I am an interdisciplinary researcher, with a background in architecture, design, and urban planning, and a PhD in geography. My research focuses on the relationships between work, skill, place, and environment. To date my work has focused on the economies and material cultures of craft and skilled making, particularly in trades. I am increasingly driven by an interest in regional legacies of skill - how these emerge over time across formal and informal modes of education and work, and how they might inform discussions of regional resilience into the future.
My field-centred approach draws on many years of professional experience in engineering, technology and design roles, and I prefer to work 'alongside’ participants where possible. Conceptually, I look to feminist and postcapitalist perspectives that consider all forms of work as valuable. This includes work which is less visible, including that which takes place in the home and community, or outside of the bounds of the enterprise. My PhD was an ethnography of the paid and unpaid working lives of repair and maintenance trades workers at Australia's largest steelworks.
Current research projects include the ARC DP ‘Governing Urban Energy Transitions’, examining energy transitions in the commercial office sector across Sydney and Melbourne (with Profs Pauline McGuirk and Robyn Dowling [Syd]). I was recently awarded a Social Sciences ECR grant to look at repair and maintenance in the Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) industry. I am also a collaborator on an inter-disciplinary UOW Global Challenges Keystone project looking at the history and futures of making and manufacturing in the Illawarra region.