Dr Vanessa Russ is a Ngarinyin/Gija woman from the Kimberley Region of Western Australia. She is the former Associate Director of the Berndt Museum of Anthropology at the University of Western Australia. Dr Russ has a PhD in art history which investigated the history of the Art Gallery of New South Wales and how Australian Aboriginal art came to be in the collections and the work to change the narrative of exclusion up until today. She has an extensive curatorial and research experience having successfully managed the Berndt Museum for several years. Russ has worked on multiple interdisciplinary projects that have included anthropology, art history and Australian history, and she has an extensive knowledge of Aboriginal art and culture from multiple parts of the country. She is keenly interested in understanding evidence-based interventions that uncover contemporary colonisation and its history in Australia; as well as opportunities to transform the concept of the nation-state with Aboriginal voices at the forefront. Russ is also a practicing contemporary artist.
Dr Russ is the project manager for the NHMRC ARFV project.