Cultural Specialist icon Cultural Specialist

Shirley Campbell

Dr Shirley Campbell is a social anthropologist with a special interest in the indigenous peoples of Australia, Melanesia and the Pacific. More than four decades of academic research and university teaching have led to a sound knowledge and understanding of many cultures around the world and the theoretical foundations that human societies share. Growing up in California and exploring her suburban neighborhoods, Shirley’s passion for understanding different cultures was sparked by discovering ancient artefacts from Native Americans long dispossessed of their lands. Now widely travelled, she has had firsthand experience of the ways in which communities form and develop distinct, yet interrelated cultures. Living in England, Australia, Papua New Guinea and the United States, Shirley developed fluency in Italian and the Vakutan language and is now learning German. She has led groups of Italian tourists around England and American tourists throughout Western Europe; sailed in ocean-going outrigger canoes while living two years in the Trobriand Islands, a tiny coral atoll in Papua New Guinea, for her research. Now retired, Shirley was a lecturer and Research Fellow at the Australian National University and Canberra University, and a Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. Shirley has specialised in studying the anthropology of art, convinced that understanding the way people represent their ideas through the broad lens of art, valuable insights into peoples’ perceptions and relationships with the world around them can be gleaned. Her studies have led to degrees from Stephens College Missouri and the Australian National University. She has contributed several academic papers to peer-reviewed journals, has written pieces in numerous edited books and has written her own book recounting her research and experiences in the Trobriand Islands titled ‘The Art of Kula’.
More recently, Shirley has turned attention to the Indian Sub-continent with a research interest in the diversity of people and cultures living side-by-side in this relatively small region.
Shirley is passionate about mental and physical wellness and is a senior instructor in the Australian fitness industry and a master yoga teacher. For relaxation and pleasure, she enjoys studying the origins of yoga and its place within Indian society, music, quilting, bread making and scuba diving.