Professor Katharine McKinnon
Director, Centre for Sustainable Communities (CSC)
T: +61 0402 520 107
Katharine is a human geographer whose work engages with community economies, gender, development and care. She has worked with a broad range of communities in Australia and the Asia-Pacific, engaging in qualitative and participatory social research for community learning and development.
Katharine’s research is driven by a curiosity about how our human communities structure efforts to act upon the world, and, in particular, to transform it for the better. Efforts to better the world take place in many different contexts and the professionalisation of these efforts is well established in the fields of community development, social enterprise, agronomy, health and education. Her current research considers questions of: how to achieve gender equity in ways that suit the lives and livelihoods of people in their different places and communities; how to reshape enterprises and organisations around priorities of care and inclusivity; and how to put an ethics of care for people and environment at the heart of economies and livelihoods.
Katharine has published extensively on topics of community learning and development, and economies of care. Her most recent book, Birthing Work: The Collective Labour of Childbirth highlights the human and more-than-human interdependence that is at the foundation of family life and livelihood. Her work on community development practice in northern Thailand is published as a monograph in Development Professionals in Northern Thailand: Hope, Politics and Practice (2012). She has contributed to several key texts in her field, including The Handbook of Diverse Economies, Postdevelopment in Practice, Sage Handbook of Human Geography and the Blackwell A Companion to Social Geography. Her work has also been published in leading journals in the discipline, including the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Social and Cultural Geography, Area and Geoforum.