Associate Professor Elske van de Fliert, Centre Director

Elske is a leading academic and practitioner working in participatory development communication.

Associate Professor Elske van de Fliert is the Director of the Centre for Communication and Social Change. She also convenes the Communication for Social Change plan of the Master of Communication program. She obtained a PhD in Communication in 1993 from Wageningen University, The Netherlands. She joined the UQ School of Journalism and Communication (now School of Communication and Arts) in July 2006. Prior to this Elske spent almost two decades involved in research, development and teaching assignments in Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya and Uganda, particularly in the field of participatory research and communication for rural development.

Elske’s research interests include participatory development communication, facilitation of transdisciplinary research for development, and impact assessment of social change processes, and inter-stakeholder interfaces in development. She is currently conducting research projects in Indonesia, Timor Leste and Mongolia, funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. She is a member of the editorial advisory boards of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability and the Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension. She has published widely on a range of topics related to participatory research and communication in sustainable rural development.

A full list of Elske's publications can be found here.

Her UQ researcher profile is here

Associate Professor Pradip Thomas, Principal Centre Associate

As an activist scholar who worked formerly with the international media NGO, WACC, Pradip has travelled widely throughout the world and has been involved in the planning and evaluation of community media projects including community radio in Haiti.

As an activist scholar who worked formerly with the international media NGO, WACC, Pradip has travelled widely throughout the world and has been involved in the planning and evaluation of community media projects including community radio in Haiti. He played a key role in the Communication Rights in the Information Society campaign linked to the World Summit on the Information Society. He is on the editorial council of a number of journals including Media Development, Journal of Creative Communications, Communication for Development and Social Change, Journalism and Communication Monographs and the International Journal of Press/Politics. More

Professor Helen Ross, Centre Associate

Helen is an interdisciplinary social scientist (environmental psychologist and anthropologist) specialising in social aspects of sustainable development and environmental management.

Helen is an interdisciplinary social scientist (environmental psychologist and anthropologist) specialising in social aspects of sustainable development and environmental management. She manages social sciences at UQ's School of Agriculture and Food Sciences and is responsible for agricultural extension and rural development. In her research she focuses particularly on people-environment relationships, sustainability and resilience, and collaboration processes for natural resource management. Much of her research is community-based, or fosters communication and collaboration between communities and governments.

Helen is a Fellow of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand, and a past winner of its national prize for contributions to environmental management. She chairs Healthy Waterways and Catchments Social Sciences Experts Panel, and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society’s Climate Change Experts Panel. She has been Co-editor of the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management since 2005. She is also an editorial board member of Architectural Science Reviews, International Perspectives on Psychology, One Health, and the International Journal of Social Work and Human Services Practice. She is a former board member of Society and Natural Resources and Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal.

Helen's UQ researcher profile can be found here.

Associate Professor Eric Louw, Centre Associate

Eric Louw has previously worked for a number of South African universities, and run an NGO engaged in media and development work. Louw currently serves on the editorial boards of five journals and is a research Fellow at the University of South Africa.

Associate Professor Kelly Fielding, Centre Associate

Kelly is a social and environmental psychologist whose research focuses on understanding the social and psychological dimensions of environmental decisions and behaviours and developing communication strategies that can promote greater environmental sustainability.

Kelly Fielding is a social and environmental psychologist whose research focuses on understanding the social and psychological dimensions of environmental decisions and behaviours and developing communication strategies that can promote greater environmental sustainability. A key focus of her current research is on sustainable urban water management, specifically, addressing how we can engage communities with this issue, how we can communicate about new water technologies such as recycled water, how we can promote water conservation, and how we can understand and communicate about drinking water supplies. Her research also examines how we can communicate about climate change, understanding and overcoming resistance to science, environmental health risk communication and human dimensions of biodiversity protection. She takes an interdisciplinary approach to her research and has worked with local councils, State Government, and catchment management authorities to undertake this research and has led a range of interdisciplinary, inter-institutional research teams. Kelly is a Senior associate editor for Environment and Behavior.

Kelly's UQ researcher profile can be found here.

Dr Steven Sam

Steven is a transdisciplinary scholar whose research focuses on addressing social and economic injustices among minority and marginalised groups through the creative use of media and communication technologies.

Dr Levi Obijiofor, Centre Associate

Levi has research interests in the impact of new technologies (on journalistic practices, human society ect); international news reporting across cultures; journalism education and training; and media representation of ethnic minorities.

Dr Aparna Hebbani, Centre Associate

Aparna's key research areas are: settlement faced by marginalized communities in Australia, media representation of Muslims/asylum seekers/refugees, media empowerment among marginalised communities, and gender issues in the university environment.

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Dr Lynda Shevellar, Centre Associate

Lynda is an engaged scholar in the field of community development, with a particular interest in community participation and belonging.

Dr Lynda Shevellar is influenced by twenty years of experience and study in community development, the disability sector, education, and psychology. She has worked in government and the community sector and is currently a lecturer in Community Development, within the School of Social Science at UQ. Lynda has worked extensively with community groups and organisations providing training and development, program and service development, and evaluation. Her work focuses upon the dynamics of personal, organisational and social change, and this interest is supported by studies in a range of intersecting fields.

Lynda holds a PhD in Community Development, a Master of Education (Training and Development), a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology, a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education. She is part of the non-profit Community Praxis Co-operative, and serves as a committee member for the local mental health network A Place to Belong. Her recent work focuses upon supporting people with disabilities and mental health challenges to develop a deeper sense of community belonging, and exploration of ethics and choice in mental health support.

Lynda’s UQ researcher profile can be found here.

To find out more about Lynda’s research profile and current projects please see her website.

Dr Nicholas Carah, Centre Associate

Nicholas is interested in branding (specially experiential branding and critical approaches to branding); new media and popular culture; media and urban space; and corporate social responsability.

Dr Scott Downman, Centre Associate

Scott’s research examines the role of media in combating and preventing human exploitation and trafficking. Scott also has particular interest in media ethics, disaster journalism and the connection between citizen journalism and disaster reporting.

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