Researcher biography

I am thrilled and honoured to have been selected as a Global Change Scholar for 2018 – 2019. I am particularly keen to have the opportunity to learn from the other Global Change Scholars as well as through the program itself. I have worked as an organisational design and management ergonomist for over 30 years, particularly focussing on OHS governance and in recent years on governance more broadly. Throughout my career I have worked to shape organisational and governance change to meet the needs of people. In recent years, my focus has been on the extractives industry in Australia and globally, since this industry holds the promise of economic and social development, along with the threat of environmental and human degradation. I am particularly interested in the interplay between agriculture and artisanal and small scale mining as key sources of livelihoods and environmental damage in many low income countries. I have lived on four continents and worked in over 20 countries on these issues, most recently in Afghanistan. I have worked for governments, businesses and Non-Government Organisations to identify, address and shape their responses to global change, particularly economic and social development. Challenges like this cannot be solved without new models of governance, including how international governance can be reshaped and restored. No country can hope to harness these global forces alone – we have to find ways to work cooperatively across borders and continents if there is any hope for the future. 

My research topic seeks to answer the question of why the mining industry and relevant governments have not been able to establish sound transparency and community engagement governance, despite good intentions and significant investment. I am using OHS reform in the mining industry as a comparison to investigate what strategies might have more hope of working to support embedding sound transparency and community engagement approaches in mining organisations. While there have been successes and failures in the OHS domain as well, there is no doubt that the mining industry takes OHS much more seriously now than even 20 years ago. Why did this reform get traction to create change? What actually works to translate good intentions into resilient and effective practices within mining organisations? What can we learn from the undeniable success of OHS reform in the global mining industry?

Andrea's principal advisor is Dr Kathryn Sturman.