Samuel Keast

Samuel Keast

Doctoral Candidate -- Critical Community Psychology

MAppPsych (Community Psychology)
Assoc. MAPS College of Community Psychology
Current project: Neoliberal Wellbeing: Exploring the Culture of Psychological Meritocracy in Australian Schooling and Education
This PhD by publication project is a genealogical analysis of the ways in which particular types of wellbeing have emerged around government schooling and education in Australia. It is premised on the fact that outcomes for students along a number of dimensions in government schools fall along lines of social class, and that increasingly schools have become sites of ‘therapeutic education’ which seeks to describe students in new psychologized ways. Through critical problematisations the project seeks to uncover the ways in which wellbeing subjectivities operate through particular moral codes and paint a specific background of selfhood around education. The project will also explore the role of psychology in (re)creation and maintenance of meritocratic ideals in schooling and the ‘technologies of the self’ that are deployed in the maintenance of neoliberal subjectivities.

Rama Agung-Igusti

Rama Agung-Igusti

Doctoral Candidate - Critical Community Psychology

Rama started as a doctoral candidate at Victoria University in 2018. His research interests have focused on the ways individuals and communities respond to and resist racialisation and structural and institutional racisms, how identity and belonging is negotiated in the context of Australia as a settler colonial nation, and creative practice as community pedagogy and a mechanism for social change. His research draws on critical race and whiteness studies, decolonial approaches, and critical and liberation psychologies, and his present doctoral research examines the role of emancipatory creative practice in the lives of African and other diasporas of colour. Rama is also the policy and research director at Democracy in Colour, a racial justice campaigning organisation led by people of colour.

Roshani Jayawardana

Roshani Jayawardana

Doctoral Candidate

Roshani's research interests focus on youth-empowerment, navigating ethnic identity and responding to displacement and racism, especially for young people from culturally and racially diverse backgrounds. Her PhD project is in partnership with Brimbank City Council's Neighbourhood Houses, located in Melbourne's West. The project seeks to respond to the structural and symbolic violence which persists and subjects Young People of Colour (YPoC) to racialised violence within neoliberal spaces. The study aims to create a proactive process of change surrounding the responses and resistance to racism by challenging YPoC's diminished sense of power within organisational spaces through a youth-led approach, and giving them a platform to challenge discourses which construct them as 'other' through community-based arts practice and self-determined cultural activity.

Jora Broerse

Jora Broerse

Doctoral Candidate - Institute for Health and Sport

Jora Broerse joined Victoria University in June 2017 as a doctoral candidate. Her research is concerned with migrant settlement, interculturalism and superdiversity in the sports context and is embedded in broader migration and multiculturalism discussions. In her doctoral research she looks specifically at space making and lived multiculturalism in the sports context in the City of Maribyrnong and combines sociological and geographical approaches. She explores one the one hand peoples’ movements through the City and how sports facilities are used and on the other hand which everyday interactions with other users/neighbourhood residents take place. The construction of identity (personal and community) and experiences of (local) belonging are other key aspects of Jora’s research. Neighbourhoods provide excellent settings to study inter-ethnic and intercultural encounters in and through sport as they are home to a variety of formal and informal sports places. Her work has previously been published in the Journal for Ethnic and Migration Studies, Social Inclusion and the Journal for Intercultural Studies.

Paola Balla

Paola Balla

Doctoral Candidate

Paola Balla is an award winning visual artist, curator, writer & lecturer & a current PhD candidate at Victoria University & lectures with Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Centre. Paola is a Lisa Bellear Post Graduate Research Scholar.
Paola is a Wemba-Wemba & Gunditjmara woman (First Nations Victoria).
Recent curatorial projects include: Executed in Franklin Street, City Gallery (2015), Sovereignty, ACCA, (2016) Unfinished Business, perspectives on art & feminism, ACCA (2017). Also, curatorial commissions include Victoria University, the City of Melbourne, Kingston Art Gallery, Manningham City Council, Maroondah Council. Paola’s work has been collected by CQ University, City of Melbourne, Victoria University, Federation University & private collectors.
Her research focuses on blak women’s art & activism & it’s role in disrupting patriarchal & colonial dominant narratives & spaces. Her work is based on recognition of sovereignty, matriarchy & First Nations ways of being, knowing and doing in community and organisational settings, the arts and education and de-colonial processes.
Her projects & community engagement include; Indigenous Cultural Program, FCAC, Wominjeka Festival, First Nations Dialogues at Performance Space New York, storytelling workshops at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, speaking at the National Gallery of Australia’s Wesfarmers Indigenous Leadership Program, a keynote at the UK’s Southbank Women of the World Festival, & key note addresses at Victoria University, Emerging Writers Festival, ACCA, The Stella Prize & Stella Prize Girls Write Up program.
Paola’s writing has been published by The Lifted Brow, Etchings Indigenous, Writers Victoria, Artlink, Freize (UK), SBS & NITV. She is a member of the Blak Brow Collective who edited the Blak Brow 2018 for The Lifted Brow.
Paola is a graduate from the Nyerna Studies BA Ed, Victoria University & holds a Post Grad Dip & Masters in Community Cultural Development from the Victorian College of the Arts.
Currently Paola is a member of the Indigenous Advisory Group at FCAC.