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Our People

Director

Associate Professor Katharine

Associate Professor Katharine McKinnon

Katharine is a human geographer whose work engages with community economies, gender, development and care. She works with a broad range of communities in Australia and the Asia-Pacific, engaging in qualitative and participatory social research for community learning and development. 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.

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Associate Director

Barbara Pamphilon

Professor Barbara Pamphilon AM

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

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Professor Peter Bodycott

Peter has an established international research profile in the internationalisation of higher education and English as a second language. More recently, his research has expanded to include the internationalisation of curriculum, international student acculturation and support, and interdisciplinary cross-cultural approaches to teaching. Peter works closely with schools, teachers and colleagues in developing teaching, educational reform and international student placement, marketing and recruitment.

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Bernard Brown

Senior Lecturer Bernard Brown

Bernard’s research has focused on digital technologies policies designed for Australian schools and the ethical implications of these policies.  Bernard has a number of published articles in journals and a book chapter, and is currently working on further research in the area of education policy.

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Jo-Caffrey

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

Ann is a human geographer and community economies scholar by training. She has a specific interest in collective ethics and methods for living in a climate and resource changing world. Her research explores how local human and more-than-human communities adapt and flourish in the midst of increasing global uncertainty. She has over ten years of experience of community partnering in Asia, mainly in the Philippines where she has been using participatory methods and working with local partners to strengthen community food economies in typhoon-prone neighbourhoods. Ann is increasingly interested in the role indigenous knowledges and transdisciplinary imaginations play in cultivating more sustainable planetary futures.

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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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Centenary Professor Moosung Lee

Professor Lee is an internationally recognised scholar  in educational leadership and administration, social contexts of education, and lifelong education. He has published extensively in these areas.

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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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Professor Ting Wang

Professor Wang is internationally recognized for her research in educational leadership development in cross cultural settings, professional learning communities and teacher professional development, international and transnational education. She is a founding member of the Global PLC Network which researches PLC (Professional Learning Community) policies and practices in schools across six educational systems.

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Benny Wilson

Associate Professor 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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Post Doctoral Fellows



Dr Jenny Dean

Dr Jenny Dean

Jenny is a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Rural Education and Communities research group.  Her current research interests include inequality in education, the sociology of Indigenous schooling, the social demographics of schooling and school curricula, drivers of university enrolment, and student engagement. She draws on spatial theories of equity and marginalisation in communities and predominantly quantitative methodologies to explore these  interrelated issues. She has published works in the areas of curriculum access and achievement, Indigenous student access to the curriculum, and rural schools and communities.   Before completing her doctorate she worked extensively in areas of government research and analysis.


 Dr Justin See

Dr Justin See

Justin’s research centres around issues of justice, vulnerability, climate adaptation, and postdevelopment particularly in urban and coastal communities in the Philippines. He has recently finished his PhD in Community Planning and Development at La Trobe University, while he received his BSc (Physics, Social Sciences) and MA (Sociology) from the Ateneo de Manila University. His recent research articulates diverse pathways for climate adaptation that builds on the community’s assets, resources, and strengths. He has published his work in climate change journals such as Global Environmental Change and Journal of Flood Risk and Management, and is the recipient of the 2020 International Student of the Year (Regional Category and the Premier’s Award) at the Victorian International Education Awards.

Research Assistants

Monty Nixon

Monty grew on Arrente Country in Central Australia where the desert landscape sparked an interest about the story of how humans fit and connect as part of the world. This interest became a passion whilst developing a background in Outdoor Education as an undergraduate student at La Trobe University. Monty’s Honours thesis continued to ask questions of more-than-human relations, exploring Rock Climbing at Dyurrite Mount Arapiles. Monty is interested in studying how different ways of being, knowing and doing inform understanding of place(s), and the narrative Australians can create together to disempower hegemonic Colonial perspectives of Nature.

Monty joined the CSC as a research assistant on the Country as Teacher Project. Since joining the Centre, Monty has also joined Dr. Jo Caffrey on the Youth as Change Project in Papua New Guinea.

Kerry Woodward

Kerry Woodward’s research interests include food, postgrowth identities, diverse economies, political ecology and more-than-human assemblages. Currently, Kerry is exploring how care is practised in vegetable places and what this means for the health and wellbeing of people and planet. Kerry is a PhD student in the Centre for sustainable Communities.

Natalie Downes

Natalie Downes is a research assistant in the Rural Education & Communities Research Group and is currently undertaking her PhD in the area of rural studies and rural education.  Her research interests include school aged distance education, rural-regional sustainability,  and the ethical working impact of research with rural people and communities. Natalie brings a wide range of experience to the team having worked on projects funded by the government, ARC, and not-for-profit organisations. She has worked on projects with university outreach teams, schools, community organisations and is an editor of the Australian and International Journal of Rural Education. Natalie also works as a research administrator with the Centre for Sustainable Communities at the university of Canberra.

Ada Goldsmith

Ada Goldsmith is a research assistant in the Rural Education & Communities Research Group who is currently undertaking her PhD studies. Her research focuses on equitable access to curriculum and educational outcomes for Australian students with a particular focus on the Australian Capital Territory. Prior to commencing her studies she worked as a high school teacher in the ACT.

Adjuncts and Affiliates

Misty Adoniou

Dr Misty Adoniou

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Dr Mark Brennan 

Professor Mark Brennan

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Dr Tony Brown

Dr Tony Brown

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Barbara Chambers

Barbara Chambers

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Caroline Lemerle

Professor Caroline Lemerle

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Katja Mikhailovich

Associate Professor Katja Mikhailovich

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Professor Shirley Randell AO

Dr Shirley Randell AO

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John Spriggs

Dr John Spriggs

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Daniela Stehlik 

Professor Daniela Stehlik

Daniela tweets as @RubaSkala and can be contacted on danielastehlik@icloud.com.

Dr Karen Williams

Dr Karen Williams

Click to view Molonglo Consulting's website