Meet the team
SEAE Research Leader; Executive Dean, Faculty of Education
Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles is a Professor of Sustainability, Environment and Education at Southern Cross University and a leader in environmental education research with a particular interest in child-framed arts-based research methodologies.
SEAE Research Co-Leader
Lexi Lasczik is an internationally and nationally esteemed Arts-based researcher, most particularly in the discipline of the Visual Arts and critical Walking Inquiry. She was previously a secondary school educator for 25 years.
Director of Higher Degree Research
Professor Liz Mackinlay is an eclectic scholar, having experience in Indigenous education, music ethnography and feminist issues.
Chair of Discipline (Initial Teacher Education)
Louise Phillips has more than 30 years of experience working with children across various settings, as an early childhood teacher, storyteller, consultant, researcher and tertiary educator. She is internationally known for her research and publications on storytelling, children’s rights and citizenship, arts and rights based pedagogies and methodologies, decolonizing methodologies, sensation and place.
Senior Lecturer and Academic Integrity Officer
Aspa Baroutsis is a senior lecturer, researcher, and Academic Integrity Officer in the Faculty of Education. She is known for her research in: media sociology, focused on portrayals of teachers, teaching, and schools across traditional print and social media; learning engagement and student voice across mainstream and alternative school settings; and digital pedagogies and school learning spaces that support student belonging and participation.
Primary Education Course Coordinator, MTeach; Lecturer
Dr Simone Blom is an experienced leader, educator and emergent researcher with over two decades in education and high-impact project officer roles. Simone’s skills are best deployed in workshop facilitation and collaborative enterprises that require succinct translation of complex concepts and outcomes into accessible, workable ideas and solutions.
Casual Academic (Teaching)
Adrienne (Adi) Brown is a visual artist and has been lecturing in Creative Technologies for over 15 years in Aotearoa and more recently in China. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education exploring what walking methodology brings to visual arts practice and pedagogy in higher education.
Dr Aidan Coleman is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and also teaches in the Associate Degree of Creative Writing. His research and scholarship spans Australian literature, Shakespeare, poetry, ecocriticism and creative writing. He is the co-author of a series of Shakespeare textbooks and his poetry volumes have been shortlisted for national literary awards. Aidan has extensive experience as a secondary English and history teacher, and faculty coordinator.
Dr Sarah Crinall is a Lecturer of science childhoods, place-based relational philosophies of education and art-based methodologies. Sarah's scholarly interests are in the power of the practical, the ethical and the 'everyday' and the informal learning ecologies that we live with as families and communities. Her focus is on the concept of sustenance in education, right now, during life in early years motherhood.
Vice-Chancellor Research Fellow
Dr Liberty de Rivera is a Vice-Chancellor Research Fellow in the Faculty of Education. Her research interests include analysing and evaluating policies and their implementation in the areas of education for sustainable development, climate change, and disaster risk reduction. Central to her research is the idea of cognitive justice—what, or whose knowledge, is emphasised or neglected in the process of policy transfer.
Katie Hotko received First Class Honours in 2016 at SCU and is now in her final year of her PhD exploring Primary Teachers’ self-beliefs about creativity, and how these beliefs effect their teaching of the Visual Arts. Katie is a self-taught artist who is passionate about making the Visual Arts accessible to all people.
Course Coordinator Associate Degree of Creative Writing
Lynda is a practising writer and qualified secondary English teacher. She lectures and teaches in writing units focused on writing and reading practices, poetry for advanced level students.
Maia is deeply passionate about place-responsive pedagogies as a means to cultivate environmental consciousness and ecological understanding.
Vice-Chancellor Senior Research Fellow
Dr Laura Rodriguez Castro is a Vice-Chancellor Senior Research Fellow at the Faculty of Education's SEAEE Research Cluster at Southern Cross University. Her research focuses on Southern knowledges of decoloniality and feminisms, critical public pedagogies, memory and rurality. She also works with arts, visual and participatory methods.
Lisa Siegel is a skilled environmental educator with over 20 years’ experience in developing and facilitating educational experiences for children, young people, and adults, having worked in both public and independent schools in three different countries.
Dr. Nick Stanger specializes in Human Society in its Environment with a particular focus around reconciliation among Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators.
Dr Steele's research interests include creative writing practice and creative writing practice in Education; the gothic; Australian literature and gender studies. She writes contemporary mystery and crime novels, often with a dash of the gothic and predominantly local settings that tap into both the whacky sense of humour and darker undercurrents, in Australian life.
SEAE Seminar Coordinator, Senior Lecturer
Dr Melissa Wolfe is a Senior Lecturer who is a specialist in Creative Arts education, Media Arts education, New Materialism and Posthuman Theory, Affect Theory and Creative Research Methodologies. Her research method of re/active documentary focuses on affirming affective pedagogies and promoting equity.
Helen is an experienced secondary teacher and environmental educator. Her early career as a science, biology and health teacher eventually lead to working with community and non-government organisations (Landcare, Greening Australia, Victorian Schools’ Garden Awards) as an environmental/sustainability educator, where she has been involved in curriculum writing and project management as well as supporting schools with environmental projects.
Dr Chantelle Bayes is a creative writer and researcher interested in multi-species communities, posthumanism, Australasian literature and arts-based methods. Much of her research examines urban entanglements and how imaginaries might be employed for social and environmental justice. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and is an HEA-UK Fellow.
Dr Yaw Ofosu-Asare
Dr. Yaw Ofosu-Asare holds a PhD from Southern Cross University, focusing on challenging biases and power dynamics in Indigenous and decolonisation systems. He is an associate research fellow at the Faculty of Education, passionate about teaching, UI/UX design, art, and digital marketing. Committed to education's transformative power.
As a human geographer, Ben Roche is passionate about participatory approaches to sustainable development and the role that education and engagement can play in creating resilience, capacity and well-being in communities. He has taught, researched and practised in the areas of community-based learning, participatory planning, sustainable development and community engagement.
Rita Irwin is an artist, researcher, and teacher deeply committed to the arts and education. Her research interests have spanned in-service art education, teacher education, socio-cultural issues, and curriculum practices across K-12 and informal learning settings.
Keith Skamp's areas of specialisation are science and environmental/sustainability education and research methodology and Keith lectured in undergraduate and graduate units for many years in these areas. Keith was involved in the professional development of primary and secondary teachers at state, national and international levels for many years.
David Rousell began his career as an internationally-recognised artist before moving into academia to further pursue his teaching and research interests. David brings 20 years of professional experience as an interdisciplinary artist to his academic roles, including exhibitions, installations, performances and film screenings in public galleries and performance spaces all over the world.
Kim Snepvangers (PFHEA) is an Adjunct Professor at Southern Cross University and a leader in creative ecologies, partnerships and arts-based research practice, with a particular interest in working with Cultural Mentors in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies.
Adjunct Senior Lecturer
Marianne's approach to research (and teaching) is to interrogate and advance socioecology and posthumanism within a science education context, where classical science education is disrupted, and new paradigms are promoted, within the current critical period surrounding climate change.
Adjunct Senior Lecturer
Angela Turner's research is positioned under the umbrella of Design and Technologies education, specifically food education, sustainability and food innovation research (regional foods and food education research).
Adjunct Associate Professor
With a Geography background, Judith Wilks worked for many years as an Environmental Planner. Judith’s current research interests include successful transitions to higher education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, online teaching methodologies in higher education, active environmental education approaches such as child-friendly cities, and participatory methodologies for children and young people.
Marilyn is an Adjunct Lecturer at SCU. She has extensive experience in primary education, including participation and leadership in environmental education initiatives. Marilyn completed her PhD at SCU and continues to collaborate in writing projects as a member of the ‘Sustainability, Environment, the Arts in Education’ (SEAE) Research Cluster. She is committed to researching and promoting a universal deep-time story through environmental education and transdisciplinary-based learning.
Professor Bunda has an outstanding track record of teaching and research, specialising in the areas of Indigenous education and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies. Her career in universities expands over 3 decades during which time she has held senior Indigenous leadership roles which have focused on the building the profile of Indigenous education. T
University of Bath
Ms Hacking’s research interests relate to childhood and environment and children’s participation and she has published widely in the fields of environmental education and education for sustainability. She has been involved in numerous educational research, evaluation and development projects for many years, mostly with schools, students, teachers and leaders.
Dr Sally Birdsall
The University of Auckland
Before her appointment as a Lecturer in Primary Science, Sally taught at various intermediate schools in Years 7 and 8 and in primary schools from Years 1 to 6. She has always been interested in science and while teaching was responsible for science in schools. As part of Sally's Master of Education, she completed a research project into an aspect of environmental education.
University of the Sunshine Coast
Dr Ali Black is an innovative arts-based and narrative researcher. Her research and scholarly work seeks to foster connectedness, community, wellbeing and meaning-making through the building of reflective and creative lives and identities. Ali is a highly regarded early childhood specialist who lectures into the Education Programs at USC.
Australian Catholic University
Professor Susan Edwards is Director of the Early Childhood Futures research program in the Institute for Learning Sciences & Teacher Education, Australian Catholic University. Her group investigates the role of play-based learning in the early childhood curriculum for the 21st century.
Antioch University of New England
Mr Sobel was co-founder of the Harrisville Children’s Centre in Harrisville, New Hampshire, and has served as a publicly elected school board member in Nelson and Harrisville, New Hampshire. He has served as a staff development and science curriculum consultant to schools in New Hampshire and Vermont and has been a guest speaker and workshop leader for a variety of school and environmental organisations.
Western Sydney University
Professor Somerville is Professor of Education and the Director of the Centre for Educational Research in University of Western Sydney's School of Education. She is also the Chair of the Greater Western Sydney chapter of the United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (one of only four in Australia).
Dr White has been a long-term activist in the environmental education field. She is currently a member of the Australian Association of Environmental Education (AAEE). She is a life-time member (and past president) of the Saskatchewan Outdoor and Environmental Education Association (SOEEA) and winner of the 2011 Melanson Award for Outstanding Contributions to Environment and Outdoor Education.
Dilafruz Williams, PhD, is a professor of Leadership for Sustainability Education. She has authored more than 50 chapters, journal articles, and curriculum resource guides and has given more than 100 invited lectures, symposia, and/or conference papers.
Associate Professor Sandra Wooltorton
University of Notre Dame
Sandra comes from Noongar country in South West Western Australia. She joined Notre Dame University as Director of Nulungu Research Institute in January, 2015. Sandra has worked at different times as a teacher, an education officer, and a lecturer/researcher in WA and the NT.