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Our People


Barbara Pamphilon

Professor Barbara Pamphilon

Barbara is an expert leading qualitative researcher highly experienced in developing collaborative methods for stakeholder consultation and employing these methods with a wide range consumers, government and non-government organisations in both Australia and in developing countries.

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Research Staff


Dr Jo Caffery

Associate Professor with over twenty years experience as a linguist and working with Indigenous adults on developing linguistic and cultural programmes across remote Australia.

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Amanda Edwards

Dr Amanda Edwards

Amanda has worked in education for more than twenty years, with experience in rural and metropolitan communities in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Amanda is interested in approaches and methodologies that conceptualise education as a relational process and unpack the complexities and contexts of learning journeys. Drawing on critical theory, post-humanism and understandings of learning as wayfaring, Amanda’s current and recent research explores the potential for more-than-human, relational understandings and perspectives to contribute to social, political and environmental justice. Her research methodologies are primarily qualitative and ethnographic. Areas of interest and expertise include:

  • The complexities of young people’s dignity and resistance
  • Spatial justice and rural knowledges 
  • Science, Maths, Geography, Environmental and STEM Education
  • (Initial) Teacher education in relation to 1, 2 and 3 above.

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Dr Sandra Heaney-Mustafa

Sandra Heaney-Mustafa has worked at the University of Canberra since 2002 in community education and community development. Her current teaching and research focus is community development in cross-cultural contexts.

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Ann Hill

Dr Ann Hill

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Deborah Hill TH

Dr Deborah Hill

Deborah Hill is a linguist with teaching and research experience at universities in Australia and Holland. She has had extensive experience teaching intensively in the Faculty's offshore programs in Vietnam and China. Deborah's research interests are the language and culture of Longgu (Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands) and the teaching of English grammar.

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Dr Zinnia Mevawalla

Dr Zinnia Mevawalla

Zinnia is an assistant professor of early childhood education. She is interested in understanding how initiatives and practices in the early years can foster social inclusion. Using critical and resistance theories, her work focuses on how listening to children, families and communities who experience disadvantage, disability and dehumanisation in Australian and international contexts can inform bottom-up changes. Zinnia is also interested in research which explores how educators, transdisciplinary professionals and community stakeholders working across diverse early childhood contexts can foster participation, inclusion and equity for children, families and communities within and outside of education systems.

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Rohan Nethsinghe

Dr Rohan Nethsinghe

Rohan is an experienced music educator, composer, musician/community artist with more than thirty years of experience in international contexts. As a phenomenological researcher his current work focuses on multicultural and authentic music teaching and learning, creative arts education, arts integration and STeAM education; informal education and community learning, applied learning, lifelong learning and global Work Integrated Learning (WIL) for pre-service teachers.

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Dr Deborah Pino-Pasternak

Deborah’s research interests concern young children’s development of self-regulation and executive functions. In particular, Deborah investigates how early regulatory functions are fostered or hindered by home and school environments, with an emphasis on the quality of parent-child and teacher-student interactions. She has conducted quantitative and qualitative studies in this area and has developed significant expertise in the analysis of interactive video data.

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Dr Philip Roberts

Associate Professor specialising in rural education. Dr Roberts' major ongoing research interest is how teachers situate the curriculum in the communities they serve and how spatial theories are incorporated into educational thinking.

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Dr Kym Simoncini

Kym’s work focuses in Papua New Guinea . The first project is funded through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research where she has developed a professional learning package for teachers that is disseminated through mobile phones. The package focuses on culturally relevant teaching and integrating agricultural practices into schools. She is also part of a consortium led by World Vision that aims to enhance access to quality elementary education for girls and boys. She is responsible for monitoring and evaluation and assists with teacher education and support.

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Dr David Spillman

Dr David Spillman

I am Mallion (eagle), Bunda (red kangaroo), strongly connected and obligated to Country cared for by Karilkiyalu, Ngemba speaking people from south of Brewarrina, NSW. My university title is Dr David Spillman and am a career educator having worked in teaching and leadership position in remote, rural, regional and urban NT and QLD. Brother Ben Wilson and I are working in teacher education and school-based professional learning and research in ACT to assist schools to rebalance their teaching and learning by refocusing on local stories, histories and ecological communities. Through the daily enactment of Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing schools can help students and families to become great local citizens, knowing about their places and committed to caring for them.

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Benny Wilson

Benny Wilson

I belong to Jagera country, around the southern suburbs of Meanjin (Brisbane). I am obligated to take care of that place, and am also strongly connected and obligated to the lands of the Central Coast of NSW and Brewarrina. I am Wagan (Crow) and Dhinawan (Emu). I have worked in the university sector for three years, working on ARC projects connected to Indigenous education and Indigenous health. My current research explores place-based narrative as an Aboriginal epistemology and its application for modern education systems. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor of Education at the University of Canberra. I have spent the past fifteen years working in education as a coach, teacher, facilitator, and consultant. My brother Spilly (Dave Spillman) and I have come to Canberra to refocus education on Aboriginal ways of knowing, being, and doing. We are passionate about our work and believe that the solutions to some of modern society’s most wicked challenges can be found by turning to the wisdom of the world’s oldest people.

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Adjuncts and International Affiliates

Misty Adoniou

Dr Misty Adoniou

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Dr Mark Brennan 

Professor Mark Brennan

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Barbara Chambers

Professor Barbara Chambers

Adjunct Professor Chambers was the foundation director of the then Australian Institute for Sustainable Communities (now Centre for Sustainable Communities) at the University of Canberra. She has established an international reputation in the field of collaborative methodologies and gender, agriculture and food security.

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Caroline Lemerle

Professor Caroline Lemerle

Dr Lemerle joined University of Canberra as Adjunct Professor in the then Faculty of Education, Science, Technology and Mathematics in 2015.

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Katja Mikhailovich

Associate Professor Katja Mikhailovich

Dr Mikhailovich is an Adjunct Associate Professor who has undertaken a broad range of cross-disciplinary research in the area of community health and education and has developed expertise in program evaluation.

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Professor Shirley Randell AO 

Professor Shirley Randell AO

Adjunct Professor Shirley Randell has had an eminent career as an educator and expert in public sector and institutional reform in developing countries across the globe. Dr Randell was recognised in the 2012 Inaugural Australian 100 Women of Influence Awards. She is committed to universal education, continuing to mentor and empower women and has been active in Rotary International, Zonta International, Virginia Gildersleeve International Foundation, indigo foundation and Graduate Women International and their worldwide initiatives.

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John Spriggs

Professor John Spriggs

Professor Spriggs is an Adjunct Professor in agri-business, specialising in trans-disciplinary ways to engage stakeholders to maximise agricultural supply chains and agri-business.

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Dr Karen Williams

Dr Karen Williams

Karen is currently leading the transitioning of a community-based conservation group from local to landscape-scale operations, adapting the group to the requirements of economic, social and environmental sustainability. Karen uses the interaction of environmental, cultural and social inclusiveness principles, to bridge between Western and Aboriginal knowledge. She takes an interdisciplinary approach to program design and management, in order to achieve environmental outcomes supported by long-term stewardship. Karen’s leadership, facilitation and program management roles have directed her research towards a practical integration of environment, natural resource management, cultural heritage, social inclusion and sustainability education. These are an on-ground application of the concept of spatial narrative.

Click to view Molonglo Consulting's website

Professional Staff

Siew Imm Tan -  Liaison

Jenny Truong -  Administration

Peter Fock -  Website