Dr Vannessa Hearman is a historian of South-East Asia.
Her research interests are Indonesia, Timor-Leste, mass violence, trauma, colonialism, and diaspora and migration.
Dr Hearman is a leading researcher on the 1965-66 mass violence in Indonesia and the long-term effects of the violence She has published a monograph, Unmarked Graves: Death and Survival in the Anti-Communist Violence in East Java, Indonesia (NUS Press, 2018) and numerous journal articles and book chapters on this topic.
Dr Hearman is also an active researcher on the history of Timor-Leste and is completing a monograph on the only boatload of asylum seekers from Timor-Leste that successfully reached Australia during the Indonesian occupation.
She provides media commentary and op-eds on her research to media such as The Conversation, The Diplomat, New Mandala and Inside Indonesia.
Dr Hearman works with multilingual sources in her research, and has conducted and analysed many oral history interviews.
She has supervised to completion and examined research theses at the PhD, Master’s and Honours levels in the fields of history, politics and area studies related to Indonesia.
She is supervising projects on topics related to life history writing and South-East Asian history and politics.
Most recently, Dr Hearman received the Asia Study Grant from the National Library of Australia and the Northern Territory History Grant to support her research on asylum seekers from Timor-Leste.
Dr Hearman’s doctoral thesis, conferred by the University of Melbourne, was a joint winner of the Asian Studies Association of Australia’s President’s Prize for Best Thesis in Asian Studies in 2014.
In 2015, hers was one of three theses shortlisted in the International Convention of Asia Scholars Best Dissertation in the Humanities Award.