60 seconds with… Ronika Power


Former Macquarie University student, Ronika Power Senior Lecturer from the Department of Ancient History discusses her passion for analysing skeleton remains and ancient cultures.

Work stuff
I’ve been at Macquarie for…

Eighteen months as a member of staff but I spent 10 years here intermittently as a student doing my undergraduate, honours and doctoral degrees between 2001 and 2012.

In a nutshell, my job is to…
Perform scientific analyses of skeletons and mummies from ancient cultures across the world, and then interpret that data in combination with every other aspect of the accompanying archaeological record (including artefacts, texts, art, architecture, environmental evidence, etc.) to arrive at a more holistic interpretation of the lived experiences of individuals and groups from the past. I also teach Macquarie students about archaeological science, the archaeology of death and burial, and archaeological theory.

The question I hear most often in my work is…
“Don’t you find the skeletons scary?” Of course, the answer is “No!” I cherish and am deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with every individual I encounter in my research. I learn so much from them, hold them in the highest respect and am honoured to share their stories with the world.

If I could do any other job at Macquarie (with instant qualifications/knowledge) it would be…
An endless student! I’m happiest when I’m learning, and my years spent as both an under- and postgraduate student here at Macquarie are amongst the happiest and most fulfilling of my life. I experienced exponential personal growth, travelled the world, studied subjects I was deeply passionate about, had opportunities to contribute to University life at all levels and made friends that I’ll cherish forever. What could be better than that?!

I get my campus coffee fix from …
Piccolo Me in the Australian Hearing Hub. Their Prana Chai is heavenly.

Personal life
My ethnic heritage is…
Half Dutch, one-quarter South African, and one-quarter seventh generation Australian of Irish convict descent.

Outside work, you’ll often find me…
Walking, walking, walking. My legs are the engine that powers my brain!

If we went to Happy Hour, I would order…
Single malt whisky. Top shelf. Neat.

If I could have dinner with anyone (living or dead) it would be…
Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Ronnie James Dio, Prince, Janis Joplin, Nina Simone, Kurt Cobain, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, John Lennon, Joey Ramone and Beyoncé.

In 10 years from now, I hope to be…
Celebrating huge gains towards #genderequity and the eradication of the #genderpaygap in Australian higher education.





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