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Academic Interests

Medieval History, Intellectual History, Medieval Philosophy, Medieval Literature, Ancient History and Classics, Landscape Studies, Medieval Cartography, Digital Academia.

Personal Interests

Information Technology, Computer Repairs, Reading, Language, Film, Creative Writing, Martial Arts, Philosophy, Environmentalism, Emerging Technologies.

About me

I am a postgraduate student within the School of Humanities at UWA, currently enrolled full-time as a research candidate for a PhD in Medieval and Early Modern Studies. I am an enthusiastic medievalist, and enjoy discussing, explaining and researching my favourite ideas and themes. After completing a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) between 2004 and 2008 I was given the opportunity to continue as a postgraduate which I was happy to take. 

I am currently interested in a flexible student job that will allow me to pursue my studies while simultaneously learning new skills and challenging myself. As a resident of Crawley who spends a great deal of time in the Reid library scholar's centre, I am particularly interested in employment within the library or on the UWA campus. My candidature will continue for another 2.5-3.5 years, and my proximity to the university campus will allow me to be a flexible, reliable employee.

Work experience

Apr 2007Jun 2009

Technical Support Consultant

Westnet Pty Ltd

Employment tenure: 2 Years.

Technical Support Skillsets: Call Center Technical Support Officer, Wholesale provider liaison, Trainer, Senior Support and Email Support.

Training: Challenging Situations, Phone Etiquette, Email Etiquette, Service Assurance, Support Mail, Basic Network Engineering.

Technical Support Duties

Diagnosing, troubleshooting and resolving issues involving computers or the internet. Arranging solutions with colleagues, ensuring consistent contact with and treatment of customer. Email and Phone contact with colleagues, superiors and customers to ensure effective communication and problem solving.

Service Assurance (Level 2 support) Duties

Liasing with wholesale providers to repair faulty phone or broadband services, serving in a supervisory capacity as a senior support member. Ensuring that all faults are correctly logged and managed, ensuring that Technical Support members have completed the necessary troubleshooting.

Support Mail Duties

Managing and answering customer queries, concerns and issues via email. Informing customers of issues pertaining to virus infections or spam abuse. Being available for questions from members of support. Managing modem replacement and testing, collating data for Network Management center for outages and large scale faults.

Feedback from annual review dated 19/03/2009:

"James is a senior member of the team and he does not disappoint. He is always willing to train new staff and follow up on issues. James has the ability to adapt and learn quickly, and this makes him an asset to have in support and most importantly our team. I look forward to working with James, keep up the good work".

Working for Westnet provided me with a convenient and flexible student job for over two years, and a series of valuable transferable skills. Working in I.T. taught me how to make use of business software, how to organize large amounts of computerized data and how to communicate, cooperate and collaborate effectively via electronic media, all of which have been of great use to my studies. It has lead to a new interest in digital academia, online collaboration and information sharing that I hope to apply to my studies and future career. I believe that the ability to communicate effectively over digital media will be one of the most crucial skills that those working in academia will require in the future.

Oct 2004Apr 2007

BP Retail, Coles Express

June 2004 – July 2006

Coles Express

Customer Service Officer (CSO)

Stores: West Perth, Upper Swan, Claremont, Bicton.

  • Operation of Point of sale equipment including register, eftpos and intelli-safe. Experience with computerized and hard copy paperwork, stock lists, stock takes, ordering, cash management.

  • Night shift experience managing the store alone from 11pm-6am for seven months. This required almost complete autonomy for the duration of all working hours.

  • Experience with safety protocols for hazardous chemicals and potential fire hazards. 

July 2006 – April 2007

BP Retail

Customer Service Officer (CSO)

Store: Maida Vale

  • Training in safety regulations, food hygiene, occupational health and safety and customer point of sale service.

  • Fire Training (FESA) completed in the event of a fire or spill on the forecourt.

  • Stock rotation and display, customer service and general cleaning duties. 

  • Strong focus on independence and working without supervision. Working in a Service Station inherently involves working with a small staff, and frequently alone.


Philippa Maddern

Professor Maddern is my current Postgraduate supervisor, and also supervised my honours work. She has acted as an academic reference for me in the past, and has a thorough knowledge of my traits and abilities as a student, researcher and academic writer, and has agreed to be my referee in past academic and vocational matters.

Research Profile - Philippa Maddern

Andrew Mulhearn

Andrew was my  supervisor and team leader within Westnet technical support, and is still employed by the company. We established a good working relationship, and Andrew provided encouragement and assistance on many occasions in the form of both annual reviews and feedback. We worked together well, and I am confident that Andrew would offer a positive reference if approached.


Feb 2004Present

University of Western Australia

February 2004 - November 2007

 Bachelor of Arts

Status: Full-time


Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS)

Political Science and International Relations

February 2008 - November 2008

  • Completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in MEMS.

  • Awarded 1A (first class) Honours 2008.

 Dissertation:  "This whole visible world is a book": Interpreting the East in the 11th - 14th centuries

Supervisor: Prof. Philippa Maddern.

Mark: 89% (H1)

June 2009 - Present

Enrolment: Postgraduate - PhD candidature

Funding: Australian Postgraduate Award (APA)

Status: Full-time

Campus: Crawley

Supervision: Prof. Philippa Maddern (80%), A Prof. Andrew Lynch (20%)

Thesis Title: “Murmurs from a thousand streams: water symbolism and the fluid epistemology of the Middle Ages, 1000-1400.

Status: Proposal complete pending History discipline group presentation. Due date 31/11/09.


Data collation and organisation
My previous job at Westnet required all staff members be efficient with their time, and to effectively organize and share all information and notes pertaining to customer accounts, changes to policy and infrastructure and team and departmental collaboration. As a result of 2 years within a company which sells, maintains and explains the means of sharing and organizing data through the internet, I acquired a thorough knowledge of data management, with a particular emphasis on IT and digital media. As a postgraduate, I have 6 years of experience as a user of the UWA library system, and am familiar with the  system by which the library presents organizes its information.
Six years of tertiary education have given me a better than average understanding of essay writing, data management and retrieval, professional writing, critical thinking and group discussion and co-operation.
Written and Verbal Communication
At Westnet, I was trained in Email Etiquette, Phone Etiquette, Challenging situations and interdepartmental liason. In my two years with the company, I had the opportunity to practice and use all of these skills on a daily basis. My studies have also allowed me to opportunity to become proficient in framing, describing and discussing my ideas and a certain amount of public speaking via talks and presentations.  
Customer Service
Talking to customers, friendly and efficient service, clear and simple advice and explanation and handling difficult or unhappy customers. All of my jobs in the past several years have made use of this generic set of skills, and I have found them to be one of  my strongest assets as an employee.
Information Technology (Internet Service Provider)
As part of my work at Westnet, I have developed a reasonably comprehensive knowledge of several areas of I.T. from my initial and ongoing training. I have a reasonably comprehensive knowledge of networking, computer maintenance and repair across multiple operating systems (Windows, Linux, MacOS) and the troubleshooting and efficient use of most major business software packages.