Team members

  • Claire Akhbari

    Claire is the ISRC Graduate Programs Coordinator. Claire is from a white settler background and completed their BA (Honours) with a major in Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne in 2016. Their minor thesis was entitled Booing the Selfish Rabble: Reading race in whitestream news media representations of Aboriginal sovereign resistance and the findings were presented at the 2017 NIRAKN Race, Whiteness and Indigeneity International Conference. They also presented a paper at The National Centre of Indigenous Studies Research Colloquium in 2017 entitled Decolonizing Graduate Research: Reflections from a Settler-Colonizer perspective.

    For the last 2 years they have been working as a tutor in the subjects Australian Indigenous Public Policy, Australian Indigenous Politics, First Peoples in a Global Context, Aboriginalities, Introduction to Indigenous Education and Public Policy Making, and was one of the lead discussants for the ISRC’s reading group for 18 months. While an undergraduate student they were a co-author of a 2015 publication The Oombulgurri Project, which worked from the local to situate the case of the closure of the Oombulgurri community in larger frameworks of settler colonial violence and neo-liberal strategy. They were also on the Faculty of Arts Dean’s Honours List twice in 2015 and 2011, and the 2015 recipient of The Marion Boothby Exhibition, which is awarded to the student with the highest mark in the field of British History.

    They live and work on the stolen lands of the Boonwurung and Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin Nation and acknowledges that sovereignty to their lands, and the rest of the country currently known as Australia, has never been ceded. The desire to individually reject and collectively dismantle the personal and structural privilege gained from the foundational and ongoing genocide and dispossession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples informs their work.

  • Associate Professor Jennifer Balint
    Assoc. Professor Jennifer Balint

    Jennifer Balint is Associate Professor in Socio-Legal Studies and is currently Head of Discipline, Criminology. Her research expertise is in the area of state crime, genocide and access to justice, with a focus on the constitutive function of law in societies and transitional justice. Her monograph, Genocide, State Crime and the Law. In the Name of the State, is a legal and socio-political analysis of the capacity of law to address genocide and other forms of state crime, law’s relationship to reconciliation, and the role of law in the perpetration of these crimes. She co-established the Minutes of Evidence project, a collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers, education experts, performance artists, community members, government and community organisations that aims to spark public conversations about structural justice and how understanding the relationship between the colonial past and the present can bring about just futures. For more information please see the Minutes of Evidence project website.

    Jennifer Balint staff profile

  • Dr Ashley Barnwell
    Dr Ashley Barnwell

    Dr Ashley Barnwell is Senior Research Fellow in Sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences. Her work focuses on sociological aspects of emotion, memory, and narrative, and is anchored in the sociology of the family. In addition to more traditional qualitative approaches, she is interested in the role of life writing, literature, personal archives, and oral history in sociological research. Ashley is working on two current projects. The first is a study of how contemporary Australian novelists, such as Kate Grenville and Kim Scott, are using their own family histories to deal with social questions of intergenerational trauma and historical responsibility. This has been published as a book, Reckoning with the Past: Family Historiographies in Postcolonial Australian Literature (with Joe Cummins, Routledge 2019). Her other project, ‘Family Secrets, National Silences’, is a qualitative study of intergenerational family secrets in settler colonial Australia.

    Ashley Barnwell staff profile

  • Dr Lou Bennett
    Dr Lou Bennett

    Yorta Yorta Dja Dja Wurrung, Dr Lou Bennett OAM is a former member of the internationally acclaimed music trio Tiddas. Bennett is a consummate performer, playing audiences worldwide, and a collaborator with the ISRC.

    Bennett is a prolific songwriter/composer and during her ten years with Tiddas (1990-2000) penned some of the group’s signature songs. Bennett’s work stretches over a vast area within the Arts industry throughout the past thirty years including her various roles as Performer, Songwriter, Musical and Artistic Director, Composer, Actor, Soundscape and Music Designer and Educator. In 2006 Bennett was one of the co-founders of the Black Arm Band and contributing to all productions by the company. Bennett completed her PhD by project at RMIT Melbourne in October 2015. Bennett’s dissertation discusses the importance and relevance of Aboriginal language retrieval, reclamation and regeneration through the medium of the Arts to community health and wellbeing and explores the importance of Indigenous epistemology, methodology and pedagogy in artistic and academic contexts. Bennett uses her own languages of Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung, extending to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages that can be retrieved, reclaimed and regenerated through songs, stories and performances. Bennett received a McKenzie award in 2017 to research the obstacles and ethical issues related to retrieving and transmitting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and continues to further her research program ‘Sovereign Language Rematriation Through Song Pedagogy’ after being awarded a Westpac Research Fellowship for 2020. Dr Bennett was inducted onto the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll for 2017 and accepted the award of member of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2018

    Lou Bennett staff profile

  • Eleanor Benson
    Eleanor Benson

    Eleanor is the ISRC Research Coordinator. She is a white settler living and working on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung peoples of the Kulin nations. Eleanor completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours at the University of Melbourne in 2017, majoring in Australian Indigenous Studies and Gender Studies. Her honours thesis explored the relationship between incarceration and settler colonial sovereignty.

    Eleanor has tutored in Gender Studies and Sustainability Studies at the University of Melbourne and RMIT. She is currently working as a research assistant on an ARC Discovery Project with academics from the University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland, investigating Indigenous governance and state relations.

  • Maddee Clark
    Maddee Clark

    Maddee Clark is a Yugambeh writer, editor and curator. He lives and works in Narrm. Maddee is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, writing on Indigenous Futurism and race, and has taught and consulted across the university’s Bachelor of Arts (Extended) program.

  • Professor Karen Farquharson
    Professor Karen Farquharson

    Karen Farquharson is Professor of Sociology and Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Melbourne. Her research explores the sociology of racism, migration, media and sport from a critical race theory perspective. Recent research projects include: Participation versus performance: Managing (dis)ability, gender and cultural diversity in junior sport, the AuSud Media Project, and the Koorie Energy Efficiency Project (KEEP) (5.4Mb pdf). Her most recent books are the co-edited collections Australian Media and the Politics of Belonging (2018) and Relating Worlds of Racism: Dehumanisation, Belonging, and the Normativity of European Whiteness (2018).

    Karen Farquharson staff profile

  • Professor Kirsty Gover
    Professor Kirsty Grover

    Professor Kirsty Gover is Programme Director, Indigenous Peoples in International and Comparative Law. Her research addresses the law, policy, and political theory of Indigenous rights and law. She is interested in the transformative promise of Indigenous legal theory, and in its importance in settler-state political theory and international law. Professor Gover is the author of Tribal Constitutionalism: States, Tribes and the Governance of Membership (Oxford University Press, 2011) and is working on a book entitled When Tribalism Meets Liberalism: Political Theory and International Law (Oxford University Press), examining the ways in which Indigenous self-governance influences the development of international law. She is the law school’s Associate Dean (Indigenous Recognition) and Chair of the MLS Reconciliation and Recognition Committee.

    Kirsty Gover staff profile

  • Genevieve Grieves
    Genevieve Grieves

    Genevieve Grieves is Worimi – traditionally from mid north coast New South Wales – and has lived on Kulin country in Melbourne for many years.

    She is an award-winning curator, filmmaker, artist, oral historian and educator who shares Indigenous history and experience in wide range of projects. These projects include the documentary for SBS Television Lani’s Story (2009); the place-based cultural experience, Barangaroo Ngangamay (2016); and, she was the Lead Curator of the internationally award-winning First Peoples exhibition (2013) at the Melbourne Museum.

    Genevieve has a role as a public intellectual and speaker and is currently teaching and undertaking her PhD at the University of Melbourne in Aboriginal art, memorialisation and colonial violence.

    Genevieve Grieves staff profile

  • Associate Professor Chris Healy
    Assoc. Professor Chris Healy

    Chris Healy teaches Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. He has worked at the University of Technology, Sydney, and held visiting fellowships at the Humanities Research Centre, ANU, the Centre for Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz and was a long-time External Academic Advisor in the Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong. His research work on social memory has considered relationships between Indigenous history and settler-colonialism in Australia, and some of the predicaments of postcolonial culture more generally. His first efforts in this field appeared in the UK-based journal, Oral History (1991) with latter essays in Postcolonial Studies (1999), Oxford Companion to Aboriginal Art and Culture (2000), Body Trade: captivity, cannibalism and colonialism in the Pacific (2001), Culture in Australia: policies, publics and programs (2001), ACH: The Journal of the History of Culture in Australia (2007). That period of work culminated in his 2008 monograph, Forgetting Aborigines, UNSW Press.

    Chris Healy staff profile

  • Dr Melitta Hogarth
    Dr Melitta Hogarth

    Dr Hogarth is a Kamilaroi woman and Assistant Dean (Indigenous) at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Melitta taught for almost 20 years in all three sectors of the Queensland education system specifically in Secondary education. Melitta’s interests are in education, equity and social justice. Melitta recently completed her PhD where she critically analysed Australian Indigenous education policy.

    Melitta’s interests are in education, equity and social justice. Her PhD titled “Addressing the rights of Indigenous peoples in education: A critical analysis of Indigenous education policy” was awarded both the QUT and Faculty of Education Outstanding Thesis Awards and was awarded the Ray Debus Award for Doctoral Research in Education.

    Melitta Hogarth staff profile

  • Julia Hurst

    Julia Hurst has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Indigenous and Development Studies and a Masters of

    Julia Hurst

    Urban Planning. She has worked as a social and cultural planner and social researcher. Her interests lie in storytelling, social justice and the arts, and she has successfully merged these projects over the years on main stage and community theatre, arts and cultural projects in Melbourne, Geelong and Western Sydney. She was a member of the ARC Linkage Project (USyd and ANU) Deepening Histories of Place: Exploring Indigenous Landscapes of National and International Significance and during this project she directed and authored an enhanced e-book entitled At the Heart of it: Place stories across Darug and Gundungurra Lands: A downloadable history. She has recently completed her PhD: ‘Re-imagining identities: Aboriginal people on Darug and Gundungurra lands’ at ANU.

  • Natalie Ironfield
    Natalie Ironfield

    Natalie (she/her) belongs to the Dharug nation and has been living on Wurundjeri land since 2013. Natalie is a Teaching Specialist in Politics and Criminology in the School of Social and Political Sciences. Additionally, Natalie works as an educator teaching into the Bachelor of Arts Extended at Trinity College. Natalie’s research focuses on the relationship between settler-colonialism and Indigenous hyper-incarceration and explores alternative responses to harm, which seek to move beyond the carceral state.

    Natalie Ironfield staff profile

  • Jacynta Krakouer
    Jacynta Krakouer

    Jacynta Krakouer (BSc, MSW, MSP Melb) is a Noongar Aboriginal lecturer and researcher in the Department of Social Work at the University of Melbourne. Currently undertaking her PhD with the Department, Jacynta’s teaching and research expertise centres on child and family welfare, with a particular focus on Indigenous Australians. Her PhD explores Indigenous understandings of cultural connection for Indigenous Australian children in out of home care in Victoria.

    Jacynta Krakouer staff profile

  • Dr Ligia (Licho) López López
    Dr Ligia (Licho) López López

    Ligia (Licho) López López is a Queer Caribbean academic residing and learning as an uninvited guest in Narrm (Melbourne, Australia). She is a Lecturer at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. Her research, drawing from the histories of dispossession and Black and Brown rising, interrogates what the notion of diversity does in the social world (diverse from what?). Licho investigates Bla(c)k and Brown youth affect as curricular trans-formation. At the moment she is playing with global histories of marroonage as Black future making in the 21st century. Licho is the author of The Making of Indigeneity, Curriculum History and the Limits of Diversity (Routledge, 2018). Her work has appeared in Race Ethnicity and Education, The British Journal of Sociology of Education, Discourse, and Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, among others. She is currently working on two books under contract with Routledge entitled Taking place: Indigenous perspectives on future(s) and learning(s) (with Gioconda Coello), and Migrating Americas: Interrogating the relations between migration and education in the South (with Ivón Cepeda and Maria Emilia Tijoux). Licho’s work strives to challenge the colonial frontiers of exploration in order to create educational futures that grow antibrown and antiblack racism free social worlds.

    Ligia (Licho) López López staff profile

  • Associate Professor Sana Nakata
    Associate Professor Sana Nakata

    Sana Nakata is Associate Dean (Indigenous), Senior Lecturer in Political Science and co-founder of the Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration. Trained as a lawyer and political theorist, her research is centred upon developing an approach for thinking politically about childhood in ways that improve the capacity of adult decision-makers to act in their interests.

    Sana’s current project looks at representations of children in Australian political controversies, with particular focus upon Indigenous Australian children and child asylum seekers. She is the author of Childhood Citizenship, Governance and Policy (2015), and along with director Sarah Maddison, edits the Springer book series: Indigenous Settler Relations in Australia and the World.

    Sana Nakata staff profile

  • Dr Sophie Rudolph
    Dr Sophie Rudolph

    Dr Rudolph is a non-Indigenous Australian, with a long-standing interest in exploring issues of social justice, diversity and equity in education and, in particular, the impact that colonial history has on present day inequalities in Australia. These interests frame Sophie’s teaching and research practices. Her research includes sociological and historical examinations of education and investigates issues of curriculum, pedagogy and politics in education, policy and practice. Her work is informed by critical and post-structuralist theories and aims to offer opportunities for working towards social change.

    Sophie Rudolph staff profile

  • Professor Zoë Laidlaw
    Profesor Zoë Laidlaw

    Zoë Laidlaw joined the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne in September 2018 as a professorial fellow, having previously worked at Royal Holloway University of London (2005-2018) and the University of Sheffield (2001-2005). Her research concerns Britain’s empire and colonies in the early and mid-nineteenth century, with a particular focus on imperial networks, humanitarianism, governance, colonial knowledge, settler societies, human rights, Indigenous protection and Indigenous dispossession. She has worked on the colonial histories of Australia, British North America, South Africa, New Zealand, India and the Caribbean. Zoë is also interested in the connections between colonial histories and present-day attempts at conciliation between colonising and colonised populations.

    Zoë Laidlaw staff profile

  • Professor Adrian Little
    Professor Adrian Little

    Adrian Little is Pro Vice Chancellor (International) and Professor of Political Theory at the University of Melbourne. He has published six monographs including, most recently, Enduring Conflict: Challenging the Signature of Peace and Democracy (Bloomsbury, 2014) as well as many journal articles and book chapters. In 2013, along with Mark McMillan, Paul Muldoon, Juliet Rogers, Erik Doxtader and Andrew Schaap, he received an ARC Discovery Grant for the project ‘Resistance, Recognition and Reconciliation in South Africa and Northern Ireland - Lessons for Australia’. Adrian is currently Pro Vice Chancellor International at the university and has responsibility for developing the international component of the university’s Reconciliation Action Plan.

    Adrian Little staff profile

  • Associate Professor Juliet Rogers
    Assoc. Professor Juliet Rogers

    Juliet Rogers is an Associate Professor in Criminology in the School of Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She specialises in the study of trauma, specifically its psychological, legal and political manifestations and effects. From 2012-16 she was an Australian Research Council DECRA fellow examining the ‘Quality of Remorse’ after periods of political and military conflict in Australia, Northern Ireland and South Africa. Prior to her academic career she was a youth worker, manager and trauma therapist. She holds an ongoing Visiting Fellowship at the University of Bologna, TRaMe center for the study of trauma. She published widely in the field of law, trauma and conflict. In 2013 she published Law’s Cut on the Body of Human Rights: Female Circumcision, Torture and Sacred Flesh and is finalising a monograph on The Quality of Remorse.

    Juliet Rogers staff profile

  • Lilly Brown
    Lilly Brown

    Lilly Brown is an interdisciplinary educator and researcher and a PhD candidate and lecturer at the University of Melbourne. With a background in critical Indigenous studies, education and youth sociology, her work seeks to attend to the narratives and power relations that shape social structures. She draws on creative representation in her research and education practice to respond to her work with young people, community organisations and Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people across Australia.

    Lilly’s research and teaching focuses on 1. the possibilities education presents as both a site of positive transformation and social reproduction; 2. the ongoing colonial state violence resisted by First Peoples; and, 3. the way anti-Indigenous racism, as foundational to Australian nationhood, continues to function. Lilly’s academic practice is informed by her relationships and work with different communities in Victoria and across Australia, including with Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal young people, their families, communities and schools. Lilly belongs to the Gumbaynggirr people of the mid-north coast of NSW, and has lived on the land of the Kulin Nations in Melbourne since 2011.

    Lilly Brown staff profile

  • Anya Thomas
    Anya Thomas

    Anya Thomas is Phd candidate in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Melbourne. She has an MA and Human Security and Peacebuilding from Royal Roads University in Victoria, Canada and has worked in treaty negotiations, conflict sensitivity and intergovernmental relations in Canada, Nepal, Cambodia and Australia. Her research interests include Indigenous diplomacy, cooperative governance and self-determination. Anya is a recipient of the University of Melbourne Human Rights Scholarship and commenced her Phd in March 2019.

  • Janelle Young
    Janelle Young

    Janelle Young is a Doctoral student with the Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration. Janelle is from Canada, where she spent the past six years working on a variety of community-based research initiatives related to Indigenous health and wellbeing. She holds masters degrees in Social Work and Anthropology. Her masters thesis explored the politics of reconciliation in Mi’kmaw territory in Nova Scotia, Canada. She currently works in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child and family safety wellbeing policy.