Tunisia Australia Project


Dr. Katharine Bartsch


Dr. Katharine Bartsch is Discipline Lead of Architecture & Landscape Architecture in the School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, at the University of Adelaide. She is an experienced educator with expertise in the history, theory and culture of architecture. As a member of the Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture (CAMEA), her research examines how human mobility shapes the built environment, specifically the architecture and landscapes of Muslim communities. Recently, this focus has broadened to a humanitarian interest in migration (rural>urban, diaspora, displacement, resettlement etc.) and the impact on the built environment – with increasing emphasis on governance – in the context of urbanisation. Her research has been supported by competitive funding from the Australian Research Council and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australian Government) since 2013. More information

Dr. Majdi Faleh

Project Coordinator / Advisor / Application PI

Dr. Majdi Faleh is an Academic Fellow in Cultural Heritage in the Nottingham Trent University Research Peak in Cultural Heritage. Before joining NTU, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Bahrain and a Postdoctoral Fellow at THE Aga Khan Programme of Islamic Architecture (AKPIA) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He previously received several research grants sponsored by the Australian Research Council (ARC), the Council for Arab Australian Relations (Department of Foreign Affairs), the US Department of State (The Fulbright Programme), and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. Dr. Faleh’s research focuses on architectural and cultural heritage in marginalised communities, the interaction between globalisation and architecture in Twenty-first Century Arab cities, migration, cultural heritage and architecture in Western countries, the philosophy of ethics and aesthetics in Islamic architecture, and social justice in Australian cities.

Dr. Nourchen Ben Fatma


Dr. Nourchen Ben Fatma is an architect. She holds a PhD and a Master’s Degree in Architecture from the Doctoral School in Architectural Sciences and Engineering of Tunis (Ed SIA). She is a lecturer at the School of Architecture, Audiovisual and Design (ESAD) since 2013, and at the National School of Architecture and Urbanism of Tunis (ENAU) since 2020. Since her appointment as research partner in the Heritage Borders of Engagement Network (ENGAGE) in April 2021, her research focuses on heritage through the lens of building know-how, tectonics/ materiality and ecology. Through this affiliation, she has been involved in many international research programs and collaborations. She was also a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Virtual Fellowship Program of Heritage with the University of Liverpool (2022). Nourchen was the project manager for the Tunisian component of the Jusour project as well as the executive producer of the Tunis and Kairouan documentaries.

Mehdi Elouati

Djerba Coordinator

Mehdi Elouati is a PhD student in Anthropology at FLAH Tunis and EHESS Paris. He has a professional Master’s Degree in Tourism Management and a Research Master’s Degree in Museology. Building on excellent leadership skills, he was engaged as a Vice-president of the Association for the Protection of the island of Djerba (ASSIDJE). As an honorary member of Guellala Museum, he has also contributed to several magazines and TV programs. Currently, he occupies the position of a member in the scientific committee of the Djerba World Heritage Project which has recently been designated as a UNESCO world heritage site (September 2023).

Dr. Ons Najjar Mansour

Kairouan Coordinator

Dr. Ons Najjar Mansour is an architect and urban designer holding a PhD in Architecture, she is currently an Academic Researcher. She is an experienced academic lecturer on architecture design, history and heritage, with international experience in the Middle East and Tunisia. She is also working as a Senior consultant on BIM Management and completing a Masters degree on Global BIM management at Zigurat Global Institute of Technology. She maintains focus on the importance of digitalization in architecture, as well as creativity, innovation and Green concepts.

Md. Mizanur Rashid

Dr. Md. Mizanur Rashid


Dr. Md. Mizanur Rashid is an architect-academic with particular interest in Historical Narrative, Digital Design and 4D capturing of cultural heritage using virtual and augmented reality tools. He is a Senior Lecturer of Architecture and the founding member and Deputy Director of AV (Architecture Vacancy) Research Lab at the School of Architecture and Built Environment at Deakin. He is also the founding executive committee member of ICOMOS National Committee of Bangladesh. Mizanur is a registered Architect in Bangladesh and holds a PhD degree in Architecture (History and Theory) from the National University of Singapore. He has held various academic appointments and fellowships in Bangladesh, Singapore, Malaysia and other Universities in Australia before joining Deakin in 2018. Mizanur’s research and teaching focuses exclusively on the pluralistic (both tangible and intangible) aspects of architecture and its narratives. He brings extensive knowledge of South Asian and Islamic architectural history with digital modelling and documentation expertise. He examines architecture at the crossroads of multiple historical narratives which have not been used to examine the architectural history of diasporic communities in Australia to date. He has published extensively in the fields of Digital Heritage, Diasporic culture of dwelling and Architecture in Multicultural Australia. Currently he holds two nationally competitive research grants. Mizanur has extensive international network that he leverages for his teaching and research. He has been an active member of Deakin Intercultural Dialogue through Design (IDIDE) and Sustainable Rural Built Environment (SRBE) team. Mizanur extends his community outreach by providing pro bono architectural consultancy service to the minority community groups in Australia. At this moment he is working as an Architectural Design Consultant for Wagga Wagga Islamic Community Centre.

Leila Ben-Gacem

Tunis Coordinator

Leila Ben-Gacem is a social entrepreneur and Ashoka Fellow; Director General of TUNISTORIC, a private initiative to rehabilitate & regenerate the Medina of Tunis. Leila is a senior consultant in designing and implementing projects that improve the socio-economic dynamics of heritage and culture, to improve their resilience. Leila founded Dar el Harka, a hub for Medina’s cultural activities; Dar Ben Gacem, a Boutique Hotel and cultural catalyst in the medina of Tunis. Leila is also a founder and president of Mdinti, Medina’s first economic interest group, and member of the organization committee of UltraMirage El Djerid. Leila was an elected city council member, at her native town of Beni-Khalled. Before switching careers, Leila held various positions at multinational corporations and has a BS in Biomedical Engineering.

Dr. Mansoureh Rajabitanha

Dr. Mansoureh Rajabitanha is an emerging historian of Islamic art and architecture. Mansoureh played an important role supporting the delivery of the symposium which was hosted by the Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture (CAMEA), University of Adelaide. Her research focuses on building a new area of expertise in the field of Islamic art and architecture, bringing textile, landscape, and architectural designs together into a unified area concerned with the theory and history of decorative arts. This informs her exploration of Islamic Art in Australia. She is currently a lecturer at the Adelaide Central School of Art and a sessional academic at the School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Adelaide.