Dr Kirsty Gillespie

Kirsty joined the Queensland Museum Network in December 2016 as Senior Curator Anthropology, a joint position with James Cook University. She was previously a Research Fellow within the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland (UQ), where she worked closely with a cultural heritage program operating in the context of mining in the Lihir Islands, Papua New Guinea. Since January 2020 Kirsty has held the position of Honorary Research Fellow with the Cultures and Histories Program at QMN.

Kirsty has conducted extensive fieldwork across Papua New Guinea. Her doctoral research (2004-2007) into the musical practices of the Duna people living at Lake Kopiago, Hela Province, was the subject of her first book, Steep Slopes: Music and change in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (ANU Press, 2010). Kirsty’s work with Lihir people in New Ireland Province has included the curation of the exhibition Musical Landscapes of Lihir (UQ Anthropology Museum, 2013), and the book publication Pil: Ancestral Stories of the Lihir Islands (Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies, 2018).

Kirsty is an active member of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM), being the former chair of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance of Oceania (2013-2015), the former Audio Reviews Editor for the Yearbook for Traditional Music (2015-2019) and a founding member of the ICTM Book Prize Committee. Kirsty continues her research into music at the Queensland Museum through the Marson collection of musical instruments.

Book Publications

Gillespie, Kirsty. 2018. Pil: Ancestral Stories of the Lihir Islands. Apwɨtɨhɨre: Studies in Papua New Guinea Musics, 12. Boroko: Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies. https://lihir.info/kastom/pil

Gillespie, Kirsty, Treloyn, Sally and Niles, Don (ed.s). 2017. A Distinctive Voice in the Antipodes: Essays in Honour of Stephen A. Wild. Acton, ACT: ANU Press. https://press.anu.edu.au/publications/distinctive-voice-antipodes

Gillespie, Kirsty. 2010. Steep slopes: Music and change in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Monographs in Anthropology. Canberra: ANU E Press. https://press.anu.edu.au/publications/series/monographs-anthropology/steep-slopes

For a complete list of Kirsty’s publications go to https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5337-4370.


Honorary Research Fellow, Cultures and Histories