Activist

Focus upon change, advocacy, campaign projects

Activism in Education

  • I view my teaching as projects from an activist’s perspective. How to create activated learners is the question I repeatedly address.
  • I set up projects in university – Learner Cenetered Project, 2003-2007 – to change paradigms and practices.

I work in education because it is what I enjoy doing. I believe in the works of all who have gone before me and said ‘its method’ and not content that matters. I am in education to give other humans a taste of their power to make a difference to the world we live in. I explore Critical Pedagogy to define education centered around the learner.

Activism in Community

Through The Circle of Support Project, I work with agencies providing services to a specific socio-economic demographic.

  • Forensicare
  • CoHealth
  • Royal Dental Hospital
  • Victoria Legal Aid

Approach

  • I inhabit the space of community engagement because I basically like hanging out with people, and so I make my work contain field work and outreach activities.
  • I work in the area of Maternal Health because every minute somewhere on this planet a women dies when pregnant or when giving birth or after giving birth. Though often these deaths occur far away from where we live and work, and among rural and poor women – We can do something about this!
  • I work in the area of Diabetes because I have seen that people with diabetes have a big job ahead of them to keep their bodies in good shape through life.
  • I work in the area of Sustainability because global warming is our lived experience. We can change our ways, and we can get others to change their ways. Some of this can even happen through the products and services we design.

I have viewed my position at university as a privilege that I utilise to make a significant contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as evidenced by my focus upon marginalised groups in Australia and specifically upon remote, rural and poor women in developing contexts.

  • My track record of research applications (such as the ARC Discovery & Gates Foundation on Maternal Health) attest to my dogged persistence in seeking grant income to undertake design focussed projects in locations and contexts of need.
  • The NGO partnered studio projects (Fifth Goal Studio with the Action North-East Trust in Assam, Deer Park Studio with Deer Park Institute in the Himalayas, India) highlight a history of engagement with health service provision and livelihood creation.
  • I have been working on a program (partnered with the Barefoot College, India) of Remote Solar Electrification in the Pacific Island states currently being executed by non-literate women.
  • Locally this SDG focus of mine is demonstrated through recent projects underway: “Indigenous Body” (health self-management in remote communities, with Dr. Paul Ramcharan) and “Australian Langar” (transforming food security in Laverton, for CoHealth, with Prof. Laurene Vaughan and VEIL/ Melbourne University).
  • Undertaken as field work investigation, creative practice projects, & publications my SDG focussed work contributes a unique social impact research concentration within design and creative practice research at my University.

The world we live in is not a fair one. Many systems and services are broken; some deliberately and some have been allowed to deteriorate. If you live in a city and constitute the elite in your geographical area – life is not so bad. If you live away from these ‘centres’ life can get tough and things can often go wrong – very dramatically. I approach projects as campaigns for social change. This is how I inhabit the spaces of: Maternal Health, Diabetes, Waste, Sustainability, Education and Community Engagement.