013). Integrating transactional people environment studies into architectural anthropology: a ase for useful theory building. In: Alexandra Brown and Andrew Leach, Open: The 30th Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference. Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, (905-917). 2-5 July 2013.

  • Amiralian, Nasim, Edwards, Grant, Milne, John, Memmott, Paul, Annamalai, Pratheep K. and Martin, Darren (2013). Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) from Triodia Pungens, an Australian native grass. In: Nano 2013: TAPPI 8th Annual International Conference on Nanotechnology for Renewable Materials, Stockholm, Sweden, (). 24-27 June, 2013.

  • Memmott, Paul (2012). Bio-architectural technology and the Dreamtime knowledge of spinifex grass. In: Nezar Alsayyad, Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments: Working paper series. Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments, Portland, OR, United States, (65-66). 4-7 October 2012.

  • Habibis, Daphne, Memmott, Paul, Phillips, Rhonda and Moran, Mark (2012). Conditionality, recognition and Indigenous housing policy in Australia. In: Deirdre Howard-Wagner, Daphne Habibis and Theresa Petray, Theorising Indigenous Sociology: Australian Perspectives Workshop Proceedings. Theorising Indigenous Sociology: Australian Perspectives Workshop, Sydney, Australia, (1-12). 19-20 July 2012.

  • Amiralian, Nasim, Memmott, P., Edwards, G., Milne, J., Jack, K., Morrow, I. and Martin, D. (2012). Extraction Microfibrillated Cellulose from Spinifex Grass using High Energy Milling and Chemical Pretreatment. In: ICEAN 2012, Brisbane QLD, Australia, (). 22-25 October 2012.

  • Memmott, Paul (2012). On generating culturally sustainable enterprises and demand-responsive services in remote Aboriginal settings: a case study from North-west Queensland. In: Abstract Book. Innovative and Smart Settlement, Enabling Local Economy, Surabaya, Indonesia, (). 12 December 2012.

  • Memmott, P. (2012). Processes of modern vernacular architecture in Aboriginal Australia. In: Hifsiye Pulhan, Proceedings of the 6th International Seminar of Vernacular Settlements -ISVS, Contemporary Vernacular: Places, Processes and Manifestations. The 6th International Seminar on Vernacular Settlements - ISVS, Farmagusta, Cyprus, (29-40). 19-21 April 2012.

  • Memmott, Paul (2011). Architectural production and consumption as a complex process in Aboriginal Australia: Two case studies. In: Antony Moulis and Deborah van der Plaat, Audience: The 28th Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference. Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, (1-25). 7-10 July 2011.

  • Gamage, H., De Silva, S., Flutter, N., O'Rourke, T., Memmott, P., Martin, D. and Schmidt, S. (2010). Green building materials from spinifex. In: The International Forestry Review. Forests for the Future: Sustaining Society and the Environment. XXIII IUFRO World Congress, Seoul, Republic of Korea, (279-279). 23-28 August, 2010.

  • Rosendahl, Daniel, Ulm, Sean, Jacobsen, Geraldine and Memmott, Paul (2010). Insular ideas: An archaeology of isolation in the Wellesley Islands?. In: Sally K. May, Meg Travers and Megan Berry, Australian Archaeological Association Annual Conference, Bateman's Bay, NSW, Australia, (81-81). 10-13 December 2010.

  • Memmott, P. (2010). Modelling the continuity of Aboriginal 'Law' in urban Native Title claims. In: 'Continuity, change, tradition, society and transformation' Panel. Turning the Tide: Anthropology for Native Title in South-East Australia, University of Sydney, (). 1-2 July 2010.

  • O'Rourke, Tim, Flutter, Nick and Memmott, Paul (2010). Prototyping spinifex as thermal insulation in arid regions of Australia. In: On the Edge: 44th Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA) Annual Conference. Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA) Annual Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, (). 24-26 November 2010.

  • Memmott, Paul, Flutter, Nickolas and Penny, Marie (2009). Biomimetic design prospects from an understanding of Aboriginal uses of spinifex grasses. In: Julia Gatley, Cultural Crossroads: The 26th Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference. Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, (1-20). 2-5 July 2009.

  • Memmott, Paul, Hyde, Richard and O'Rourke, Timothy (2009). Biomimetic theory and building technology: use of Aboriginal and scientific knowledge of Spinifex grass. In: Richard Hyde, Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference on the Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association (ANZASca). 42nd Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA), Newcastle, NSW, Australia, (117-125). 26-28 November 2008. doi:10.3763/asre.2009.0014

  • De Silva, D. Sujeewa M., Memmott, Paul, Flutter, Nick and Martin, Darren (2009). Characterisation of spinifex (Triodia pungens) resin and fibres. In: Conference Abstracts: 11th Pacific Polymer Conference. PPC11: Progress in Polymers for the New Millennium. 11th Pacific Polymer Conference 2009 incorporating the 31st Australasian Polymer Symposium, Cairns, QLD, Australia, (). 6-10 December 2009.

  • Memmott, P. (2009). Demand-responsive services and culturally sustainable enterprise in remote Aboriginal settings. In: Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies Conference, National Museum of Australia, Canberra, (). 9-10 November 2009.

  • Long, Stephen and Memmott, Paul (2009). Indigenous mobility and the sustainability of communities: Case studies from Northwest Queensland and Eastern Northern Territory. In: Ho, Goen, Mathaew, Kuruvilla and Anda, Martin, Sustainability of Indigenous Communities in Australia: Selected papers from the National Conference. Sustainability of Indigenous Communities in Australia: Selected papers from the National Conference, Murdoch University, Perth, (231-243). 12-14 July 2006.

  • Paul, Paula, Loogatha, Netta, Loogatha, Amy, Thomas, Ethel, Loogatha, Dolly, Evans, Brett, Evans, Nicholas, Tomkins, Helene, Rosendahl, Daniel, Ulm, Sean, Round, Erich and Memmott, Paul (2009). Kayardilt fish names: Spoken by the Kaiadilt of Bentinck Island. In: xx, Mornington Island, Australia, (). 2009.

  • Memmott, Paul C. (2008). Building sustainable policy for indigenous affairs in Australia. In: Proceedings of: ANU Centre for Dialogue Inaugural Event. ANU Centre for Dialogue Inaugural Event, ANU Centre for Dialogue, Canberra, (). 21 June 2008.

  • Memmott, P. C. and Grant, E. (2008). Design processes for Aboriginal architecture in prisons. In: 2nd Annual Prison Planning, Design and Construction Forum, Innovative Procurement Solutions. Prison Planning Design and Construction Forum, Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne, (). 6-7 November 2008.

  • Ulm, S., Evans, N., Memmott, P., Rosendahl, D., Robins, R., Lilley, I. and Stock, E. (2008). Exploring Isolation and Change in Island Environments: Preliminary results from the Southern Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. In: World Archaeological Conference. 6th World Archaeological Congress (WAC-6), Dublin, Ireland, (246-246). 29 June - 4 July 2008.

  • Ulm, S., Evans, N., Memmott, P., Rosendahl, D., Robins, R., Lilley, I. and Stock, E. (2008). Exploring Isolation and Change in Island Environments: Preliminary results from the Southern Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. In: Working Papers in Archaeology Seminar Series, St Lucia, Australia, (). 8 August, 2008.

  • Memmott, P. and Davidson, J. (2008). Indigenous Culture and Architecture in the South Pacific Region - 25 years of SAHANZ Research. In: Society of Architectural Historians 61st Annual Meeting. Society of Architectural Historians 61st Annual Meeting, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, (). 24-26 April, 2008.

  • Memmott, Paul C. (2008). Lessons from Aboriginal Geographers. In: Invited public lecture at the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland, Milton, Brisbane, (). 2 September 2008.

  • Ulm, Sean, Evans, Nicholas, Memmott, Paul, Rosendahl, Daniel, Robins, Richard, Lilley, Ian and Stock, Errol (2008). Palaeoenvironmental and Cultural Change across the Wellesley Archipelago: Preliminary results from the Southern Gulf of Carpentaria. In: Geraldine Mate, Karen Murphy and Natalie Franklin, Australian Archaeological Association Annual Conference: Programme and Abstracts. Australian Archaeological Association Annual Conference, Noosa, Queensland, (65-65). 3-6 December 2008.

  • Memmott, Paul and Chambers, Catherine (2008). Pathways into Homelessness amongst Aboriginal people in inner Sydney. In: 2nd Australasian Housing Researchers' Conference. Reshaping Australasian Housing Research, 2nd Australasian Housing Researchers' Conference, Customs House, Brisbane, (1-11). 20-22 June 2007.

  • Grant, Elizabeth and Memmott, Paul C. (2008). The case of single cells and alternative ways of viewing custodial accommodation for Australian Aboriginal peoples. In: Wundersitz, Joy and Son, Christina, Flinders Journal of Law Reform. 20th Annual Conference of Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology, Adelaide, Australia, (631-647). 23-26 September 2007.

  • Memmott, P. (2008). The delivery and performance of Indigenous housing and the persistent relevance of culturally specific factors. In: Closing the Gaps in Indigenous Mortality and Housing: Perspectives from the Social Sciences. Closing the Gaps in Indigenous Mortality and Housing: Perspectives from the Social Sciences, ANU at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, (). 4th April 2008.

  • Long, Stephen, Memmott, Paul and Seelig, Tim (2008). The sunburnt country or the big smoke? Reshaping Indigenous housing. In: Andrew Jones, Timothy Seelig and Alice Thompson, 2nd Australasian Housing Researchers' Conference, Brisbane, Australia, (1-17). 20-22 June 2007.

  • Memmott, Paul C. (2008). Traditional architecture and settlements of Aboriginal Australia. In: Working Papers in Archaeology Seminar Series, St Lucia, Australia, (). 13 June 2008.

  • Memmott, P. (2008). [Invited presentation to the Commonwealth Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs™ Inquiry into developing Indigenous Enterprises (Brisbane)]. In: Commonwealth of Australia: Proof Committee Hansard, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Reference: Developing Indigenous Enterprises. Commonwealth of Australia: Proof Committee Hansard, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Reference: Developing Indigenous Enterprises, Brisbane, (). 9 September 2008.

  • Dalley, C. and Memmott, P. (2007). A heritage of extremes: Lardil, Kaiadilt and Yangkaal people of the Wellesley Islands, Gulf of Carpentaria. In: Extreme Heritage: 2007 Australia ICOMOS Conference, Cairns, Australia, (). 19-21 July 2007.

  • Rosendahl, Daniel, Ulm, Sean., Memmott, Paul, Stock, Errol and van Holst Pellekaan, Sheila (2007). Settlement and occupation of the Wellesley Islands, southern Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. In: The World Archaeological Congress Inter-Congress (WAC). The World Archaeological Congress Inter-Congress: student e-sessions, Kingston, Jamaica, (). 20-27 May 2007.

  • Dalley, C. and Memmott, P. (2007). Through Hall to Belcher and Beyond: Hunting and Fishing Through Time and the Mornington Island Mission, Gulf of Carpentaria. In: M. Gibbs, P. Crook, S. Colley and V. Hardy, Programme & Abstracts: New Ground: Australasian Archaeology Conference. New Ground: Australasian Archaeology Conference, Sydney, (80-81). 21-26 September 2007.

  • Memmott, Paul, Lilley, Ian and Dalley, Cameo (2006). Connection to Place, Migration and the Transformation of Tradition in the Wellesley Islands. In: N. AlSayyad, Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review: "Hypertraditions" The Tenth Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments. "Hypertraditions" The Tenth Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments, Bangkok, Thailand, (28-28). 15 -18 December 2006.

  • Greenop, K. and Memmott, P. (2006). Contemporary urban Aboriginal place values in Brisbane. In: C. L. Miller and M. M. Roche, Past Matters: Heritage, History and the Built Environment: Proceedings from the 8th Australasian Urban History/Planning History Conference. 8th Australasian Urban History/Planning History Conference Past Matters, Wellington Campus, New Zealand, (157-170). 9-11 February, 2006.

  • Long, S. J. and Memmott, P. C. (2006). Indigenous mobility and the sustainability of communities: Case studies from northwest Queensland and eastern Northern Territory. In: Sustainability of Indigenous Communities Conference, Murdoch University, Perth, (1-7). 12-14 July, 2006.

  • Memmott, Paul and Davidson, James (2006). The Configuration of a Cross-Cultural Theory of ‘Architecture’ – Exploring the Treatise. In: N. Al Sayyad, 'Creating and Contesting Exclusionary Architectures', Traditional Dwellings and Settlements: Working Paper Series. “Hypertraditions” Tenth Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE), Bangkok, Thailand, (1397-1418). 15-18 December, 2006.

  • Memmott, P. and Davidson, J. (2006). The configuration of a cross-cultural theory of architecture: Exploring the Treatise. In: N. AlSayyad, Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review: "Hypertraditions" The Tenth Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments. "Hypertraditions" The Tenth Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments, Berkeley, California, USA, (57-58). 15-18 Dec 2006.

  • Blackwood, P. and Memmott, P. C. (2006). Traditional decision-making and native title authorisation - the Quandamooda example. In: Native Title Colloquium in Ass. with the Australian Anrthropological Society Conference, James Cook University, Townsville QLD, (1-12). 27-29 September, 2006.

  • Rosendahl, Daniel, Memmott, P., Ulm, S., Lilley, Ian, Robins, Richard, Stock, Errol, Dalley, Cameo and Hain, Emma (2006). Understanding Isolation and Change in Island Environments: A Perspective from the Southern Gulf of Carpentaria. In: Abstracts: Australian Archaeological Association Conference 2006. Australian Archaeological Association Annual Conference, Beechworth, Vic., Australia, (). 7-10 December, 2006.

  • Long, S. J. and Memmott, P. C. (2005). Moving places: Observations of mobility in Aboriginal Australia. In: Measuring Small and Indigenous Populations: At Te Papa Tongarewa. Measuring Small & Indigenous Populations: At Te Papa Tongarewa, Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand, Wellington, (1-7). 14-15 April 2005.

  • Memmott, Paul (2005). Positioning the Traditional Architecture of Aboriginal Australia in a World Theory of Architecture. In: J. Silas, H. Santosa, F. T. B. Samodra, E. Y. Astuti and J. Krisdianto, Informal Settlements and Affordable Housing, [Meeting and Conference Proceedings. Informal Settlements and Affordable Housing, Department of Architecture, Institute of Technology Sepuluh Nopember, Surabaya, (1-1-1-26). 17-18 November, 2005.

  • Memmott, P. (2005). Values of a bi-cultural society in Alice Springs. In: Tess Lea and Bill Wilson, The State of the North: A Selection of Papers from the 2003 Charles Darwin Symposia. Charles Darwin Symposium Four: Emerging Futures - Shaping our Territory, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs, (231-242). 8-9 December, 2003.

  • Memmott, P. C. (2003). Indigenous cultures and the design of custodial environments: Impact of design on human behaviour. In: Corrections is not an Island: Partnerships in corrections. Fourth National Corrective Service Administrators Conference, Fremantle, Perth, (). 23 September 2003.

  • Memmott, P. C. and Meltzer, A. (2003). Social capital in Aboriginal Australia: A case study from Wadeye. In: Mediating the Self, Extending the Citizen. Australian Anthropological Society, University of Sydney, Camperdown Campus, NSW, (). 1-3 October 2003.

  • Memmott, P., Long, S. and Spring, F. (2003). Understanding Homelessness in Rural and Remote Locations. In: Nugalngul Biik Nugalngul Willum: Proceedings of The National Indigenous Homelessness Forum. The National Indigenous Homeless Forum, Melbourne, Victoria, (33-43). 4th - 5th March 2003.

  • Memmott, Paul (2002). An introduction to architecture and building traditions: Lessons from ethno-architects. In: Additions to architectural history : Nineteenth annual conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand, Brisbane, Australia 4-7 October, 2002. Additions to Architectural History: XIXth Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand, Brisbane, Australia, (1-13). 4-7 October 2002.

  • Stimson, R. J., Baum, S. W., Western, J. S., Mullins, P. F., Johnston, J. W., Van Gellecum, Y. R. and Memmott, P. C. (2002). Community strength indicators and measures project. In: Western Regional Science Association Conference, Monterey, California, (). 17-20 February, 2002.

  • Memmott, P. C., Moran, M. F., Long, S., Stacy, R. and Holt, J. (2001). Home ownership for Indigenous people living on community title land in Queensland. In: Proceedings of National Housing Conference 2001: Our Homes, Our Communities, Our Future. unknown, Brisbane, (1-11). 24-26 Oct, 2001.

  • Memmott, P. C. (2000). Aboriginal people-environment research: A brief overview of the last 25 years. In: G. T. Moore, J. Hunt and L. Trevillion, Environment-Behaviour Research on the Pacific Rim: Proceedings of Paper 98 The 11th International Conference on People and Physical Environment Research. unknown, Sydney, (173-196). 3-6 Dec, 1998.

  • Memmott, P. C. and Reser, J. (2000). Design concepts and processes for public Aboriginal architecture. In: R. Lamb and R. Thorne, The Person-Environment and Cultural Heritage Journal of Australia and New Zealand; Proceedings 11th Conference on People Physical Environment Research. 11th Conference on People Physical Environment Research, University of Sydney, NSW, (69-86). 3-6 December, 1998.

  • Memmott, P. C. and Long, S. (2000). Place maintenance in Indigenous Australia. In: J.R. Stephens, Habitus 2000: A Sense of Place. unknown, Perth, (). 5-9 Sept, 2000.

  • Memmott, P. C. and Go-Sam, C. (1999). Australian indigenous architecture: Its forms and evolution. In: R. Blythe and R. Spence, Thresholds: Papers of the Sixteenth Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand. Thresholds, Launceston/Hobart, (233-239). 28 Sept - 1 Oct, 1999.

  • Memmott, P. C. (1999). Cultural issues in architectural design of Indigenous custodial facilities. In: Best Practice Interventions in Corrections for Indigenous People. Best Practice Interventions in Corrections for Indigenous People, Adelaide, (Electronic). 13 -15 Oct, 1999.

  • Memmott, P. C. (1999). Lessons from Aboriginal housing knowledge for the design of correctional institutions. In: P. Memmott, K. Eckermann and G. Brown, Indigenous Cultures and the Design of Custodial Environments. Indigenous Cultures and the Design of Custodial Environments, Alice Springs, (12-22). 9 -11 Nov, 1998.

  • Memmott, Paul (1993). Experiences in housing design. In: Building a partnership: Conference proceedings of the Indigenous Australians Shelter Conference. Indigenous Australians Shelter Conference, Brisbane, Australia, (161-166). 1-3 November 1993.

  • Memmott, P (1993). Mwerre-Anetyeke-Mparntwele - (sitting Down Good in Alice-Springs). In: Aboriginal Justice Issues. Conference on Aboriginal Justice Issues, Australia, (47-58). Jun 23-25, 1992.

Edited Outputs

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Postgraduate proposals that examine the ways in which Indigenous people relate to and value significant places and cultural landscapes can be supervised. Such topics might extend into human geography, urban design, urban history, landscape architecture, town planning or cultural heritage. Topics may also relate to how buildings are but positioned into and expressed in this cultural landscape.

  • Research topics can be supervised in relation to forms of spatial behaviours of Indigenous groups including in relation to customary land tenure, territoriality, setting theory, crowding and privacy cognitive space and people-environment transactional theory.

  • Postgraduate proposals that address Indigenous architectural problems can be supervised. Such proposals might apply to Indigenous housing design, procurement, policy or management. Proposals might also include post-occupancy evaluation. Non-housing topics might embrace the architectural needs of Indigenous people in correctional centres, courts, hospitals, schools or clinics. Another research area embraces Indigenous cultural centres and museums.

    Other research topics on Indigenous architectural issues may relate to theories on customary behaviours, cultural change, cultural identity, material culture, architectural meaning and the role of tradition. Topics may pertain to either architect-designed buildings or vernacular buildings.

  • I was the Team Leader for a research project on Spinifex which was titled, ‘Towards Novel Biomimetic Building Materials: Evaluating Aboriginal and Western Scientific Knowledge of Spinifex Grasses’, 2008-2013, which was the first multi-disciplinary study of spinifex in Australia with three key original contributions. PhD scholars are welcomed who can extend this research into bio-architectural and bio-material applications.

    1. New Applications of Aboriginal knowledge: Our partnership is with the Myuma Group who are the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of the Camooweal/Upper Georgina River basin, and who contributed their environmental steward-ship and ethics, their regional Aboriginal geographic knowledge, and human and infrastructure resources. Our project, through a series of published papers and culminating in a museum exhibition, drew together all of the Aboriginal knowledge on spinifex and its uses from the diverse ethnographic sources. We then applied this ethnographic knowledge to broader exploratory investigation of spinifex properties.

    2. New plant knowledge: Using electron-microscopy we prepared cross-sections of grass leaves from all 69 species in the Triodia genus. Pronounced differences in leaf anatomy generated a division into 42 ‘hard’ species with stronger fibres, and 27 ‘soft’ species with weaker fibres but having a resin yielding capacity. Hard spinifex species appear to have double the photosynthetic capacity of soft species with stomata located on both the outer and inner surfaces of the folded leaves, as well as larger bundles of fibres for extra rigidity. Soft species have photosynthetic features restricted to inside of leaf only, but have resin secreting cells. Evolutionary modeling of species diversification during the Miocene and Pliocene climate changes has been developed using DNA analysis. We also addressed the different modes of spinifex reproduction and propagation (seeds, runners, re-sprouts), including the ecological relevance of wildfires. We operated on the premise that spinifex materials would have a unique morphology owing to the fact that Triodia is a xerophyte (arid-area plant requiring little water) which could be expected to display different properties to mesic plant species (moderate water content) from which most biomaterials are derived.

    3. New material inventions: Our bio-engineering team (material engineers, chemists, botanists, architects, Aboriginal consultants) developed techniques for separating plant fibres and resin, and profiled spinifex resin chemistry (a mixture of volatile and nonvolatile terpenoid and secondary compounds: belonging to the thermoplastic class of bio-polymers). Within a low-tech to high-tech spectrum of possible applications, a variety of products were researched ranging from shade roofs, evaporative cooling walls, spinifex reinforced-earth walls and slabs, spinifex insulation batts (all at the low-tech end), to nanowhisker paper, resin to replace urea formaldehyde, coatings that may have anti-termite and ultra-violet screening capacities, bio-composite materials of fibre and resin, polymer derivatives and nano-fibrillated spinifex cellulose (patented) (at the high-tech end). Although few, if any plant resins have been used to generate commercial polymers, our research indicates potential for both Triodia resin and fibres as potential building blocks for renewable polymers and/or composite materials. One particular interest is the exudation cycle of the resin on the surface of the soft spinifex species and whether it functions to protect against excessive moisture loss from its spongy storage mass, whilst simultaneously allowing an osmotic process of gas exchange for photosynthesis; an ongoing subject of one of our PhD students.