Stefan is a sessional supervisor within our Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities (ISILC). His research interests revolve around people’s everyday use of digital technologies. He is particularly interested in young people's use of technology, community uses of technology and the intersection of technology, narrative and identity. Stefan has founded and run projects involving the deployment of virtual worlds, games, augmented reality, mobile phones, tablets and the Internet.

Stefan is the co-founder of The Lab, a technology club for young people with Asperger's Syndrome, and creator of the Lewis & Skinner online signwriting document archive. Before this Stefan ran the VicHealth-funded Avatar and Connected Lives projects, which researched the use of technology by disadvantaged young people. These projects received national awards in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

Prior to VU, Stefan worked as an Internet producer, coder, interaction designer and project manager, and before that as a copywriter and musician. He also established and ran Australia's first Computer Clubhouse, an international skills initiative for disadvantaged young people.

Stefan's PhD at RMIT's Centre for Animation and Interactive Media involved the creation of a web-based system for the publishing and sharing of personal life stories.

Recent publications

Refereed journal articles

Schutt, S, Staubli, P & Rizzo, A (2015). “Seeing the world differently: Supporting autism spectrum expression and creativity through the use of technology in social spaces”,UNESCO Observatory Multidisciplinary Research in the Arts e-journal (accepted for publication August 2014)

Cianci, L & Schutt, S (2014). “Keepers of Ghosts: old signs, new media and the age of archival flux”, Archives and Manuscripts, Vol. 42, no 1, pp 1-14

Schutt, S, Berry, M & Cianci, L (2014). “Lost Melbourne: A Digital Ethnography of a Facebook local history group”, Global Ethnographic, May 2014

Schutt, S (2013). “Introducing StoryMaker: an online narrative creation system for the sharing of workplace knowledge”, National Centre for Vocational Education Research

Schutt, S & Linegar, D (2012). “We learn as we go: what five years playing with virtual worlds has taught us”, International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IJVPLE), Vol. 4, No 2, pp. 124-136

View more of Stefan's publications.

Refereed chapters

Schutt, S (2013). “Click here for my family stories: what happens when auto/biographical narratives move online?”, Testimony, Witness, Authority: the politics and poetics of experience. pp.74-85. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Schutt, S (2013). “Lacking in Discipline: the Researcher in the age of the Rhizome”, Discourse, Power, Resistance Downunder: Vol 2. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers (in press)

Schutt, S & Berry, M (2012). “How the ‘I’ sees it: the maker, the researcher and the subject at the juncture of memory and history”. Discourse, Power, Resistance Downunder. Transgressions: Cultural Studies and Education: Vol 88. pp. 107-119. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Creative works

Keepers of Ghosts: a community signwriting exhibition and demonstration. (2013). Lady Moustache cafe, Gamon Street, Yarraville.

Lewis & Skinner archive: an online archive of signwriting documents (2012-2013).

AURA: the Haunted Image, Level 17 Artspace, Melbourne. March 15 - April 8 2011. Curator and exhibitor. With: Cath Barcan, Marsha Berry, Peter Burke, Greg Giannis, Gina Kalabishis, Deen Keep, Mark Holsworth, Sue Kneebone, Matthew Stanton & Irene Wellm

StoryMaker: open source online workplace story creation software (2010 -2011). With James Cartledge.

Small Histories: open source online life story creation software. (2008-2011) With James Cartledge.

Refereed conference papers

Carletti, L, Coughlan, T,  Christensen, T, Gerber, E, Giannachi, G, Schutt, S, Sinker, R and Denner dos Santos, C (2014). “Structures for knowledge co-creation between organisations and the public”, Proceedings of the companion publication of the 17th ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work & social computing (CSCW Companion '14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 309-312.

Gregory, S, Gregory, B, Butler, D, Pasfield-Neofitou, SE, Warren, I, Jacka, L, Stokes-Thompson, F, Cox, RJ, Crowther, PS, Atkins, C, McDonald, M, Farley, H, Hillier, M, Campbell, C, Meredith, G, Grant, S, Steel, C, Hearns, M, de Freitas, S, Jegathesan, JJ, Zagami, J, Sukunesan, S, Gaukrodger, B, Sim, J, Schutt, S, Le Rossignol, K, Hill, M, Wood, D (2014). “Rhetoric and Reality: Critical perspectives on education in a 3D virtual world”,Proceedings Annual Conference of Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, OzCHI 2014

Wadley, G & Schutt, S. (2013). “Hanging out at the computer lab: How an innovative Australian program is helping young 'Aspies'”, Proceedings Annual Conference of Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, OzCHI 2013: Augmentation, Application, Innovation, Collaboration

Gregory, S., Gregory, B., Reiners, T, Fardinpour, A, Hillier, M, Lee, MJW, Jacka, L, Butler, D, Holloway, D, Grant, S, Hearns, M, Flintoff, K, Jegathesan, JJ, Ellis, D, McDonald, M, Stokes-Thompson, F, Gaukrodger, B, Zagami, J, Campbell, C, Wang, X, Salinas, JG, Loke, S-K, Scutter, S, Newman, C, GU, N, Schutt, S, Farley, H, Bogdanovych, A, Trescak, Y, Simoff, S, Steel, C, Neuendorf, P, Bower, M, McKeown Orwin, L, Kerr, T, Warren, I, Wood, D, Miller, C, Mathews, S, Linegar, D, Knox, V, Masters, Y, Brown, R, Meredith, G, Atkins, C, Giovanangeli, A, Le Rossignol, K, Cram, A,  Muir-Cochrane, E, Basu, A, Jacobson, M, Larson, I. (2013). Virtual worlds in Australian and New Zealand higher education: Remembering the past, understanding the present and imagining the future. Proceedings, Electric Dreams: 30th ascilite Conference, Sydney 2013.

Rizzo, A., Schutt, S. & Linegar, D. (2012). Imagine That: creating a ‘third space’ for young people with High Functioning Autism through the use of technology in a social setting. In Integration, Interaction, Innovation, Immersion, Inclusion.:Proceedings OzCHI Melbourne 2012.

Conference presentations

Schutt, S (2014). Expert panel member, “Digital Democracy and The Arts: how accessible digital platforms can extend cultural participation, reach new audiences and extend artistic practices,” Arts Access cultural forum, University of Melbourne, 4 December

Schutt, S & Linegar, D (2014). “The Lab: a growing network of technology clubs for young people with High Functioning Autism,” Victorian Autism Conference, Melbourne, 6-8 August

Schutt, S (2014). “The online archive as public mashup: finding the social in the digital.” Public Pedagogies, Melbourne, November 7

Linegar, D & Schutt, S (2014). “The Lab Network,” National Disability Services NSW State conference, Sydney, February 10-11

Schutt, S (2012). “Keepers of ghosts: how people are using technology to reconstruct their sense of place in the midst of rapid urban change,” Place and Displacement, Melbourne, 21-23 November

Other publications

Schutt, S. (2013). “Finding the radio book: a chance encounter with the golden era of radio”, Australasian Sound Archive Journal , No. 38 (in press)

Schutt, S., Gillis, S. & Pancini, G (2012). “An Introduction to WERC”, Fine Print, Victorian Adult Literacy and Basic Education Council (VALBEC), Vol 35: 2

Schutt, S (2011). Untitled: Lisa Cianci, Melissa Matveyeff, Max D. Piantoni, Obscura Gallery, Melbourne. September 15 - October 8, 2011. Exhibition essay for Colour Fields by Lisa Cianci.

Clayton, B, Schutt, S, Pancini G & Gillis, S (2011) “Review of research on effective work-based learning, retention and transfer”, BHP Billiton Iron Ore

Clayton, B, Pancini G, Schutt, S & Lewanski, R (2010) “Enhancing the Retention of Young People to Year 12, Especially Through Vocational Skills”, TAFE Directors Australia and Australian College of Educators

View more of Stefan's publications.

Research grants

2013-2016: NBN Education and Skills. Digital Enterprise: Pathways to Education and Employment for Young People with Disabilities.Led by University of South Australia. Total funding for all partners: $2,974,267

2014-2016: PhD scholarship for The Lab. Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre. Funding: $52,841

2013-2014: Enhancing connection to Yorta Yorta country through innovative location-based mobile technology. Telematics Trust. Funding: $25,440. With Dr Deirdre Wilcock.

2013-2014: Connecting with Yorta Yorta country through a world first place-engagement social technology application. VU College of Arts research grants scheme: $25,000. With Dr Deirdre Wilcock.

2013: The Lab. RE Ross Trust. Funding: $15,000

2013: Keepers of Ghosts research project. VU Early Career Research Development Grants Scheme. Funding: $15,785

2012: Berry Family Fellowship, State Library of Victoria. Funding: $12,000

2012: Signs of the Times research project. Telematics Trust. Funding: $26,800.

2011-2015: Partner project funding, Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre. Funding: $107,500

2011: The World on a Stick: portable training for construction apprentices using virtual worlds on USB data sticks. With Dale Linegar. Telematics Trust. Funding: $40,000

2011: The Lab: Optus Communities. Funding: $6000 

2011: The Mobile Phone Treasure Hunt Series. With Dale Linegar. Australian Flexible Learning Framework. Funding: $28,800

2010: Harnessing Virtual Worlds for Sustainable Construction. With Dale Linegar. Australian Flexible Learning Framework. Funding: $27,800

2010: Building VET Research Capacity Academic Scholarship. National Centre for Vocational Education Research. Funding: $4,000

2009-2010: Connected Lives: deploying virtual worlds, the Internet and free media software to enhance the social connectedness of young people isolated by disability, geography and socio-economic disadvantage. With John Martino and Dale Linegar. Victorian Health Promotion Commission. Funding: $102,700


  • National 5-Minute Research Pitch: Second Prize, Arts Humanities and Social Sciences stream (2014)
  • Citation, Knowledge Exchange, 2013 Victoria University Vice Chancellor’s Awards (team award for The Lab)
  • Berry Family Fellow, State Library of Victoria (2012)
  • Selected project (virtual worlds for construction), Victorian TAFE Innovation Showcase (2011)
  • Inclusive Business Achievement Award, 2011 Maribyrnong Inclusive Recognition Awards (team award for The Lab)
  • Nominee, 2011 RMIT Vice Chancellor’s Research Prize/RMIT University Research Prize (PhD thesis)
  • Victorian TAFE Innovation Showcase 2011
  • Best Community Engagement Award, 2010 Business-Higher Education Round Table (B-HERT) Awards (team award for Connected Lives project)
  • Finalist (2010), VicHealth Research Awards (for Connected Lives project)
  • Community Technology Innovator of the Year, Australian Community Technology Awards (2009)

Professional membership

  • Board chair, The Lab Network Ltd
  • Deputy board chair, Reservoir Neighbourhood House
  • Member, VicNode Merit Allocation Committee
  • Member, Memory Network
  • VU Project Leader, Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre
  • Affiliate, Digital Ethnography Research Centre, RMIT University
  • Association of Internet Researchers
  • Association for Qualitative Research

Appearances in the media

Areas of expertise

  • Communities and technologies
  • Digital technologies
  • intersection of technology narrative and identity
  • Young people's use of technology

Contact details

+61 (3) 9919 1618