Dr Birut Zemits

PhD, MA, Grad Dip, BA

Lecturer / Researcher / Supervisor

Dr Birut Zemits has extensive experience lecturing in subjects related to language, art, film, academic writing and cultural issues. Birut completed a PhD in 2010 titled Ethno-eco dialogue: Filmmaking for sustainability, which provided an opportunity to bring together interests in creative practice, sociolinguistics and environmental education. Within the research process she completed a number of film projects which included extensive surveys and interviews. Her passion is for research as well as supporting the learning process at undergraduate and post-graduate levels.


PhD in Visual Arts (2010)  Charles Darwin University (CDU) Darwin
Masters of Environmental Education (2002) Griffith University, Brisbane
Grad. Dip. In Applied Linguistics (1995) Northern Territory University, Darwin
Graduate Dip. In Teaching (1986) Darwin Institute of Technology, Darwin
Bachelor of Arts (1982) Murdoch University, Perth

Research Interests

  • Engaging first year students in learning
  • Conceptual art-making
  • Practice-led research processes
  • Education for sustainability
  • Use of media in developing effective learning strategies
  • Filmmaking and art to explore social issues

Current Projects

  • Creativity and its role in learning
  • Supporting resilience in first year students


Current (Principal)

  • Anderson, Stephen (PhD) - Building bridges and connecting culture: Cross-cultural creative collaboration and reciprocal relationships
  • de Groot, Aly (PhD) - Underwater basketweaving
  • Dahlsen, John (PhD) - Environmental art: reassessing the role and value of the artist
  • Moller, Sarah (PhD) -  En route, en masse: Photopainting and the altermodern 
  • Rolfe, David (PhD) - Visualising real-world and virtual-world masking with art glass and abstract animation
  • Taylor, Jennifer (PhD) - Portraits of country: a plein air painter in Arrernte country


  • Lee, Glynis (PhD) 2014 Balancing on Borderlines (Associate)
  • Carey, Maggie (MA) 2014 It’s always summer in snapshots (Principal)
  • Kylie Walsh (Honours) 2011 Journeys in the Tanimbars: An audio-visual installation (Principal)

Publications and Resources

Book chapters

Zemits, 2006 ‘Ethno Eco Dialogue: making movies for sustainable futures,’ in Crossing Cultures: Art Politics and Identity, S.Kleinert ( ed.), CDU Press, Darwin, pp. 136-149.

Journal Articles

Zemits, B. Maypilama, L., Wild, K., Mitchell, A. & Rumbold, A. (2014) Moving beyond ‘health education’: Participatory filmmaking for cross-cultural health communication in Health Communication Taylor and Francis, New York (accepted)
Zemits, B.
Lee, G. (2014) Do you see what I see? Creative representation of research into identity in The International Journal of Diverse Identities Common Ground Publishing USA (accepted)
Zemits, B.
(2007) ‘Filmmaking for Sustainability’ in The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability 2007 Vol 3/2
Zemits, B.
(2006) ‘Biodiversity; who knows, who cares?’ in Australian Journal for Environmental Education October p.120-134

Reviews and reports

2006      Review of Luisa Maffi (ed), On Biocultural Diversity, Linking Language, Knowledge and the Environment
      Smithsonian Inst Press Washington in Indigenous Science Network Bulletin vol 9/4  http://members.ozemail.com.au/~mmichie/network.html
2006      Report about film education by CDU and NT Open Education College at Garma festival in Film and Television Association NT Newsletter Sept 2006
2005-9  Report of AAEENT activities in OzEEnews August 2005 http://www.aaee.org.au/docs/stateChapters/NTnews.pdf

Editorial Activities

2010-2011 Referee for articles in New Media and Society
2007           Referee for articles in The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability
2001-2007 Referee for Journal of Teacher Education and Training Institute for Sustainable Education, Daugavpils Latvia


2012-14     Recording and editing professorial lectures
                   Nugget Coombs lecture
                   ACIKE opening for CDU
2013           Editing Paper Elephant, screened at Deckchair cinema October 12, 2014
2012           Crocodile dissection on-line clips for TEP Bioscience 
                   Filming and editing- Aged and Disability Advocacy Service bilingual information DVD for Groote Eylandt
2010           Editing Baby in Early Pregnancy- for project with Galiwinku health care workers and translators, Menzies School of Health Research
2009           Tur Mes Bijam, Te Mes Esam (There we Were, Here we Are)
                   Sharing Vision
                   Rapid Creek Revival
                   Children’s Day, funded by NAPLAN
2007           Kolum Ephemera, short film made in India
                   Deadly Digits - East Timorese student numeracy performance, independent
                   Vide un Video- Teacher workshop in Latvia, Funded Daugavpils University
2006           Kakadu Waste Management Strategy
                   Lameroo Revisited, funded by NT Heritage
                   Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture – Mick Dodson, funded by CDU
2005           Learning Language Sharing Culture, funded by Dripstone HS
2004           Show a Little Respect- caring for a Reserve, Master’s project, independent
2003           Learning Language Sharing Culture, video project scripted and filmed with Dripstone High School Yolngu language students, funded by Indigenous Support
2003           Talk About Time, CDU teaching development grant
2000           Principal Directed Projects, DEET funded video production for ASSPA at Howard Springs and Humpty Doo Primary Schools, NT, through Aboriginal Parent Association
1995           Bullying - No thanks, collaboration with drama and counsellors at Dripstone school
1988-1993 Glenti and other festival and performance documentation for community groups in the Darwin area


2007/8  Australian Research Institute in Education for Sustainability to facilitate education for sustainability with an Indigenous perspectives focus in pre-service teacher education in the Northern Territory
              Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, to facilitate a national conference for Environmental Education at CDU in July 2008 (as delegate for Australian Association for Environmental Education)
2005     NT Government Heritage DVD project, to collate archive footage and social memory interviews about Lameroo Beach
2003     Teacher Development Grant, to develop study skills video project Talk About Time with students in Tertiary Enabling Program

Conference Convening

2008    National Conference for Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE) 250 local, national and international participants attended.
2001    Social Educators Association of the NT (SEANT) 50 teachers from the NT attended


2011    Aged care advocacy promotion video for Darwin Community Legal Service
2010    Checking for Problems with the Baby in Early Pregnancy- video editing using sub-titles for Yolngu Matha and imported images from Menzies School of Health project.
2006    Kakadu Waste Management Strategy DVD project commissioned by Kakadu Community Development and Jabiru Town Council
            Michael Michie Consultants (NT) teaching profession environmental workshop series



CUC review committee/TEP026 and TEP1 review committee
Lakeside Drive Community Garden Board
Film and Television Association for NT committee member (ongoing since 2012)
Australian Association for Environmental Education NT treasurer


CDU representative on Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education review committee for Pre-Tertiary Studies, 2010
Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE) national conference committee/ co-convener, 2006-2008
Carrick Teaching and Learning Leadership project, 2006-7
Melaleuca Refugee Centre organising committee, 2005-7
Centre for Access and ESL Industry Engagement Group, 2006
CDU Graduate Attributes Committee


Australian Association for Environmental Education (NT)
Film and Television Association of Northern Territory
Northern Territory Writer’s Centre

Dr Birut Zemits


T: 08 8946 6995
E: birut.zemits@cdu.edu.au
F: 08 8946 6799

School of Academic Language and Learning (SALL)
Casuarina campus
Orange 4.2.36
Charles Darwin University
Darwin NT 0909