Woman with a teacup in front of bookshelf

Sophie Couchman

Exhibition Curator for Post WWII British Migrants to Australia

About me

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La Trobe University Honorary Fellow
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In May 2016 I joined Museum Victoria to work on a travelling exhibition which will explore the diverse experiences of post-World War II British migrants to Australia (1947-1982) and their ambivalent place in Australia society today. The exhibition will open at the Immigration Museum in November 2017 and then tour to various locations around Australia.

In August I also began work as a research assistant on a joint project between Museums Victoria and La Trobe University about how Melbourne’s manufacturing workers have been photographed from 1870s through to the 1970s.

I am passionate about Australia’s immigrant history and the ways in which images, objects and oral histories can be used to tell that history. I continue to present and publish on Australian immigrant history. I am currently working on a book chapter about Chinese Australian wedding photograph and a journal article about the 1903 Defence Act and the exclusion of those 'not substantially of European origin or descent' from service during World War I. I am an honorary fellow at La Trobe University.

Key publications

S. Couchman (2015), ‘Introduction’, in S. Couchman & Kate Bagnall (eds), Chinese Australians: Politics, Engagement, Resistance, Brill: Netherlands.

S. Couchman (2015), 'Chang Woo Gow: The Man and the Giant' in An Angel by the Water: Essays in Honour of Dennis Reginald O'Hoy, Holland Press: Bendigo.

S. Couchman (2012), 'Telling Chinese-Australian stories', Historic Environment, vol.24, no.1, pp.8-16.

S. Couchman (2011) 'Making the "Last Chinaman": Photography and Chinese as a "vanishing" people in Australia's rural histories', Australian Historical Studies, vol.42, No.1, pp.78-91.

S. Couchman (2006) '"And then in the distance Quong Tart did we see": Quong Tart, celebrity and photography', Journal of Colonial Australian History, vol.8, pp.159-182.


Projects and events

Exhibition reviews editor with Guy Hansen, Australian Historical Studies, 2017-

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