I am an Associate Professor in Curriculum Inquiry and Rural Education at the University of Canberra, where I convene units across the fields of Educational Sociology and Curriculum Inquiry. My major ongoing research focuses on place, the sustainability of rural communities, and the interests of the least powerful in our society. My work is situated within rural sociology, the sociology of knowledge, educational sociology and social justice and is informed by the spatial turn in social theory and sustainability. I have an ongoing concern about quality and equity in education and the representation of the rural in contemporary society. My research works to disrupt the meta-narratives that have dominated, and hijacked, these import fields through the application of critical theory. My research demonstrates how the technologies of governance magnify disadvantage and deny situated knowledge’s when examined from a ‘place conscious’ critical perspective. I have a significant research track record that extends to my pre-university career, completing major national research projects in the staffing of rural and remote schools and managing large-scale school based research projects. I received my PhD from Charles Sturt University, Australia. My Dissertation received the annual ‘best dissertation award’ from the American Educational Research Association Rural Special Interest Group.
Before joining the University of Canberra, in 2009, I was a classroom teacher and Head Teacher for 12 years in rural NSW Public High schools. I have held various positions in the teachers’ union, curriculum board and teacher registration authority. I am the Chief Investigator for the project ‘Enhancing aspirations for STEM careers in rural, regional and remote communities’. Prior to this project I was chief investigator for the Towards Place Based Education in the Murray-Darling Basin project. I was the 2015 recipient of the bi-annual Australian Curriculum Studies Association-Pearson Colin Marsh award for the best paper in the preceding two years of the journal Curriculum Perspectives. In 2013 he was a recipient of the Vice Chancellors award for Teaching Excellence. I am a Chief Editor for the Australian and International Journal of Rural Education and national convener of the Rural Education Special Interest Group for the Australian Association for Research in Education.
I pay my respects to, and acknowledge, the traditional custodians of the land on which I live – Gundungurra country, work – Ngunnawal Country, travel through and am fortunate enough to visit.