Antonia is a social anthropologist and Research Fellow with the Centre for Children and Young People (CCYP) at Southern Cross University, Australia. In 2017 she won the Higher Degrees Research Excellence Award for her PhD 'Voices from the Margin: Youth, Identity and Belonging in a Tourist Destination'. Antonia's research has been published widely in highly ranked international journals and presented at national and international conferences. She has continued to pursue her interests in children's rights, wellbeing and participation through her involvement in large-scale research projects including several ARCs.
Antonia has a passion for working with vulnerable and marginalised populations such as children and young people in the diverse contexts in which they live their lives including, schools, disability services, residential care services and the tourism industry. Her work is grounded in social justice and critical pedagogy with an emphasis on participatory, collaborative and ethnographic methodologies to empower children and young people to contribute to research, policy and practice. She has worked across a number of areas, including children's rights; identity and belonging in childhood; youth activism for sustainable tourism; youth music cultures; ethical research involving children. Antonia is currently a Research Fellow on the ARC Linkage project 'Strengthening relationships and connections for young people in therapeutic residential care.'
Antonia has led several collaborative projects with industry partners such as the not-for-profit social action theatre group, the Byron Youth Theatre. During this time, she has developed a training program with SCU colleagues to empower young people to research tourism issues in their community. Findings have informed an original theatre production devised and performed by and for young people. The social messages researched and conveyed by the young people in this performance functioned as an educational and advocacy tool to lobby for sustainable tourism solutions in their community. The performance toured local high schools in 2021 and resulted in the development of a responsible tourism pledge to promote more responsible, ethical, and sustainable forms of tourism in Byron Bay (see link below).