Louise graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) in Screen Studies from The University of Melbourne in 2011
The focus of Louise's engagement role with the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) is to develop public programs and events which "show off the collection" at the archive's headquarters in Canberra and across Australia.
In a previous programing role with The Melbourne Cinematheque, Louise discovered a love of communicating and making links between different worlds. "Knowledge transfer is a really big thing for me." At NSFA Louise devises the cinema screening programs with the key aim of bringing the material to new audiences. She talks of "the real joy of sharing something that people wouldn’t otherwise experience."
Louise says she was fortunate to have a PhD supervisor who was outward looking and active in engagement. Her doctoral research in 'popular radicalism' reflected this interest in "expanding the knowledge of people who would not typically be exposed, moving beyond film makers and academics speaking to each other in a closed circle."
Louise particularly loves the creativity of her role at the NFSA. "Conceiving of an idea, bringing it to fruition and then making it happen is certainly the best part for me." She says that the skills required to make things happen draw directly on the project management skills developed during her PhD candidature. But behind this is the strategic thinking about which ideas to choose, deciding which ideas have value for the particular end goal.
Louise comments that "the meta perspective which becomes inbuilt as a PhD" prepared her well for the big picture thinking needed for a strategic approach to programming. She says that because "film is such fun material, there is always a plethora of ideas." So it becomes a question of what to do and why. "The strategic approach is about working back from the end game - what do you want to achieve, why, and how are you going to get there?"
Louise feels a strong connection to the academic world and is keen to be part of the broader bridge building between academia and the cinema industry. She is planning a book from her Doctor of Philosophy (Arts) research and is looking to develop partnerships with the research sector.
In addition to periods of work as an academic, Louise has been professionally involved with cinema beyond research and teaching. She was President and Program Manager of Cinematheque for nine years, and for the last five years has been a Features Panellist for the Melbourne Film Festival.
Louise encourages graduate researchers to have experiences related to their field in addition to their studies. She says that "these experiences don't have to be massive… it is really a psychological thing to recognize that you have skills beyond research which can become the basis for an alternative career."