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Barbara Rugendyke


Adjunct Professor

Faculty of Business, Law and Arts

[email protected]
Barbara Rugendyke


Orchid ID



Barbara has been an academic for over 25 years. A Human Geographer, Barbara is particularly interested in global inequality, the myriad of factors causing this, and in sustainable development. At heart, the focus of her teaching and research is on social justice for less advantaged people and communities.

Following fifteen years as a teacher and researcher at the University of New England, Barbara served as Dean of Graduate studies. Subsequently, she joined the staff at the Australian Catholic University as Head of School of Arts and Sciences in Victoria and later served as Dean and Head of School of Arts and Social Sciences at Southern Cross University. Barbara thoroughly enjoyed these management roles, particularly the opportunity to mentor colleagues towards improved teaching and research outcomes and promotion.


Over time, Barbara's research has focused on: community planning, strategic planning, the work of NGOs in international development and poverty reduction, advocacy work of NGOs, impact assessment and project and program evaluation, sustainable development (including food security, sustainable forest management, sustainable agricultural systems and the impacts of climate change) and participatory planning methodologies. Current research involves documentation and evaluation of outcomes of programs to support humanitarian arrivals in regional Australian communities and of programs to support and house people who are sleeping rough in regional communities. Research outcomes have been published in numerous refereed journal articles, edited books and consultancy reports.

Community engagement

Deputy Chair, Emmanuel Anglican College, Ballina (from 2020)

Research and Higher Degrees Committee, Australian College of Theology (2011-2021)

Member of Academic Board, Excelsior College, Sydney (from 2021)

Prior service includes as Non Executive Director, Oxfam Australia.


Barbara has supervised thirty post graduate research candidates to successful completion. These researchers completed field research across ten different countries. Most continue to be active researchers and academics.


Barbara's teaching focused on global inequity, international development, community development planning, sustainable futures and the earth in crisis, sustainability development and research methods. Barbara was awarded for national citation for excellence in teaching online in 2007.


Honours and awards include: numerous academic awards, time as a Research Fellow at Oxford University (2009), recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Impact Award for Social Justice (2019, SCU) for collaborative work with Anglicare North Coast (with Dr Louise Whitaker and Dr Mandy Hughes) and university level recognition of excellence in teaching and research supervision. An online toolkit, completed in 2021 for Anglicare North Coast (with Dr Louise Whitaker and Dr Mandy Hughes), was recognised with Anglicare's national award for excellence.

Graduate School

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