Postgraduate Research Student Profiles

Nicola Pullan

Just a Roof Over Their Heads: Temporary Dwellings on Sydney's Urban Fringe 1945 to 1960

Under the supervision of Professor Robert Freestone and Associate Professor Simon Pinnegar, Nicola Pullan’s research explores the construction, occupation and financing of temporary dwellings in suburban Sydney following World War II. 

Her thesis, ‘Just a Roof Over Their Heads: Temporary Dwellings on Sydney's Urban Fringe 1945 to 1960’, is a historical investigation that proposes that these dwellings played previously overlooked roles in supplying essential shelter and facilitating access to home-ownership during the post-war period. This research will bring new evidence to understanding an unprecedented increase and subsequent decrease in home-ownership in Australia.

What is your current role?

Research Assistant

Description of your current role

I am employed on a contract basis to access archives, libraries and private collections worldwide to obtain documents of all types needed to satisfy a research grant output or private commission, usually with a historical focus. The work involves digitising, analysing and interpreting content, conducting interviews, and co-writing research outputs.

How has your research experience helped you?

My research degree has given me professional standing in my chosen field and the recognition and acknowledgement that I bring a distinct set of high-level organisational, analytical and writing skills to a project that are both valuable to its outcomes and not easily obtainable by other means. Writing papers, attending conferences and applying for membership of national and international professional organisations, all with the support of UNSW academics, has enabled me to become involved with and accepted by the global scholarly community, both as an individual and as a representative of UNSW.