Meet our HDR candidates

We are very proud of our continually growing HDR cohort and the extraordinary breadth of research that the group is undertaking. We work in collaboration with GGRS and GUMURRII to support the social and emotional well-being of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR candidates.

HDR candidates

Julie Ballangarry

Julie is a PhD student at the School of Government and International Relations. Prior to commencing her PhD Julie completed a Bachelor of Education with Honours (Class 1) and spent several years working in Remote and Low SES community schools. As a proud Gumbaynggirr/Dunghutti women, she is passionate about Indigenous issues especially in regards to education and public policy. Her current research seeks to explore why Indigenous education policies are continually failing by investigating the current approaches to policy-making in this arena. Julie’s research interests include: Public policy; Indigenous education; Indigenous affairs and policies and Black politics.

Leda Barnett

Leda is developing a First Australian-informed prevention, intervention and post-vention service delivery model for deaths by suicide. Leda's theoretical framework partners a First Australian conceptualisation of holistic health with Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory and uses time, space and distance as interactive dimensions.

Jennifer-Leigh Campbell

Bringing together the fields of genomics, bioinformatics, linguistics, history and Indigenous knowledges, Jennifer's research focuses on the population history and ancestral connections in northern Australia adding to our understanding of the genetic and linguistic diversity of Aboriginal Australians. Jen's other research interests include Indigenous Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education & developing undergraduate research.

Tonia Chalk

Examining the inquest files of Aboriginal females whose deaths occurred during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Qld, Tonia's research will investigate how coronial investigations into Aboriginal female deaths supported the settler colonial project in Qld during this period, in relation to ‘half castes’ and domestic servants, as well as providing a new way of thinking about the archival record in Aboriginal family stories.

Rae Cooper

Influence, power and design are the central themes to Rae Cooper’s practice. Our rapid and perpetually transforming technological culture adds additional layers of complexity to the field of communication design, in addition to the evolving characteristics of emerging generations.

Andrew Gall

As a pakana from lutruwita, the continuum and maintenance of Culture, are the motivation behind Andrew’s research and practice. Climate change tightens its grip on our world, the preservation of culture for future generations is a must!

Arabella Douglas Harris

Focussing on how implicit race bias affects investment decision-making, Arabella's research explores CSR, social impact investing (SII), social return on investment (SROI) & Venture Philanthropy (VP), & social impact bonds (SIB). She aims to inspire behavioural economic decision making with a method that protects or prevents reactionary racial bias & improve investment decision making systems with greatest social impact on Aboriginal wellbeing.

Jess Harris

Jess is a PhD candidate at Social Marketing @ Griffith. Her PhD is investigating how habits and behaviours influence breakfast consumption of personnel for the Department of Defence. Jess is also a sessional academic for Griffith, teaching Digital and Social Media Marketing and she works within the Social Marketing Centre as a research assistant and project manager on a number of research projects. Jess has an established marketing background working with private firms to develop and implement marketing strategies to produce growth and revenue and is now applying these skills in a social space.

Sharon Hayes

Research interests: Looking at barriers to student participation in traditional Work Integrated Learning (WIL), and using simulated on-campus WIL to improve the work-readiness of commerce graduates entering into a small to medium accounting firm.

Michelle Hobbs

Michelle is an Associate Lecturer and PhD candidate at Australian Rivers Institute, researching the ecology and cultural values of freshwater mussels. She has experience in environmental consulting, Water Policy and Wildlife Conservation at state government, and is interested in interdisciplinary education inclusive of culture, arts and science, and has studied at Griffith’s Queensland College of Art.

Angelina Hurley

Angelina's doctorate involves an exegesis entitled Pointing the Funny Bone: Blak Comedy and Aboriginal Cultural Perspectives on Humour, and a set of scripts for an Aboriginal comedy show. The study is an insight and investigation into the comedy and humour of Aboriginal peoples, and how Indigenous peoples worldwide utilise it.

Greg Kitson

Greg's research forms part of an ARC Linkage project: Being ‘On Country Off Country’. His research's overarching theme is to validate and value urban & peri-urban Aboriginal Peoples connections and relationships with ‘Country’. Greg aims to improve understanding of the needs of these groups with respect to planning and ‘Country’ and raise the profile of Indigenous Community Planning as a contemporary land use planning theory and practice.

Candace Kruger

Candace is a Yugambeh Songwoman and as such assists jarjum (children) and the community to sing alive the Aboriginal songs of the Yugambeh language region (Gold Coast, Logan and Scenic Rim). Candace’s research addresses the issue of how Indigenous methodologies challenge ethnomusicological understandings of Aboriginal Music through her work Yarrabil Girrebbah Singing Indigenous Language Alive – Thinking, Gathering, Dreaming: A Songwoman’s Methodology of Cultural Awakening.

Eden Little

Eden researches the medicinal chemistry of natural products from traditional medicines. In the next 2 years her research aims to evaluate bioactive natural products from traditional Chinese medicine as a strategy towards Parkinson’s Disease drug discovery. In the future she endeavours to research the modern medicinal potential of Aboriginal bush medicine.

Gina Masterton

Law reform is the main goal of Gina Masterton’s research, with an emphasis on international parental child kidnapping and the Hague Convention on Child Abduction 1980. Gina’s research has a particular focus on the protection of abused mothers, their traumatised children and allowing them to remain in Australia, separated from their abuser, with parenting issues resolved through the use of the internet.

Kyly Mills

Kyly is a Kamilaroi woman whose family is from Moree, NSW. Her thesis explores the emotional dimension of non-indigenous health students learning when undertaking First Peoples health education that includes cultural safety concepts. Higher education providers must be better informed about the complex interplay of personal and pedagogical factors that influence non-indigenous students’ development of cultural capability.

Madeleine Pugin

Madeleine is a Kombumerri woman of the Gold Coast. Her research is focusing on the UNDRIP, specifically cultural rights, and the struggle of identity and recognition of her people as the Traditional Custodians of their Country. As a previous high school English Teacher, she is interested in Indigenous education as well as Aboriginal history and Indigenous politics.

Mandy Quadrio

Mandy's work brings to contemporary attention facts and lived experiences of palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal) people that counter and resist the widely held Australian narrative that Tasmanian Aboriginal people are extinct.

Dale Rowland

Dale is a proud Biripi and Wiradjuri man from NSW. Dale is enrolled in Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology. His research focus is on the dissemination and implementation of virtual reality interventions for emotional disorders (i.e. anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, PTSD, OCD). Dale is interested in transdiagnostic approaches to treatment and interventions that consumers can access remotely.

Bart Stanford

Bart has previously taught and researched in the Indigenous education space. His past research has focused on embedding Indigenous histories and cultures into curriculum. He has now turned his attention to researching the relationships between governments and Indigenous institutions. Other research areas of interest include: Indigenous governance, Indigenous entrepreneurship and economic development in remote communities.

Venessa Starzynski

Venessa Possum Starzynski is a Dharug-Dharawal artist, born in Sydney and she also acknowledges her Irish ancestry. Her topic, experiencing duality as murura gurugali and colonial time is in harmony with her outdoor studio practice and archival research.

Eddie Synot

Critiquing the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Australian history and most recent attempts to achieve recognition in the Australian Constitution, Eddie examines the rights discourse of recognition and sovereignty prevalent in liberal constitutionalism and recognition theories and practices. He asserts that without substantial structural reform the violence and exclusions of the past will be repeated.

Recent HDR completions

Dr Clinton Schultz for the degree of Philosophy for his thesis entitled: Factors of holistic wellbeing for members of the Aboriginal health and community workforce. (2020)

  • Supervisors:  Professor Susan Best and Ms Judith Watson

Dr Dale Harding for the degree of Doctor of Visual Arts for his thesis entitled: The Language of Space. (2019)

  • Supervisors:  Professor Susan Best and Professor Derrick Cherrie

Dr Carol McGregor for the degree of Doctor of Visual Arts for her thesis entitled: Art of the Skins: unsilencing and remembering. (2019)

  • Supervisors:  Professor Susan Best and Ms Judith Watson

Dr Tristan Schultz for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy for his thesis entitled: Decolonising Design: Mapping Futures. (2019)

  • Supervisors:  Professor Susan Best and Ms Rebekah Davis

Ms Michelle Vlatkovich for the degree of Master of Arts Research for her thesis entitled: Voice in Australian creative non-fiction: The project of my belonging. (2018)

  • Supervisors:  Professor Nigel Krauth and Associate Professor Patricia Wise

Dr Bianca Beetson for the degree of Doctor of Visual Arts for her thesis entitled: Exploring Aboriginal Identity through Self-Portraiture. (2018)

  • Supervisors:  Professor Susan Best and Emeritus Professor Patricia Hoffie

Ms Angela Leitch for the degree of Master of Education and Professional Studies Research for her thesis entitled:  The unexamined system: Indigenous students' secondary school attendance. (2018)

  • Supervisors:  Professor Greer Johnson and Professor Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh

Dr Fiona Foley for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy for her thesis entitled:   Biting the Clouds:  The Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act, 1897. (2018)

  • Supervisors:  Professor Ross Woodrow, Professor Janette Younger and Dr Ashley Whamond

Dr David Jones for the degree of Doctor of Visual Arts for his thesis entitled:  The Australian 'settler' colonial-collective 'Problem'. (2017)

  • Supervisors:  Professor Ross Woodrow, Ms Judith Watson and Mr Russell Craig

Mr Mitchell Rom for the degree of Master of Education and Professional Studies Research for his thesis entitled: Teaching Indigenous Australian Studies in Contemporary Settings: Are Pre-Service Teachers Prepared?. (2017)

  • Supervisors:  Dr Madonna Stinson and Dr Harry van Issum

Ms Candace Kruger for the degree of Master of Arts Research for her thesis entitled: In the Bora Ring: Yugambeh Language and Song Project. (2017)

  • Supervisors:  Professor Sarah Baker and Dr Catherine Grant

Dr Vanessa Lee for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy for her thesis entitled:  Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services:  Controlled or Controlling their own Destinies? (2016)

  • Supervisors:  Professor Clare Tilbury,  Professor Deborah Black and Dr Fiona Rowe Minniss

Dr Ryan Presley for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy for his thesis entitled:  The Australian 'Settler' Colonial-Collective Problem. (2016)

  • Supervisors:  Professor Ross Woodrow, Emeritus Professor Patricia Hoffie and Ms Elizabeth Shaw

More information

Our Indigenous Research Unit team can help answer your questions