McKemmish, Sue

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Sue in 2011 with PhD students on receiving Monash University’s Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision. From L-R: Joanne Mihelcic, Leisa Gibbons, Sue McKemmish, Misita Anwar

Perhaps most widely known for her seminal paper, Evidence of me, about personal recordkeeping and societal memory, Sue’s name is a synonymous with the Australian records continuum movement. After working for 15 years for the National Archives and Public Record Office of Victoria she joined Frank Upwardand Livia Iacovino at Monash University in 1990 to develop cutting edge curriculum for recordkeeping professionals at undergraduate and post-graduate levels, Sue has been a leader and trailblazer of continuum thinking, particularly related to societal memory linked to accountability. She has published extensively on recordkeeping in society, records continuum theory, recordkeeping metadata, and archival systems, and is a Laureate of the Australian Society of Archivists.

Sue has been at the forefront of a research and education agenda based in continuum thinking, which includes the development and leadership of international, multidisciplinary and collaborative research projects, as well as supervising multiple award-winning PhD students. In the early days her research and writing was concerned with the nature of records as evidence of me and evidence of us in the very broadest sense, always in a process of becoming; understanding and explaining the records continuum; the recordkeeping-accountability nexus; and Australian and International recordkeeping metadata standards. Over time she has come to focus on agency in the archival multiverse, participatory archiving and recordkeeping, rights in records, researching in partnership with communities, and transformative practice, She has developed and been engaged in major research and standards initiatives relating to the use of metadata in records and archival systems, information resource discovery and smart information portals, Australian Indigenous archives, and the development of more inclusive archival educational programs that meet the needs of diverse communities.

Sue has taken on senior leadership roles in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash. She is the Chair of Archival Systems, Founder and Director of the Centre for Organisational and Social Informatics (COSI; and Associate Dean Graduate Research of the Faculty of Information Technology.

Key records continuum moment

Concept of co-creation and its implications for theory and practice

Key challenge

Pluralising research, education and practice – participatory recordkeeping and archiving – the complexity of the archival multiverse – the Archive and social (in)justice.

RCRG research project roles

Publications

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