People

Centre Director

Portrait of Hannah Badland

Professor Hannah Badland

Professor Badland's research examines how the environment is connected to health, wellbeing, and inequities in both adults and children internationally, with an interest in vulnerable groups. Her interdisciplinary, mixed-methods research program engages with end-users, typically policymakers and non-government organisations, to influence on-the-ground change. She is currently working on two major research themes. One is enhancing the social determinants of health for those with disability. The other focuses on reducing inequities in early childhood development. The emphasis in both these streams is investigating how local built and social environments support or hinder opportunity and understanding impacts of any inequity. 

Theme leaders

Prof. Hannah Badland - Theme co-lead, Community wellbeing

Hannah Badland's research examines how the built environment is connected to health, wellbeing, and inequities in both adults and children internationally, with an interest in vulnerable communities.

Dr. Ellen van Holstein - Theme co-lead, Community wellbeing

Ellen van Holstein is a Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow researching who gets to be included in different spaces and networks of ‘community’.

Prof. Nicola Henry - Theme lead, Gender and harm

Nicola Henry's work investigates the nature, prevalence and impacts of sexual violence, including legal and prevention responses in Australian and international contexts.

Prof. Hariz Halilovich - Theme co-lead, Local global relations

Hariz Halilovich's research has focused on forced migration, diaspora studies, place-based identities and human rights (incl. right to education).

Dr. Elizabeth Kath - Theme co-lead, Local global relations

Elizabeth Kath investigates how people relate across boundaries of difference in the global era, including theories of migration, intercultural communication, reconciliation, and social/inclusion exclusion.

Prof. Guy Johnson - Theme co-lead, Housing insecurity and homelessness

Guy Johnson’s research is focused on theoretical and applied questions relating to the dynamics of homelessness and housing – why some people become homeless, why some people remain homeless, and why some people exit homelessness.

Dr Kathryn Daley, Theme co-lead, Housing insecurity and homelessness

Kathryn Daley's work has examined issues of poverty, child abuse, homelessness, self-injury and mental health.

Centre members

Dr Amanda Alderton - Vice Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow

Amanda Alderton draws on her experience as a classroom teacher, researching across disciplines including public health, urban studies, and developmental psychology.

Dr Monica Barratt - Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow

Monica Barratt has over 20 years' experience in health and social research in the areas of drug harm reduction and policy reform, with a specific focus on digital technologies, drug market dynamics and drug monitoring systems.

Dr Alexis Bergantz - Senior Lecturer

Alexis Bergantz is a historian of Australia’s entanglements with France and the French Pacific.

Dr Tamara Borovica - Research Assistant

Tamara Borovica's work focuses on embodiment and psycho-social approaches to mental health, wellbeing, and belonging.

Dr Tuba Boz - Lecturer

Tuba Boz is a lecturer in Social Work and Human Services within the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University. Dr Boz leads the Migration, Mobility and Security Research Network (MM&S RN) at RMIT University

Dr Elroy Dearn - Researcher

Elroy Dearn is a qualitative researcher focussed on the areas of human rights, homelessness, institutionalisation, disability and mental illness.

Dr Anamaria Ducasse - Senior Lecturer

Dr Anamaria Ducasse's research focus is on assessment and feedback and pedagogy in both in higher education and additional language learning.

Dr Maho Fukuno - Lecturer

Maho Fukuno is an applied linguist researching in the interdisciplinary field of translation studies, intercultural communication, applied ethics and language education.

Dr Rachel Goff - Lecturer, Early Career Development Fellow

Rachel Goff's work examines how design thinking can facilitate self-determination, particularly in communities subject to structural inequity.

A/Prof. Erika Gonzalez Garcia - Associate Professor

Erika Gonzalez´s research focuses on the professionalisation of community interpreting & translation, and the impact language barriers have on non-English speakers.

Dr Gemma Hamilton - Senior Lecturer

Gemma Hamilton is an interdisciplinary scholar in criminology and forensic psychology, internationally recognised for her work on family violence, sexual assault, policing, and investigative interviewing.

Prof Georgina Heydon - Professor

Georgina Heydon's research analyses the language of police interviewing and other forms of evidential language in the justice system.

Dr Belinda Johnson - Senior Lecturer

Dr Belinda Johnson explores intersections of social justice, bodies, places, emotions and creative practice, with a specific interest in disability.

Prof Katherine Johnson - Dean, School of GUSS

Katherine Johnson is a leading researcher in LGBTQ+ suicide prevention, transgender health, and early mental health interventions for LGBTQ+ youth.

Dr Godwin Kavaarpuo - Research Fellow

Godwin Kavaarpuo's research interests and publications are in affordable and social housing, real estate development and sustainability, and real estate innovation, with a geographic focus on Africa and Australia.

Prof Renata Kokanovic - Professor

Renata Kokanovic is an interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersections of critical mental health studies, critical social theory and medical humanities.

A/Prof. Ahmed (Bawa) Kuyini Abubakar - Associate Professor

Bawa Kuyini has broad social work practice experience in mental health, disability and with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities.

Dr Chen-Hui Miranda Lai - Senior Lecturer

Miranda Lai’s research interests cover public service interpreting and translation, police interpreting, forensic transcription, and vicarious trauma of interpreters and translators.

Melissa Laing - Associate Lecturer

Melissa Laing’s research investigates the intersection of housing and safety crises for marginalised pet owners (or companion animal guardians), and practice responses to support interspecies families.

Dr Julian Lee - Associate Dean, Global and Language Studies

Julian Lee’s research has addressed the subjective experience of globalisation, and has sought to creatively explore themes in Global Studies through the use of popular culture.

Dr Iris Levin - Senior Lecturer

Iris Levin’s research focuses on housing for disadvantaged communities, including social housing, housing for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, and socially mixed communities.

A/Prof. Robyn Martin - Associate Dean, Social Work & Human Services

Robyn Martin is a critical social work academic and her research and teaching is informed by post-structuralist, feminist and intersectional theories and concepts.

A/Prof. Kerry Mullan - Associate Professor 

"Kerry’s main research interests are cross-cultural communication and differing interactional styles, particularly those of French and Australian English speakers. She also researches in the areas of intercultural pragmatics, discourse analysis, language teaching and conversational humour. "

A/Prof. Yasothara Nadarajah - Associate Professor

Yasothara Nadarajah's research covers a range of fields – and the question of how ethnography and fieldwork may open a space for difficult conversations about the past and injustices; and offer the potential for healing.

Dr Caroline Norma - Senior Lecturer

Caroline Norma is a historian of modern Japan and a lecture in the Translating and Interpreting program.

Dr Patrick O'Keeffe - Senior Lecturer

Patrick O’Keeffe is a Senior Lecturer in the Social Work and Human Services Cluster at RMIT University. He is interested in how processes of marketisation, privatisation and financialisation affect young people, and how young people respond to these processes by creating subversive spaces.

Dr Nerkez Opacin - Research Fellow

Nerkez Opacin's current research focuses on using nature-based social prescribing to alleviate loneliness and enhance well-being within vulnerable communities, with an emphasis on collaborating with LGBTIQA+ asylum seekers and refugees.

Dr Sarah Polkinghorne - Research Fellow

Sarah Polkinghorne is an information science researcher focusing on how people become and stay informed, and on practices and systems that support access to information.

Prof Anastasia Powell - Professor

Anastasia Powell is a criminologist specialising in prevention, policy and practice reform addressing family and sexual violence.

Dr Jing Qi - Senior Lecturer

Jing's work is centrally concerned with epistemic and sociolinguistic justice through advancing and applying theories and practices of multilingualism, interculturalism, global mindedness, and digital and AI technologies. Jing is the SERC HDR Liaison.

Dr Emma-Louise Seal - Research Fellow

Emma’s interdisciplinary research expertise intersects the cognate areas of sociology and critical theoretical approaches and broadly focuses on examining health and social inequalities.

Dr Bess Schnioffsky - Research Assistant 

Bess Schnioffsky is a feminist researcher whose work explores the intersection of gender and race in sports in Australia and the Pacific region. With a background in international and community development, her research advocates for the transformation of sports into sites for positive social change.  

Dr Karen Villanueva - Research Fellow

Karen Villanueva is focused on how urban neighbourhoods shape child health behaviours and outcomes.

Prof Aiden Warren - Professor

Aiden Warren's teaching and research interests are in the areas of international security, US national security and foreign policy, US politics , international relations , WMD proliferation, nonproliferation and arms control, and emerging technologies.

Dr Juliet Watson - Senior Lecturer

Juliet Watson's recent research projects have included investigations of pregnancy and homelessness, family violence and homelessness, housing support for older women, social housing, and feminist activism.

Prof. Bruce Wilson - Director, European Union Centre of Excellence

Bruce Wilson is Director of the European Union Centre of Excellence at RMIT, providing insights to and leading research and debate on EU-Australian relations, encouraging mobility for staff and students, and for building partnerships between Australian universities and organisations and their European counterparts

Dr Alice Witt - Research Fellow 

Dr Alice Witt researches the exercise of governing power in the digital age, focusing on the intersections of regulation, technology and gender.

Dr Maki Yoshida - Lecturer

Maki Yoshida is an applied linguist whose research interests lie in the field of language, gender and sexuality studies and foreign/second language education.

Professional staff

Clare Thompson

Coordinator, Research Operations

Jennifer Lucy

Impact and Engagement Officer

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.