I completed my PhD at the University of Sydney in 1999, and my thesis, a social and cultural history of some of Australia 's leading women playwrights, was revised and published as Upstaged: Australian Women Playwrights in the Limelight at Last in 2002. Upstaged was shortlisted for five national prizes in 2003. In 2001, I held the NSW History Fellowship for my research project on the history of the ABC radio serials Blue Hills. In 2004, I was a presenter on the ABC TV series Rewind. I was awarded an ALTC Citation for an Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning in 2010. From 2008-2012, I served as one of the five members of the advisory panel for the Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History. My most recent book, Friday on Our Minds: Popular Culture in Australia Since 1945, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Australian History prize in 2010. In 2014, I was the winner (with Catherine Freyne and Timothy Nicastri) of the NSW Premiers' Multimedia History Prize for my radio documentary Public Intimacies: The 1974 Royal Commission on Human Relationships.
I am an historian of post-war Australia, and my research examines the ways that culture constructs and represents individual and national identities and responds to social and political change. I have published on a wide range of topics, from the impact of the History Wars on history television, to the construction of whiteness in the ABC radio serial Blue Hills, and changing representations of the Lindy Chamberlain case on screen. More recently, I have examined the landmark public inquiry, the 1974 Royal Commission on Human Relationships, investigating its enactment of a feminist politics of personal experience on a national stage. I am the author of three books, most recently The Seventies: The Personal, The Political and the Making of Modern Australia(NewSouth, 2019), and I have published my research in Journal of the History of Sexuality, Women’s History Review, Rethinking History, Australian Feminist Studies, Australian Historical Studies and History Australia.