SCU Staff Directory

Hanabeth Luke
Dr Hanabeth Luke
BAppSc(SCU), BEnvSc(Hons)(SCU), GradCertEd(UPLY), PhD(SCU)
Current Appointment: Senior Lecturer
Organisational Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering

Telephone: 02 66269601
Location: O2.11
Campus: Lismore
Personal Website

Dr Hanabeth Luke is a passionate educator who has been teaching and conducting research in Southern Cross University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering since 2011. She is deeply motivated by helping regional communities and farmers to become more resilient in times of transition, bringing communities to science, and vice versa. These understandings underpin her role as Coordinator for the new Southern Cross University courses in Regenerative Agriculture.

As leader of two national Soil CRC research projects, her work aims to improve knowledge-sharing process in agriculture and land management, gaining a sound and nuanced understanding of the drivers of decision-making on farms.  This work both translates complex scientific research to a general readership; and uses information arising from social research to inform decisions around strategic planning, for other scientists as well as industry and government.

Her research focuses where society, land, industry and community intersect, presently working with the Soil CRC to identify drivers of on-farm decision-making across Australian farming systems, including barriers to the adoption of new innovations and changing approaches to land management. She conducted a three-year farmer study in the Northern Rivers, and is presently running surveys across farming regions in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Her previous and current research focus consist of:

- Drivers of on-farm decision-making & farmer aspirations
- Barriers to farmer uptake of research and development
- Farmer succession planning strategies
- The role of social license in land use planning and management
- Community perceptions of natural resource management
- Science communication
- Multidisciplinary research, including consilience across disciplines

Hanabeth has been involved with the delivery of a number of units offered by the Faculty of Environment, Science & Engineering and Southern Cross GeoScience, teaching everything from global environmental challenges and philosophy of science, to protected area management and dynamic geologic, hydrological and climate earth systems. She has been a Unit Assessor since 2013.

Hanabeth began her degree in Coastal Management at Southern Cross University in 2001, graduating in 2005. In 2006 she spent some time in the United Kingdom, gaining a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Plymouth. After teaching Environmental Science, Geography, World Development and Sociology for several years, she returned to SCU in order to further deepen her knowledge and develop her teaching and research skills with the School of Environment, Science and Engineering.

During her Honours year, Hanabeth focused on social dynamics within the growing social movement responding to coal-seam gas (CSG) industry developments in Eastern Australia. Her PhD, titled: "The role of social license for industrial developments, with a case study of coal seam gas developments in the Northern Rivers", focused on the role of community input into government decision-making for land-use planning and natural resource management. She has so far published thirteen papers arising from this research, including cross-national comparisons.

Contributing to this, she worked with stakeholder groups to develop the question for the 2012 Lismore City Council Poll on CSG, implementing an extensive community survey in order to explore voter motivations behind different perspectives of the industry. In 2013 she carried out a comparative survey in the neighbouring Richmond Valley area, as well as numerous interviews with residents of the Queensland gasfields.