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All are welcome to register for our Workshops @ Canberra!

We are looking forward to sharing a fun and educational day with all of you at the AAS Conference this year. Learn from keynote speaker Amita Baviskar about how she developed her academic career; get tips from Bronwyn Hall on how to present your ethnographic work at academic conferences; and hear from a number of applied anthropologists about how they developed their professional careers.

Registration is free!


10:00am-11:00am: Career development, with Keynote speaker Professor Amita Baviskar

11:00am-12:00pm: Presenting ethnographic work at academic conferences, with Bronwyn Hall

12:00pm-1:00pm: Lunch

1:00pm-2:30pm: Roundtable discussion on applied anthropology careers, with professional anthropologists Marcus Barber, Sophie Chao, Jayne Curnow, Derek Elias, Bronwyn Hall and Leslie Pyne

Information on speakers:

Amita Baviskar

Amita Baviskar received her PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell. She has taught at the University of Delhi and has been a visiting scholar at several universities, including Stanford, Cornell, Yale, SciencesPo and UC Berkeley. Her first book In the Belly of the River: Tribal Conflicts over Development in the Narmada Valley and other writings explore the themes of resource rights, popular resistance and discourses of environmentalism. Recent publications include the edited books Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes (with Raka Ray) and First Garden of the Republic: Nature on the President’s Estate.

Marcus Barber

Dr Marcus Barber is a senior research scientist at CSIRO. He is an environmental anthropologist with the Adaptive Urban and Social Systems program in Land and Water. He has over 15 years field research experience with Aboriginal Australians, focused on contemporary cultural and natural resource management and development. His postgraduate research in Blue Mud Bay, NT contributed directly to a High Court decision recognising indigenous rights to the intertidal zone along the Northern Territory coastline and he has researched and written about Aboriginal freshwater values, rights and interests in key locations in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queensland. He has expertise in the interface between scientific and indigenous knowledges, and recently completed a documentary film about the benefits of indigenous rangers. He has recently published in Human Ecology, the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Ecology and Society, and Settler Colonial Studies.

Sophie Chao

Sophie is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Sydney’s School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry and the Charles Perkins Centre. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Oriental Studies (First Class) and a Master of Science in Social Anthropology from The University of Oxford. Sophie’s PhD at Macquarie University was funded by an International Endeavour Scholarship and received a Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation in 2019. Sophie’s research explores the intersections of capitalism, ecology, and indigeneity in Indonesia, with a specific focus on changing interspecies relations in the context of deforestation and agribusiness development. Her current research deploys inter-disciplinary methods to explore the nutritional and cultural impacts of agribusiness on indigenous food-based socialities, identities, and ecologies.

Jayne Curnow

Dr Jayne Curnow is the Research Program Manager for Social Sciences at ACIAR. Dr Curnow is an anthropologist with extensive leadership experience in international aid and research for development spanning the water, agriculture, natural resource management, legal, economic, and health sectors. Jayne chairs the Gender Committee and led the development of ACIAR Gender Equity Strategy and Policy across the agency and its research programs. Jayne is fluent in Bahasa Indonesian and Malay. The Social Sciences portfolio invests in collaborative research projects between Australian researchers and partners across Asia and the Pacific. Its research themes include livelihoods, agricultural extension, gendered social relations, women’s empowerment, climate adaptation, ecosystems and natural resource management.

Derek Elias

Dr. Derek Elias is a career diplomat and development expert with more than two decades of international experience in the field of education planning and programme management, post conflict and post disaster response, sustainable development, cultural heritage protection, indigenous land tenure and negotiations with resource extraction companies. While at UNESCO Derek led a team in Myanmar post Cyclone Nargis which was recognized as overall winner (programme) with the most recent Team Award of the Director General conferred in 2009. He was the leader of assessment and evaluation of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development established in 2009 in Delhi. In 2011 he was appointed UNESCO Representative to the Palestinian Authority at the time when UNESCO was the first UN agency to admit Palestine as a full member state.

Bronwyn Hall

Bronwyn Hall currently works at the Adelaide Gaol. She grew up in Sydney and Griffith, NSW, and studied social work and anthropology. Often on the move, she has spent the past two decades working, studying and travelling around the world. In Australia, while working at the University of Sydney, she noticed how much students at all levels of academia –from apprehensive first-years to time-poor post-graduates– struggled with writing essays. She founded an online resource to teach students essay writing skills called The Research Den ( and wrote her first book, The Night Before Essay Planner. In 2009, she won the University of Newcastle Leadership Award and the Golden Key Asia-Pacific Entrepreneur Award for her services to students. She lives in Adelaide and has recently completed her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Adelaide.

Leslie Pyne

Leslie Pyne is an early career Applied Anthropologist who works alongside Australia’s First Nations peoples to promote sustainable, community-led development initiatives. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Wesleyan University (USA) and recently completed a Master of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development from The Australian National University with a specialisation in Indigenous Policy and Development. She has spent over seven years living and working in very remote pockets of the Northern Territory and Samoa, undertaking anthropological fieldwork and community development projects for a variety of NGOs and a land council. Most recently, her research focused on mapping Aboriginal kinship in locally meaningful ways and working with the Anindilyakwa people of Groote Eylandt to strengthen data sovereignty and governance around the management of community genealogies.