Dr Kirsty Gillespie

BA (Hons1) (ANU), PhD (ANU), Grad Cert Higher Ed (UQ)
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Areas of expertise

  • Anthropology 1601
  • Musicology And Ethnomusicology 360306
  • Linguistics 4704
  • Language Studies 4703
  • Pacific Peoples Culture, Language And History 4513

Research interests

  • Pacific/Oceanic music
  • Music of Papua New Guinea
  • Intangible cultural heritage
  • Applied ethnomusicology
  • Museum studies


Kirsty is Honorary Research Fellow at the Queensland Museum (QM) and former Senior Curator in Anthropology at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, Townsville, part of the Queensland Museum Network (a joint appointment with James Cook University).

Prior to joining the QM in December 2016, Kirsty was a Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland (UQ). 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).

For a complete list of publications see Kirsty's ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5337-4370 

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Updated:  09 December 2022 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers