About

I work at the interface of community-based social and environmental activism and environmental humanities research. I am currently a Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in Munich, where I am finishing my second book – a collaborative and creative history of an Aboriginal community garden I helped to create with Anaiwan, Dunghutti, Gumbaynggirr and Gamilaroi people in my hometown of Armidale (NSW, Australia).

Between 2014 and 2019 I held a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of New England. In this position I collaborated with Aboriginal Elders and community members to develop and maintain a community garden on a block of land that was once part of an Aboriginal Reserve. The community garden pioneered decolonial methods of participatory research. It simultaneously functioned as a platform for cultural revival and anticolonial activism and a field site for slow and responsive multispecies ethnography. Through a focus on revolutionary environmental thinking that connects multispecies and decolonising research methodologies with social and environmental activism the project enacted a form of world-making in a place of ongoing settler-colonial violence.

The Armidale Aboriginal Community Garden is sited on land that was designated as the East Armidale Aboriginal Reserve in 1958. This area was home to over one hundred Aboriginal people, while also simultaneously serving as the town rubbish dump. At this site of racialised environmental violence and injustice, the community garden offered an off-campus alternative model of publicly engaged justice research – one that seeks not just to communicate key issues to communities, but produces research that emerges from ongoing and immersive engagements with the most pressing concerns of those communities.

My first book, Transdisciplinary Journeys in the Anthropocene: More-than-human Encounters was published with the Routledge Environmental Humanities Series in 2017. I received my PhD from Macquarie University, with the Vice Chancellors award for Excellence in Research, in September 2013. I am also co-editor, with Emily O’Gorman, of the Living Lexicon section of the Environmental Humanities journal.

Kate Wright, Anaiwan Elder Uncle Steve Widders and Gomeroi poet and lecturer Rob Waters. in the Armidale Aboriginal Community Garden (Unpublished photograph courtesy of The Daily Telegraph)