Dr. Karina Smith

Dr. Karina Smith

Senior Lecturer, College of Arts and Education

Karina’s research focuses on postcolonial literature and theatre with a particular focus on the Caribbean and Canada. She is both a literary studies and gender studies scholar whose research analyses issues such as low-paid work, sexuality, globalisation, women’s histories as they are represented in literature and other cultural production. She is also interested in migration and diasporic communities, particularly the Caribbean and African diasporas.

Associate Prof. Gavin Ivey

Associate Prof. Gavin Ivey

Chair, Professional Psychology Programs, College of Health and Biomedicine

Gavin trained as a clinical psychologist at Rhodes University, South Africa, and went on to lecture and supervise trainee psychologists at University of Natal (Durban) and University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg). He immigrated to Australia in 2010 and is currently coordinator of the Clinical Psychology Masters Program at VU. Gavin’s teaching and research interests converge on the process of adult individual psychotherapy, particularly the unconscious influences on the psychotherapy relationship. He practices part-time as a psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapist and clinical supervisor.

Dr. Charlotte Fabiansson

Dr. Charlotte Fabiansson

Senior Lecturer, College of Arts and Education

Charlotte Fabiansson researches on young people’s everyday life in the local and global society, their identity and community belonging, ethnicity and social inequality, and young people’s attitudes to risk taking behaviour and gambling. Other research interests are changing social institutions, socio-environmental threats and fear of change.

Dr. Nicole Oke

Dr. Nicole Oke

Senior Lecturer, College of Arts and Education

My research focuses on the themes of work, globalization and multiculturalism. Broadly within these themes I am currently working on two projects.

The first project examines the Australian states engagement with Australian mining companies in the Asia-Pacific. These companies are part of a global industry, one in which is extraordinarily inequitable in terms of the economic gain but also in terms of the distribution of social and environmental risk. The mining industry, like others, is increasingly instituting ‘flexible’ work practices including a reliance of subcontractors and temporary work. The focus here is on the ways the Australian state is involved with this industry overseas, and the way companies draw on this engagement as part of their profit making.

The second project focuses on work and migration. Much of my research has been focused on the experience of multiculturalism in the rapidly gentrifying Melbourne suburb of Footscray, as part of a collaborative project (with Chris Sonn and Chris McConville). Within this broader on-going project I am studying the ways in the experience of work has changed for low pay migrant workers in the suburb, examining the ways that Footscray as a place mediates broader national social changes.

Oke, N. Christopher C. Sonn & Christopher McConville (2018): ‘Making a place in Footscray: everyday multiculturalism, ethnic hubs and segmented geography’, Identities, DOI: 10.1080/1070289X.2016.1233880
McConville, C. and N. Oke (2018): ‘Gentrification: Power and Privilege in Footscray’ in Oke, N., Sonn, C., and Baker, A. (ed) Places of Privilege, Leiden: Brill.
Oke, N., Sonn, C., and Baker, A. (ed) (2018): Places of Privilege, Leiden: Brill. (inc. ‘Introduction to places of privilege pp. 1-13.)
Oke, N. (2012) ‘Introduction: Transnational Work’. Journal of Intercultural Studies special issue ‘Transnational Work’ 33(1), including ‘Introduction: Transnational Work’. Pp 1-7
Oke, N. (2012) ‘Transnational Politics? The Politics of Temporary migrant work in Australia’ in Journal of Intercultural Studies 33 (1). Pp 85-101.
Lobo, M., Marotta, V. and Oke, N. (ed.) (2011) Intercultural Relations in a Global World. Illinois, Common Ground Press (intro: ‘Intercultural Relations in a Global and Transnational World’ pp. 1-12.
Oke, N. (2010) Working Transnationally: Australian Unions and Temporary Migrant Work’ in Social Alternatives. 29(2).
Oke, N. (2009) ‘Globalizing Time and Space: Temporal and Spatial Considerations in Discourses of Globalization’ in International Political Sociology3(3), pp. 310-326.

Dr. Dianne Hall

Dr. Dianne Hall

Senior Lecturer, College of Arts

My research interests are in histories of violence, gender, religion and memory with a particular focus on the Irish both in medieval and early modern Ireland and in the modern Irish diaspora. In analysing violence in Ireland I am interested not in the more usual narrative of wars and rebellions, but in how gender has informed the use of violence and how violent events have been recorded and remembered. Violence is thus defined, not narrowly just in terms of politics or religion, as has been traditional in Irish historiography, but broadly, in such a way as to capture the experience of women and men in as wide a range of everyday circumstances as possible. Violence is studied using gender as the principal analytical tool in order to understand how violence shaped and was shaped by changing understandings of femininity and masculinity.Flowing from my researches into gender, violence and belief in Ireland, I am involved in developing a project on the changing ideas about the racial and social status of the Irish – both catholic and protestant – in nineteenth and early twentieth century Australia. This project will analyse how the Irish – as a racialised group at the margins of whiteness, yet ultimately located as white – fit into Australian racialised hierarchies.

A/Prof. Christopher Sonn

A/Prof. Christopher Sonn

Associate Professor, College of Health and Biomedicine

Christopher teaches in areas of community, cultural and liberation psychology and qualitative research methods. His research is in the area of sense of community, social identity, immigration, and intergroup relations. A major focus of his research is on understanding non-dominant group responses to oppression, including racism. He has investigated the adaptation of different immigrant communities to Australia as well as the responses of Indigenous Australians to dominant group settings and stories. His focus is on understanding the multiple and often concealed resources and structures groups develop to help protect valued cultural identities and to resist oppression and promote liberation. Christopher continues to work with the Community Arts Network Western Australia exploring how community arts can be utilised in community capacity building. He is also a lead researcher on the international Apartheid Archive Project based in South Africa.

A/Prof. Julie Stephens

A/Prof. Julie Stephens

Emeritus Professor

My research is situated broadly in the field of contemporary social theory and often experiments with multidisciplinary approaches. It is informed by an interest in feminism, social movements and the politics of memory and forgetting. This was reflected in my book Anti-Disciplinary Protest: Sixties Radicalism and Postmodernism(Cambridge University Press: 1998) and continues to shape my current work. Recently, my research has included an exploration of maternalism, the application of values associated with the maternal (nurture and care) to the society as a whole. I am concerned with the way cultural memories of second-wave feminism and current social policy intersect to overlook the maternalism of the past and to limit future possibilities. I am also interested in the ideological dimensions of neoliberalism, in particular the displaced understandings of self, gender, dependency, citizenship and community that have accompanied neoliberal restructuring. Much of my work discusses the harsh penalties these changes have imposed on those least advantaged, especially children, the frail elderly, women in the workforce and at home, mothers, women in domestic labour and childcare and newly arrived migrants and refugees.

Prof. David McCallum

Prof. David McCallum

Emeritus Professor, Centre for International Research on Education Systems

David McCallum researches the history of human sciences and their relation to the conduct of governing. He taught sociology at the University of Melbourne and Victoria University, and his recent book Criminalizing Children, Welfare and the State in Australia (CUP, 2018) won the Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand Book Prize for 2019. David is presently editing a reference work on the history of human sciences for Palgrave Macmillan, and researching a project on welfare policy.

Dr. Amy Quayle

Dr. Amy Quayle

Academic Teaching Scholar

Amy’s research has primarily focused on the experience of racialised oppression and implications for identities, communities, and intergroup relations, as well as the possibilities created through community arts practice for individual, community, and broader social change.
Amy’s PhD research was conducted alongside a community arts and cultural development project, Bush Babies (external link), with Aboriginal, Noongar people in Western Australia. This critical narrative inquiry explored the stories shared in the context of this project, and theorised the role of Aboriginal storytelling on country both within and beyond Aboriginal communities. The research highlighted the history and continuity of oppression, the psychosocial impacts for individuals and communities, as well as the resistance and survival of Aboriginal people and culture.
Amy’s research has primarily involved qualitative research methods including narrative and discourse analytic approaches.

Dr. Natalie Kon-Yu

Dr. Natalie Kon-Yu

Senior Lecturer

Natalie Kon-yu is a writer and a commissioning editor of Just between Us: Australian Writers Tell the Truth about Female Friendship (2013) and Mothers and Others: Why not all Women are Mothers and not all Mothers are the Same (2015) and #Me Too: Stories from the Australian Movement (2019). She is currently researching gender bias and cultural diversity in Australian literary culture. Natalie was the co-director of the Stella Diversity Count in 2016, and is currently the lead academic of the First Nations and People of Colour Count which aims to gauge the data on how many First Nations Writers and Writers of Colour are being published in the Australian Industry. She co-edited the Special Issue of TEXT Journal (with Associate Professor Enza Gandolfo) ‘Identity, Politics and Creative Writing,’ (2018). Natalie also sits on the board of Her Place – Women’s Museum and Heritage Victoria, which aims to build a women’s museum in Melbourne.

Dr. Charles Mphande

Dr. Charles Mphande

Senior Lecturer, College of Arts & Education

Senior Lecturer, International & Community Development, College of Arts & Education
His research is in Community Resilience; Discourse and Society; Information, Education & Communication (IEC) in development and change. My current resilience studies research include: Informal Social Networks as Safety Networks among Emerging African Communities in Victoria; and Ageing Well with Dignity of the African Community in Victoria/Australia.

Dr. Bichok Wan Kot

Dr. Bichok Wan Kot

Lecturer - First Year College

Bichok’s research primarily focus on the dynamic and diverse nature of Australian Nuäär migrant group’s experiences during the period of displacement, transition, refugee life and resettlement in Australia.
Bichok’s PhD entitled “Lost in Transition: Changing Dynamics of Traditional Nuäär Gender Roles and the Migrant Experience” investigates the choices and challenges confronting a little-known and vulnerable migrant group: the Nuäär of Sudan and Ethiopia. It focuses on how the changes in gender roles as result of migration and resettlement in Australia affects Nuäär family life, especially men’s experiences.
His research uses a qualitative research strategy with a constructivist theoretical framework. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and focus groups discussion. Constructivist grounded theory is also used as to analyse the experiences of change for the women and men.

A/Prof. Siew Fang Law

A/Prof. Siew Fang Law

Senior Lecturer, College of Arts and Education

My main research interests are in the broad areas of socio-cultural inclusion, conflict resolution, peacebuilding. I am interested in how individuals, groups and societies give meanings to conflict, violence and peace and respond to these issues. My research mainly draws on the social constructivism and critical research paradigms. I am interested in investigating how the politics of knowledge and power contributed to the issues related to social marginalization and social injustice. I inquire the nature of reality and the nature of knowing reality from the perspective of the culturally and linguistically diverse communities. By documenting and amplifying the voices of the less dominant groups, I hope my research would contribute to some policy improvement. Some of my earlier works have focused on the social construction of dispute, mediation and dispute resolution from those of less dominant groups.