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DR Suzanne Spunner


  • Aboriginal Australian Art History, Art Authentication, Aboriginal Art Market, East Kimberley art movement. (Artists: Rover Thomas & Paddy Jaminji)
  • History and theory of art authentication in general with focus on Australia.



  • Dr Suzanne Spunner is a Visiting Research Fellow with the Indigenous Studies Unit, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. She was a Miegunyah Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (CCMC). She has qualifications in English, Philosophy and Art Authentication. Her recent PhD - Vindicating Rover Thomas - developed a methodology for assessing the provenance of works attributed to the artist, which is applicable to other Australian Aboriginal artists. Her current research interests include investigating the origins and history of the East Kimberley art movement, and writing a book about Rover Thomas. She has taught at Deakin University, the VCA Drama School and most recently The University in Melbourne in the Art Authentication course. Suzanne is an accomplished Playwright, Designer, Dramaturg and Critic, who writes on performance and on contemporary Australian and Aboriginal Art. She was a member of the Women's Theatre Group at the Pram Factory, the founding editor of LIP, a magazine about women in the visual and performing arts. She was a co-founder of Home Cooking Theatre Company in Melbourne and Paradise Productions in Darwin that created and produced original Australian theatre. She has written some fourteen plays, of which twelve have been professionally produced including, Not Still Lives, Running Up A Dress, Dragged Screaming to Paradise, Edna for the Garden and The Ingkata's Wife. Running Up A Dress and Dragged Screaming to Paradise have gone into second editions and anthologies and Running Up a dress is on the senior drama syllabus in NSW and QLD, and set as a University drama text.   


Selected publications


Additional Grant Information

  • Spunner, S & Ormond-Parker, L. (2009/2010) AIATSIS Research Grants Program - Vindicating Rover Thomas.   


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Melbourne 2013
  • Grad Cert, University of Melbourne 2007
  • Dip Ed, University of Melbourne 1974
  • BA (Hons), University of Melbourne 1973

Awards and honors

  • Jessie Lichfield Award for Literature, Northern Territory University, 1991