About the Authors

Associate Professor Theresa Petray (she/her) is an Associate Professor in Sociology and Head of the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences academic group, at James Cook University. Her research and teaching both centre on the concepts of agency and social change. Theresa is committed to using her academic work to contribute to social justice.

Theresa is a Research Fellow of The Cairns Institute (TCI) and Theme Leader of the Social & Environmental Justice group at TCI.

Her primary research focus is on Aboriginal activism and self-determination. Her current research, with the Gugu Badhun nation, looks at economic development and nation-building through the lens of self-determination. This research has led to important partnerships with researchers around Australia and internationally and was funded by an ARC Discovery Award, administered through UTS 2019-2023.

Theresa has researched Aboriginal protest movements in North Queensland as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social media activism. In particular, she is interested in the ways that seemingly marginalised people exercise agency to speak back to power.

Theresa also has research and professional interests in gender equity. From 2018-2022 she was Coordinator of JCU’s Gender Equity Action & Research team (formerly Gender Equity Self-Assessment Team). In this role, she led the development of JCU’s SAGE Athena Swan Bronze Award application and the subsequent implementation of the Gender Equity Action Plan.

Theresa supervises JCU students in sociology and related disciplines and has been on supervisory panels for research students from the University of Sydney, the University of Copenhagen, and Ben Gurion University. In 2022, Theresa was awarded JCU’s Advisory Panel Member of the Year award, and in 2016 JCU’s Early Career Advisor of the Year award.

Associate Professor Nick Osbaldiston is a sociologist who joined James Cook University in 2015. He has previously worked at the University of Melbourne, Monash University and Federation University (Gippsland). Nick currently works in the College of Arts, Society and Education and is a teaching and research academic. He is also currently a research fellow with the Cairns Institute.

Nick’s research work predominantly covers the areas of lifestyle migration, internal migration, social theory, place and Australia’s coasts, higher education labour and climate change adaptation. In the past, he has published several books including Understanding Lifestyle Migration with Professor Michaela Benson (Palgrave, 2014), Seeking Authenticity in Place, Culture and Self (Palgrave, 2012) and Towards a Sociology of the Coast (Palgrave, 2019). He has also published widely on higher education labour culminating in the book The Social Structures of Global Academia with Dr Fabian Cannizzo (Routledge, 2019).

Nick is currently working on several projects including work with colleagues from the University of Sydney investigating internal migration within Australia. In addition to this, he is working on a project detailing return migration of domestic migrants into regional places, such as Tasmania and has produced reports on internal migration to Tasmania in the past. Nick is also working on a follow-up monograph on Australian coasts as places of historical and future importance for Australia.

He has extensive experience with honours and PhD students in sociology, geography, planning and theory. Currently, he is supervising students in various areas and is available for supervision, especially in areas of population and sociology.

Nick currently serves also as the Australian Sociological Association Social Theory Thematic Group co-convener and on the editorial board of Australian Planner and Societies.


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Exploring Sociology in the Antipodes: Introduction to Sociology – 1st Australian Edition Copyright © 2023 by Theresa Petray and Nick Osbaldiston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.