DSC Intertext Symposium 2022

Image credit: Website artwork created by Alicja Kuzmycz

The DSC Intertext Symposium is a unique Higher Degree by Research (HDR) student-led conference for the College of Design and Social Context (DSC) at RMIT University.

The Intertext Symposium aims to showcase postgraduate research across the 8 schools within the DSC, celebrating the significant contributions of postgraduate researchers towards the advancement of knowledge as well as bringing together the HDR community to provide a channel for the exchange of information and transdisciplinary collaboration.

The theme for this year’s symposia is ‘Connections’. Candidates who wish to present at the symposium will need to submit an abstract of 200-250 words that responds to the theme, sending it to the organising committee by 15 July 2022. Please download the abstract template here. The committee will assess the abstracts based on quality and will notify the candidates of the outcome by 22 July 2022. Candidates at all stages of candidacy are welcome. Please email abstracts to dsc.intertext@rmit.edu.au  

This year the symposium will be fully online and held on Monday the 15 August 2022. Online sessions will be hosted by an academic chair and a referee will facilitate a Q&A with the presenters and wider audience. Please visit the Program and Registration tab for further details and to register for these sessions.

All Intertext events are free and HDR candidates and supervisors are encouraged to participate. 

Please join us for the following online sessions. Note that you will need to register for the panel and lunchtime sessions in order to receive an email with the event links. Individual HDR milestone presentations may be viewed using the presentation links below.



Registration or presentation link

10:00AM – 11:45AM

Panel Session One: Connections - People, Place and Communities

Academic Chairs: Emily Gray & Stephen Gaunson

Presenters: Ritika Vohra, Elvira Bianchi, Jebunnesa Jeba, Rees Quilford & Daniel Marks

Register for Panel Session One here
11:00AM – 12:30PM HDR Milestone Presentation: Philippa Forge (3MR)
Intergenerational equity within the Great Australian Dream: the meaning of home ownership for different generations.

Philippa’s presentation link

12:00PM – 2:00PM

Lunch and 3MT heats (Three-minute Thesis)


Emilie Collyer (School of Media and Communications) - The super impact of feminist writing

Cristina Hernandez Santin (School of Global, Urban and Social Studies) - Biodiversity Inclusive Design… Species’ voice at the design table

Kelsie Nabben (School of Media and Communications) - Resilience in Decentralised Technologies

Pradip Sarkar (School of Media and Communications) - Use of Digital Technologies by DIY Musicians in India

Ritesh Tandon (School of Property, Construction and Project Management) - Studying the use and adoption of Blockchain technology in Australian residential real estate transaction process


Register for the 3MT DSC heats here

2:15PM – 4:00PM

Panel Session Two: Connections – Industry, Innovation and SDGs

Academic Chairs: Associate Professor Ceridwen Spark & Andrea Eckersley

Presenters: Dani Andrée, Renee Peterson, Anna Galluzzo, Josie Gleave, Jennifer Hickinbotham & Ciaran Begley

Register for Panel Session Two here

2:30PM – 4:00PM

HDR Milestone Presentations:
David Latimer (2MR)
Memory and Coexistence in Cinema

Noah Southam (3MR)
Unhallowed Arts: Hybridising and Remixing The Creation Scene from “Frankenstein”

David’s presentation link


Noah’s presentation link

Presenters for Session One: Connections - People, Place and Communities
Monday 15 August, 10:00AM - 11:45AM

Ritika Vohra (artefact presentation)

Revisit process

Through a speculative, touch-led approach to making, the artifact explores my textile-art practice as a process and not just an outcome. It uses active and passive forms of touch and is a collaboration of moments and encounters, that become alive through this tactile assemblage. It maps the maker’s transition from one project to the other, understanding it as an ongoing process and not distinct outcomes.

The processes used are multisensory in the way they amplify experiences of the maker. Here, the maker uses wandering or walking, where they make and sense by being physically present in the given space, and or re-living ephemeral moments and encounters of that space through memory, daydreaming, and imagination.

The work initiates in a pre-pandemic environment, leaps through pandemic, where the maker is constrained to home as the site for making and sensing. Such environments of constraints initiate new perspectives by exploring multisensory aspects of touch in making.

The artifact depicts varied clusters – of processes, materials, encounters, flows that originate within the making. These tangible works embody felt and left encounters through physical and imaginary touch, coincidences, synchronicities within distinct layers of consciousness of the maker, while making and becoming with the work.

The work is presented through instant photographs, hand-stitching, embedded digital works, written poetic words, and sounds.


Elvira Bianchi

The role of interpreters in parent-teacher communication with migrant families.

Most of us, after having completed our research, will thank our friends, loved ones, and parents. That’s because we realize how fundamental those connections are for our success. For most of us, these connections lead to a successful education, others are however disadvantaged from the outset.

Immigrant families send their children to Australian schools, and, while the children’s uptake of English might be quick, the same is not necessarily true for their parents. Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) parents might not understand the school system or their children’s homework. Most seriously of all however, they are unable to communicate with school teachers to discuss their children and thus aid them in their educational journey, leaving these children disadvantaged. Interpreters can facilitate parent-teacher communication, and are therefore a fundamental tool for CaLD parents’ involvement, yet the educational sector is sadly under-researched by the translation and interpreting field.

How can the interpreting profession best serve the educational setting? This is what this research attempts to answer. Today, interpreters are mostly called upon only for formal school meetings, but is there a need to employ them more often? Australia has always preferred interpreters, but some European countries employ intercultural mediators to communicate with migrant parents: is a revised role, one that accounts for cultural mediation, more appropriate in this setting? This research explores teachers’ needs in communication with CALD parents, and what collaboration with interpreters would ideally look like so that every child may be given equal chances at success in education.


Jebunnesa Jeba

Kindergarten/pre-school educators’ connections with children and their families during remote teaching and learning

Making connections or building relationships is an important part of children’s learning at Australian kindergarten or pre-schools.  Positive relationship between children, their educators and families help to develop a sense of belonging in children and they learn important life skills through these relationships. To help children develop confidence and build relationships with others, educators create a safe, nurturing and familiar environment within kindergarten/pre-school settings. During COVID-19 led remote teaching and learning, physical interaction among children, their educators and families was restricted. Therefore, it is reasonable to ask if remote teaching and learning impacted those relationships between children, their educators and families. As a part of my study, which explores the experiences of Australian kindergarten/pre-school educators’ experiences of remote teaching during COVID-19, an online survey was conducted through the official Facebook group for Early Childhood Education and Care Australia. In a section of the survey, participants involving kindergarten/pre-school educators across different states in Australia were asked about their relationship with children and their families during remote teaching period. Majority of the participants involving about 76% of participants informed that their relationship with children and families become more closer and humbler during remote learning. However, about 24% of participants indicated that engaging children and families during remote learning was difficult. The findings also suggest that it is important to slow down during remote teaching and learning, and more attention should be put on building and nurturing connections during that challenging time.


Rees Quilford

‘92 days of winter’ a mixed media experiment in swimming, walking and reflection

Each day of our first COVID winter I left the warmth of home, meandered through sleepy streets, over the dunes, down to the same secluded stretch of sand that marks the threshold between shore and sea. I walked the vacant coastline then dove into the bracing cold to swim in the sea. Every day of that arduous winter, all ninety-two of them, I returned to the same place in search of something different. Once there, I sought to reconnect with that once familiar place.

In times of extraordinary disruption, we gravitate to the familiar. When COVID followed the firestorms and shouldering dirt of the summer before, I turned to lonely stretches of sand and wild oscillating weather. Immersing myself in frigid waters, I walked and watched. Then, with an old Polaroid camera found in a local junk shop, I photographed something of what is a beguiling place. I subsequently annotated each picture with a scrawled note or reflection.

Those images – 92 inscribed portraits of place – form a diary of sorts, one that documents and reflects. It is a chronicle marking time spent at the beach during a winter of relentless disruption.
This presentation examines this experimental mixed-media inquiry as an intimate and poetic practice. One that might afford the cajoling of disparate echoes – plucked from inhabitation, the archives, memories, reflections, and the landscape itself – into an affective storytelling practice. It speculates on how a mixed-media storytelling experiment might generate initiate insights into the complex associations we share with specific places.


Daniel Marks (artefact presentation)

Double Agent vessel & earpieces

The Double Agent vessel and earpieces are artefacts of choreographic research, conducted within the complex and problematic relations of live action, score and archive. These works arise from a process of eroticism and poetic digging-out of the edges, limits and latencies of the body, as it is pushed, collapsed and compressed to tactile wearable, insertable or hand-held objects – all comprising their own layered structure of sediment and corrosion. These items are not only artefacts of action, but points of ongoing dis/embodied performance.

A collection of wearable and parasitic silicone "Double Agent" earpieces lay piled upon each other, awaiting insertion in an archaeological ritual vessel of metal, cement, clay, duct tape and white wax. The earpieces were formed as wire and clay objects, coated in silicone. Submerged in water for several days, the clay was wettened and squeezed out through breaks and holes in the silicone membrane. The wire was cut and extracted with pliers. As dried-out hollow silicone sperm, their insides squeezed out but still stuck in the tube, the earpieces still carry some traces of clay and grow discoloured over time. When adorning the body as performance-wear, they coil around the sensory organ/vessel of the ear and enter into its concave opening, telling silent scores of wet, slippery, twisted interior-exterior complexities.

Presenters for Session Two: Connections – Industry, Innovation and SDGs
Monday 15 August, 2:15PM – 4:00PM

Dani Andrée (artefact presentation)

Perennial series

This research addresses a ‘technological interpellation of plant-life’ which defines plants as instrumental resources to serve human ends. A tension between human and plant desire is investigated via the mediated disjuncture of artistic agenda and plant-being. This project, Perennial series facilitates a reciprocity between plant growth, the artist’s body and an emerging sense of shared nourishment.
Located in a domestic garden, the artist’s body is used as a physical support for a Tagetes lucida plant so water can be fed to it from an overhead copper vessel. In this evolving work, artist and plant together face the sun. The daily sessions are recorded through timelapse and stream of consciousness notes.

Perennial series is a long-term, process-based artwork that provides a counterpoint to instrumental interactions with plant life. The indeterminate, repetitious serial has an established history within process-based art as a refusal of predetermined, singular end-product or outcome. Continuing indefinitely, a dialogical relation between plant growth and artistic action emerges from the conditions created within the Perennial series.

This has become a space for the artist to disconnect from technological omniscience. Her body, a sculptural plinth in service of the Tagetes lucida, is unable to engage in much other than meditative thought. These thoughts intermittently shift between a focus on making the artwork and the inevitable points of distraction. In Perennial series, the space of meditative-artistic thought and space of the artwork itself are compressed and revealed together.


Renee Peterson

From Screen Celebrity to Social Media Influencer

The career trajectories of celebrities are challenged by the changes to the contemporary media ecology with the emergence of social media influencers. Celebrities who have built professional careers in the contemporary media landscape, mainly commercial broadcast radio, television, film, music, print and online, are compelled to adapt to the contemporary media ecology. The celebrity needs to develop a professional presence on various social media platforms to maintain their status and audience engagement, using their media practices or the media practices of their social media producers.  

The contemporary media ecology of celebrities and their social media producer’s daily media practices to become successful social media influencers has not been previously examined in academic research. Celebrities need to navigate their daily media practices using their professional skills in order for their careers to have longevity. It is essential to understand this navigation for both the professional practice of media creators and its contribution to the fields of celebrity studies, media ecology, social media digital cultures, media and communication. This research explores the implications of the evolving media ecology for celebrities through creative practice research. 

During the PhD research, I have identified a gap in the scholarship that will be addressed and answered with this research question:

How does a celebrity navigate and adapt to the changes within contemporary media ecology using their own media practices or the media practices actioned by their social media producers? 

Academic research has not previously examined the navigation of a celebrating adapting to transition with their contemporary media ecology to be successful social media influencers. 

This PhD project engages the creative practice-based research methods, practice-led and reflective practice. The data collection will happen via semi-structured interviews with selected celebrities and social media producers to develop an in-depth understanding of the lived experience of the participants. These interviews are used for the podcast series ‘From Screen Celebrity To Social Media Influencer’ to explore the connections between celebrities and social media.  

This project will engage existing literature aligned with the data collection to answer the PhD research question. The answer will understand how a celebrity navigates within their contemporary media ecology using their media practices or the practices of their social media producers to become a social media influencer, therefore, answering the research question. 


Anna Galluzzo

Women in onsite and offsite project leadership roles in construction

My proposed thesis with publication will provide an overview of the lived experiences of women working in onsite leadership roles in the construction industry (CI) and will identify practices that help or hinder them. A systematic literature review (SLR) conducted by the researcher (Paper 1) will constitute Chapter 2 (the literature review) of the dissertation. This review has identified that there is a gap in research around women leaders in construction in general, and particularly around women in onsite leadership roles. Little is known about their lived experiences and the challenges they face in the male-dominated CI. In the interests of gender equality, if more women are to be supported to attain leadership roles in construction, it is imperative to understand the challenges and enablers they experience.

Below is a list of the key themes identified from the SLR:

  • women’s career trajectories
  • career shocks
  • career challenges
  • career resilience
  • promotion and retention
  • experiences of gender-based incivility, hostility, intimidation, sexual harassment, and conflict.


Josie Gleave

Can’t delete: An intervention in mainstream news media representations of image-based sexual abuse

Cases of image-based sexual abuse — the creation and/or distribution of private sexual or nude images — are on the rise across the world and internet, but the public does not understand this issue as a form of sexual violence. This is due in part to the role of journalists and the news media as the first site where the general audience hears about new issues. Research into image-based sexual abuse (IBSA) has not considered the role of the news media to educate the public about this increasingly common form of sexual violence, and this project seeks to fill this gap by investigating media representation of IBSA and creating an experimental work of journalism in response to the problematic issues identified through the research. The creative component of the project is an interactive journalism feature hosted on a website that offers the audience opportunities to engage with victim perspectives within the context of an explanatory journalism article with need-to-know facts about IBSA. This approach seeks to be an example for future journalism about sexual abuse and improve public awareness and understanding of IBSA.


Jennifer Hickinbotham

Effects of Trauma on Connection Behaviour

Trauma severs our capacity to create healthy connections.

Dr Stephen Porges, has shown that connection is the strongest behavioural imperative known to 21st century humanity, this was recently affirmed in ABC’s Our Brain Episode four.

Trauma, according to Professor Antonio Damasio, is always couched in the experience of emotional distress. Dr Dan Siegel proposes that 35-45% of Americans live with attachment disorders, developmental emotional challenges resulting from traumatic experiences such as abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.

Mental health diagnostic labelling, a form of medicalising survivor’s responses to trauma, is inconclusive and often misleading. My PhD research focuses on my body as site of praxis, affirming my belief that internal voice hearing is a common form of connection. My paper will discuss various forms of voice hearing, many of which render the traumatised hearer disabled by stress and embodied chronic fight/flight/freeze response: destroying brain myelin and disabling reason.

Neuroscience teaches us that all brain-mapped experiences can be re-learned and thereby re-written. In 2020 I was awarded the RMIT Liquid Architecture Graduate Prize for Sound Art. Friendship and connections developed with Liquid Architecture’s Creative Director Joel Stern as I was supported to perform my songs, and to present my work for the Blindside Gallery Exhibition Sound Series, 6-23 April 2022. This work has gone on to be short-listed for the Incinerator Gallery Art for Social Change Prize – winner to be announced 19th July 2022. Humans cannot rationalize new relationship and connection experiences, only engagement and real connection will support such neural changes.


Ciaran Begley

Coupling with an artwork: the phenomenological investigation of a flatscreen television

Art is a primarily phenomenological experience.  The connection between a gallery visitor and an artwork is based on sensory stimulus, albeit interpreted by the individual in a social context.  If the work is successful then the work connects further, stimulating imaginative relationships in the mind of the visitor, eventually extending to a connection between the artist and visitor through the work. This presentation will examine the relationships that make up an artwork to examine these experiences as a basis for meaning in art.

Saved Screen #7: Modified Sony LCD television 2022 is an artwork that challenges phenomenological interactions by teasing at the division between real objects and the unreal nature of screen-based images.  By presenting a screen that displays its own workings, this television frames an image of its own reality.  Being neither flat nor illustrative, what happens within the bounds of this frame requires a bricoleurs eye to understand.  What is a flat screen television technically? What have I done to it? How is this screen unique? and Why have I chosen to present it as an artwork?

This presentation will pick apart the act of engaging with art by presenting an artwork as qualitative device.  Allowing for phenomenological engagement by those listening to ground critical engagements with art in realist terms.  Seeking to understand what is happening when we connect with art.

Location and Symposium format

This year the symposium will be fully online and held on Monday the 15 August 2022. Links to the online sessions will soon be available on the Program and Registration tab of this website.

Important dates

Submit your abstract

 15 July 2022

Notification of outcome

 22 July 2022

Live symposium panel discussions  

 15 August 2022

Presentation information

The time limit per presenter is 5-7 minutes.


Good academic presentations can often be ruined when too much time is spent on theory at the outset. A conference presentation, unlike a thesis, does not require a long methodological introduction/theoretical contextualization of your case study. A short paragraph on theory/research method will suffice before moving on to analyse the material you want to discuss. Lengthy quotes from well-known (or even obscure) theorists only distract; delegates want to know what you think about your topic. If your presentation is aimed at engaging in a constructive dialogue with a previous theory, you will need to expound briefly on the theory you wish to discuss and then proceed as soon as possible to articulate your own ideas on the subject. Again, delegates want to know what you think about your topic, and you have only 7 minutes to do this. Following these guidelines will ensure that your presentation will impress, engage, and make an impact on your audience.

Using slides

To keep the presentation engaging and coherent slides should be used as a complement to the verbal portion of the presentation.

  • Keep it simple, use 1 slide per topic
  • Use key words or sentences the audience need to take away from that slide
  • Keep to a consistent theme across your presentation
  • Stick to a maximum of 6 points per slide and ensure that it is not too text heavy. For example, each bullet point should be brief.
  • Avoid complicated models – if the model has no simpler version or cannot be simplified, do not use a title, have the image on its own in the slide so it is large enough for the audience to make it out clearly
  • Use images to help the audience make sense of the subject
  • Keep the theme and graphics consistent.


The key to a successful presentation is having an interesting story to tell so presenters should consider how to formulate their presentation in a manner that will have a beginning, middle and an end. Consider the coherency and the flow of the transitions between the sections. Use effective body language to keep the audience engaged with the presentation. Finally, practise delivering the presentation in front of a mirror, consider your facial expressions, voice, intonation and maybe even introducing silence for impact.

Often an abstract proposes to cover too much material for a 7-minute presentation. For the presentation itself, it is very important to concentrate on one idea/argument, illustrated by preferably one to two examples. Video or audio examples should be avoided or limited to under 1.5 minutes. Keep in mind that this is an interdisciplinary symposium and sessions will include presenters and audience members from a variety of subject backgrounds. You will need to clarify any content-specific technical terms and make sure that you explain key concepts in lay language.

Memorising the presentation and keeping eye contact with the audience is a powerful way to keep an audience engaged. 

Useful links

Canvas studio

Giving presentations

Symposium organisers

This symposium is organised by Higher Degree by Research Candidates supported by the College of Design and Social Context. We have developed an FAQs page where more information about the symposium can be found.


Please direct all enquiries to dsc.intertext@rmit.edu.au

We look forward to seeing you at the DSC Intertext 2022 symposium!

Role of the Chairperson

  • Each presenter will present for approximately 5-7 minutes. The primary role of the Chairperson will be to facilitate the panel discussion, involving the presenters, referees and attendees.
  • Please start the session with an Acknowledgement of Country
  • Allow each presenter to introduce themselves to the audience with their name and the title of their presentation. 
  • Please introduce yourself and ask the referees of the session to do the same.
  • You might start by giving each presenter a few minutes to give a very brief overview of their presentation. This should be succinct and not more than 5 minutes. You may need to give a one-minute warning sign to let the presenter know that their time is almost up. 
  • After the presenter has given a brief overview of their presentation, you can invite the referee to ask a question/provide some feedback. 
  • After all presenters have had an opportunity to give their overview and respond to the referee, you can open it up for a Q&A with the wider audience. This could be in the final 10 minutes of your session. If necessary, encourage audience members to continue their discussion after the session has concluded.  

The following is an example running schedule:




Committee members welcomes audience. Host/referee makes an Acknowledgement of Country introduces the session, Chair, the panel members and themselves (title of the panel session, presenter names, the name of the chair).


The Chair will then invite each presenter to introduce themselves, the name of their school and the title of their presentation. 


Chair asks presenters to give a brief overview of their presentation. The presenters are told that this is to take no more than five to ten minutes, and the Chair will give warning at the five-minute mark. After each presenter has provided a brief overview, the Chair will provide feedback or ask a short question to the presenter. 


The final 20 minutes or so are for audience Q & A. The Chair can moderate this if required. If there are no audience questions, the referee/s may pose another question to the presenter/s. If necessary, encourage audience members to continue their discussion after the session has concluded. 

End of session: 

Referee thanks presenters and invites audience to attend any further sessions of the symposium. 

Role of the Referee/s

  • The primary role of the referee is to give feedback/pose questions to the presenters. Given this is an interdisciplinary symposium, the presenters will come from a variety of subject backgrounds. We do not expect you to have a thorough understanding of their topic, but rather you might offer insight into their methodology, the framing of their research questions, the way they have communicated their research, or any insights that you might be able to offer from your own disciplinary background.
  • Abstracts for the presentations will be available before the event and sent directly to you. We’ll also send you a link to be able to watch the pre-recorded presentations for your sessions before the online panel discussion. 
  • After each presenter has given a brief overview of their presentation, you can provide some feedback/pose a question. Please make sure to allow enough time for each presenter in the session to get the opportunity to hear from you.
  • At the end of the session, there will be time for a Q&A with the wider audience, facilitated by the Chairperson. In the absence of audience questions, you may also ask the presenters some questions to help facilitate discussion.

Library Research Services

The library provides services and resources to meet a range of research and writing support needs. The library offers individual consultations and online resources.  

HDR candidates intending to present may find the following library services and resources of assistance:

The full range of Library Research Services are available from the Library website

School of Graduate Research

We lead RMIT’s commitment to enhancing research training and ensuring it embraces innovation and diversity for our postgraduate research candidates and supervisors.

What we do

The School of Graduate Research fosters a vibrant research-training culture that engages Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates and helps them produce new knowledge in their chosen field.

Our people

Led by Professor Denise Cuthbert, the School of Graduate Research supports high-quality research training at RMIT through teams:

  • Research Training Services
  •  HDR Strategy & Policy

We work collaboratively with Schools, Colleges, supervisors and representatives to ensure a high-quality research experience for HDR candidates and supervisors.

Colourful square with text: Monday 15th August DSC Intertext 2022 RMIT HDR multi school student led symposium
aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.