Rising up

From empowering research students, developing challenging curriculum, undertaking research for social change, to developing deep connections with academics from around the world, Associate Professor Bronwyn Carlson is driven to open up prospects for future Indigenous scholars.

After completing her PhD on the politics of Aboriginal identity in 2012 (for which she received the 2013 Stanner Award), Carlson just a year later received her first Australian Research Council Discovery (Indigenous) grant to explore identity and community in Aboriginal peoples’ use of social media. In 2015, she followed up with her second such grant to extend this research into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander help-seeking behaviours on social media.

Her commitment to research is reflected in her leadership in developing networks to encourage and support Indigenous studies, including the Forum for Indigenous Research Excellence (FIRE) which includes a number of national and international academic members.

These international connections have also allowed Carlson to provide opportunities for Indigenous students - who are significantly underrepresented in cohorts of Australian students on study abroad programs – to travel overseas to present their research and be mentored by leading scholars in academic studies.

Carlson also coordinates and presents two first year undergraduate subjects - “some of the most challenging courses for undergraduate students at the University” according to colleague Professor Paul Chandler – and is in the process of developing a third subject for second year students ‘Working with Indigenous Communities’.

These initiatives combined with her output scholarly publications, contributions to academic publishing, and coordination of (so far) two international symposia bringing together academics, community leaders, and artists, Carlson is securing Indigenous Studies as a field of study at UOW that fosters Indigenous scholarship and professional Indigenous leadership.