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Personal profile


Stephanie (Stephi) Hemelryk Donald FASSA FRSA is Professor of Film, and Head of the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Monash Malaysia. Previous roles include Distinguished Professor (Film) at the University of Lincoln, Future Fellow and Professor of Comparative Cultural Studies, and Distinguished Professor of iCinema, at UNSW, Sydney, and Dean of Media and Communication at RMIT, Melbourne. She has also led the Institute for International Studies at UTS, Sydney. She is a Trustee of the Arts Council funded UKNA (UK New Artists).

At UNSW she served as Academic Lead (following Scientia Professor Jane McAdam) of the Grand Challenge for Refugees and Migrants, where she collaborated with the Refugee Council of Australia and the UNSW Forced Migration Network in bringing together experts in migration policies, creative practitioners and refugee leaders to debate the issue of contemporary mobility. She continued this work in the UK, setting up the Justice, Arts and Migration Network and JAM imprint with colleagues in Hong Kong. Her book, There’s No Place Like Home: The Migrant Child in World Cinema, won a Choice award for film studies in 2018-19. The book and the JAM network underpinned her curated ‘TNPLH’ program of exhibition, public workshops, performances and online discussions in 2019-2020, beginning with Hoda Afshar’s debut show in the UK (Remain at Mansions of the Future, 2019) and culminating in Natasha Davis’ new short film It Takes a Decade (2020). www.migrationandart.com

In other aspects of her career, Hemelryk Donald has curated research-based exhibitions on Chinese Cultural Revolution themes at the Brighton Museum and Gallery, at the University of Sydney and at RMIT Gallery. She has been a film festival judge of the Tromsø Peace Prize at TIFF (2018) and the inaugural student film awards in Hong Kong (2018). She has served as President of the Chinese Studies Association of Australia, as Chair of the Humanities and Creative Arts College of Experts for the Australian Research Council, and as Deputy Chair of the Humanities Panel in Hong Kong (RAE). She was on the Carnegie Fund Board (Scotland) in 2020, and has assessed applications for Newton, the EU ESF Fund, and national bodies in Switzerland and Ireland. Fellowships have included the KNAW-ASSA Netherlands Visiting Fellowship at the University of Amsterdam and a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship at the University of Leeds.

Much of her work has been focussed in China and the East Asian region, particularly the relationship between women, children and cinema. In 2002 she founded, and still edits, a book series for Routledge that continues to profile new and established authors in the field: Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia (Routledge) The series publishes titles in social change, media studies, cultural studies and the Asia Pacific and SE Asian region in a dynamic and innovative disciplinary relationship. In addition to her own series she is active as a reviewer for presses including Manchester, SUNY, and Cornell, and is an editorial member of the Chinese Journal of Communication and New Formations.

She has had a long term interest and a record of publication and media research with children and young people, particularly but not solely in China and Australia. This fascination stems from her first career as an actor, where she worked frequently in creating theatre, animation and radio for children and young people.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Media Studies, DPhil (PhD), University of Sussex

Award Date: 30 Jan 1997

Teacher training, In-service certificate, University of Sussex

Award Date: 1 Jul 1995

European Studies, MA (distinction), University of Southampton

Award Date: 29 Jun 1993

Chinese Studies, BA (Hons), University of Oxford

Award Date: 3 Mar 1984

External positions

Trustee, UK New Artists (UKNA)

2018 → …

Research area keywords

  • Childhood studies
  • film studies
  • art-based research pedagogy and methods
  • Asian cinema
  • Global cultures
  • Migration and Justice
  • Chinese Visual Arts
  • Other Visual Arts


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