Before joining Jesuit Social Services, Susie was Associate Professor in Sustainability and Urban Planning in the School of Global Urban and Social Studies and the Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University. She brings over twenty years of experience working across a wide range of research and policy projects focusing on social change and local empowerment processes, environmental and climate justice issues. Susie is committed to working collaboratively and inclusively with a range of partners and communities to support and co-design solutions that strengthen place-based capabilities and resilience and address the systemic drivers of disadvantage and vulnerability.
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John has a PhD in Geography and a Masters in Geography and Environmental Planning. He has worked for over 18 years across academia, government, and community organisations, including leading policy and research teams within the New Zealand government as well as leading Aotearoa New Zealand’s National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis at the University of Waikato. John has worked with large indigenous organisations and social service providers to develop indicators of health and wellbeing and community-based models of care. He has a particular interest in the research, policy and practice nexus and using research in meaningful ways to support and empower communities.
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With a PhD in Geography, Haydie has worked for many years in interdisciplinary teams across university and community settings on research projects addressing social and environmental inequities, practices of decolonisation, place-based community building, and climate change adaptation. She has run a professional editing business since 2009, engaging with a range of contemporary research across the social sciences and arts. Haydie brings this eye for detail and skills in research translation, along with her wide research experience and commitment to collaborative, grounded research and advocacy, to the Centre for Just Places.
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Brenda is a social innovation leader and evaluator with a background in strategic planning, project management and place-based social change. She is experienced in building collaborative partnerships across multiple diverse stakeholders using a collective impact approach. Brenda has developed a deep understanding and empathy for the issues and challenges that communities encounter through her work with First Nations and other diverse populations in urban, regional and remote settings in Victoria, South Australia and Northern Territory. Brenda has a Graduate Diploma of Education (Early Childhood) and a Master of Education (Leadership, Policy and Change) in which she graduated as the top performing student and was awarded the Judy Gray Memorial Award in Leadership. Brenda is also a network consultant for Collaboration for Impact, an organisation that builds capacity for an equitable and inclusive society where people, place and planet thrive.
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Melek is an Economic Analyst and Advisor in the Centre for Just Places, and she is also a Senior Research Associate at RMIT University where she conducts housing-related research funded by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI). Melek’s previous academic appointments include a Research Fellowship at RMIT University and the University of Melbourne, and a Policy Advisor at Infrastructure Victoria. She holds a PhD in Economics from Latrobe University. Melek brings over fifteen years of research experience in modelling the outcomes of low-income households with respect to housing, inter-generational transfer of wealth and employment participation and evaluating place-base initiatives. She also has an acute interest in understanding the prevalence of inter-generational transmission of disadvantage in Australia and identifying pathways to success for younger cohorts who are exposed to area-level disadvantage.
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Katrina joined the Centre for Just Places in 2021, bringing experience in social and environmental policy research and project implementation to the role. Katrina has coordinated and contributed to a range of projects with the public and third-sector – from climate change adaptation to energy affordability. Katrina has a particular interest in the capacity of individuals and communities to develop locally responsive solutions to complex problems. Katrina continues to learn and develop her skills, and is passionate about research, action, and advocacy engaging with climate justice. Katrina has a Masters of Public Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours – Politics and International Studies).
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Lucy brings over 15 years’ experience working across community programs in the essential services, community health and not for profit sector. With extensive experience in program management, stakeholder and community engagement, Lucy enjoys collaborating with diverse, cross-sector stakeholders to drive meaningful social and organisational outcomes. Using research, data and the voice of lived experience, Lucy is passionate about bringing stakeholders together to facilitate opportunities for collective action.
With a Commerce degree, majoring in Marketing and Economics, Lucy has also worked across social marketing and behaviour changes initiatives to support vulnerable communities to access programs and services ranging from financial hardship support, water efficiency and gambling harm.
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Thea is a committed social research professional with experience across a range of social science research methods. She has worked in research roles alongside a range of community and non-government organisations, and local government. She has a passion for research that engages with diverse communities and a commitment to understanding and improving community experiences. Thea holds a PhD in Geography, her research project focused on the role of non-state organisations in refugee settlement and explored themes of citizenship and Feminist care ethics.
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Jack grew up on four different continents, everywhere witnessing the interconnectedness of social and environmental injustice. This has taken him on a journey from approaching our ecological crisis as a physical problem requiring technical solutions, supporting research and business development in recycling and climate-smart agriculture, to understanding the social drivers of vulnerability and the need for systemic, transformative change. He has a Bachelor of Engineering and a Masters of Environment and is passionate about connecting with and building the capacity of the community sector, local governments and communities to ensure the most marginalised are prioritised in building a just society.
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Bianca has a background in community mental health, working directly with participants experiencing intersecting mental health issues, in group facilitation and program development. Bianca’s direct client work has influenced her belief in communities of care, including more than our human relationships, as central to transformative mental wellbeing. Bianca utilises her background in psychology to bring a narrative analysis to human consciousness change and to centre emotions as a path to understanding belonging to the wider network of all things. This led Bianca to pursue voluntary work in communications and facilitation with Psychology for a Safe Climate and as a mentor with urban nature connection program, Firekeepers, which she holds alongside her role with the Centre for Just Places.
Contact Bianca Crapis at bianca.Crapis@jss.org.au.
Andrea works across climate justice and community resilience projects at the Centre for Just Places. Prior to the Centre, Andrea coordinated and collaborated on community development projects across regional Victoria, specialising in capacity strengthening and two-way learning initiatives with people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. With a background in design and sustainability, she is passionate about genuine community engagement and in developing innovative place-based approaches that allow for just and transformative change. Andrea is currently undertaking a Master of Environment at the University of Melbourne, focusing on the politics of ecological knowledge and development in rural geographies.
Contact Andrea Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org