Kirsty is Senior Curator in Anthropology at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, Townsville, part of the Queensland Museum network. Her post is a joint appointment with JCU's College of Arts Society and Education, where she is involved in research, supervision and guest lecturing.

Prior to joining JCU in January 2017, Kirsty was a Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland (UQ), where she continues to hold affiliation as an Honorary Fellow. During her time at UQ Kirsty worked on a cultural heritage program in the Lihir Islands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the context of large-scale gold mining.

Kirsty has been conducting research on aspects of Papua New Guinean culture since 2003. Her doctoral thesis, a comprehensive study of the musical practices of the Duna people of Hela Province, PNG, was awarded by the Australian National University 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).

An active member of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM), Kirsty is the former Chair of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance of Oceania and the current Audio Reviews Editor for ICTM's journal, the Yearbook for Traditional Music.

  • 2016 to present - Senior Curator, Anthropology, Museum of Tropical Queensland (Townsville)
  • 2011 to 2015 - Research Fellow, University of Queensland (Brisbane)
  • 2009 to 2010 - Research Fellow, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (Brisbane)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2015 - International Council for Traditional Music Maud Karpeles Award
  • 2004 to 2007 - Australian Postgraduate Award
  • 2001 - ANU Alice Moyle Musicology Prize
  • 2016 - Honorary Fellow, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, University of Queensland
  • 2010 to 2011 - Visiting Fellow, School of Culture, History and Language, ANU
  • 2009 - Australian Anthropological Society
  • 2004 - International Council for Traditional Music
  • 1999 - Musicological Society of Australia
  • 2014 to 2016 - University of Queensland Early Career Researcher Grant
  • 2015 - University of Queensland Advancing Women Researchers Grant
  • 2014 - International Mining for Development Centre Grant
  • 2013 to 2014 - University of Queensland ResTeach Grant
  • 2012 - Lihir Mining Area Landowners Association (LMALA) grant
  • 2012 - Lihir Sustainable Development Program (Education) Grant
  • 2009 - Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research grant
  • 2008 - ANU Linkage Pilot Project Grant

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters
Conference Papers
  • Gillespie K (2013) Re-visioning the impact of missions on music in Papua New Guinea. Proceedings of the New Zealand Musicological Society and the Musicological Society of Australia Joint Conference. In: Joint Conference of the New Zealand Musicological Society and the Musicological Society of Australia, 2-4 December 2010, Dunedin, New Zealand

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