ABC Radio National welcomes 2023 TOP 5 media residents

The ABC has selected 15 of Australia’s dynamic early-career research talent for its 2023 TOP 5 media residencies across the Arts, Science and Humanities. The fifteen will spend two weeks “in residence” at ABC Radio National.

The Chair of the ABC, Ita Buttrose said:

“For the ABC in our reporting across TV, audio and digital, we often need to distil complex concepts and ideas, and it’s in this that the ABC TOP 5 plays an important role. The project gives academics the opportunity to be leading communicators about their field of research, while also enabling us here at the ABC to better serve our audiences with unique stories and specialist knowledge.”


The ABC TOP 5 Humanities for 2023, in partnership with the University of Sydney, are:

  • Dr Geraldine Fela: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Macquarie University.

Research is at the intersection of labour history, histories of gender/sexuality, & social movements.

  • Dr Yves St James Aquino: Research fellow at the University of Wollongong.

Dr Aquino is working at the intersection of health ethics, artificial intelligence, and body image.

  • Dr Ehsan Tavakoli-Nabavi: Senior Lecturer at Australian National University.

Research is ensuring that the technologies shaping people’s everyday lives are responsible.

  • Dr Aleesha Rodriguez: Research Fellow, Queensland University of Technology

Explores the ways in which people shape technology, and how technologies shape society.

  • Dr Carmel Hobbs: Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of Tasmania

Teen domestic violence and abuse, trauma responsive practice, and how inequality contributes to the marginalisation of young people.


 The ABC TOP 5 Science for 2023, in partnership with the Australian National University, are: 

  • Dr Zena Assaad: Senior Research Fellow at Australian National University

Examines the safety of human-machine teaming for robotics, autonomous systems, and AI.

  • Dr Ellen Cottingham: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Melbourne

Is developing new tools to manage invasive species in Australia.

  • Dr Lynn Nazareth: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, CSIRO

Developed ex-vivo model of the olfactory system to study viral infections form the nose to the brain.

  • Dr Rohan Fisher: Lead researcher at Charles Darwin University.

Landscape data visualisation and simulation using dynamic, tactile ‘holograms’ of country and providing practical tools to support best practice fire management in northern Australia.

  • Dr Rebecca Thistlethwaite: Research Associate, University of Sydney

Plant breeding and how we could make food crops across the world thrive in a changing climate.


The ABC TOP 5 Arts for 2023, in partnership with the University of Melbourne and The Australian Council for the Arts, are:

  • Catherine Sarah Young: Scientia PhD candidate, at the University of New South Wales.

Investigates ‘petrichor’, the scent of earth after rain, as companion molecules in the Critical Zones through an art/science practice.

  • Katrina Waters: PhD Candidate Australian National University.

Researches the mid-career transitions of female dramatic voices – how to build the Voice, Body and Psyche to sing the largest and loudest operatic roles.

  • Melanie Saward Bigambul/Wakka Wakka woman & Associate lecturer at Queensland University of Technology. Examines Indigeneity and Intersectionality in romantic comedy fiction.
  • Xavier Ho: Lecturer in Interaction Design, Monash University

Researches video & tabletop games made by & for the LGBTQIA+ community in our region.

  • Anna Kennedy-Borissow: PhD Candidate at the University of Melbourne.

Research looks at ‘creative recovery’: arts projects and processes across a range of art forms that contribute to recovery and resilience in disaster-affected Australian communities.


2023 ABC TOP 5 Residency dates are:

  • HUMANITIES RESIDENCY:          Monday 9th– Friday 18th August
  • SCIENCE RESIDENCY:                 Monday 4th – Friday 15th September
  • ARTS RESIDENCY:                        Monday 9th – Friday 21st October


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