A reminder that our D&I Leads Program is up and running.

The D&I Leads program provides a conduit of support for issues relating to D&I across the Institute. D&I Leads are key contact people within IHT who members can reach out to when required. The D&I leads can also support line managers by supporting them to take action on D&I issues by talking through an issue or, more often than not, pointing them in the right direction for assistance and more information.

This month we would like to profile our IHT D&I Lead, Louisa Smith!

I have always been interested in diversity and inclusion, in my personal and professional life. Prior to doing my PhD, I was a high school teacher of English and English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D). As a high school teacher, particularly in EAL/D, you quickly realise that you aren’t teaching content, but you are teaching children. And to teach all the children in the room required complex attention to inclusion and diversity, attention which was sometimes made more difficult by standardised curriculums and assessment pressures. This experience did pique my interest in universal design for learning.

I am currently Senior Lecturer in Disability and Inclusion in the School of Health and Social Development. I am a sociologist and mid-career researcher with an interest in disability when it intersects with other forms of social marginalisation, such as age, being from a refugee or asylum seeker background and identifying as LGBTIAQ+. I use a range of participatory and inclusive approaches in my research including participatory action research, co-design, methods from design thinking (like journey mapping) and arts-based methods (like body mapping).

I’m really looking forward to being a touch point for you around any questions you might have about diversity and inclusion. 

D&I Leads include:

Louisa Smith (louisa.smith@deakin.edu.au)

Laura Alston (laura.alston@deakin.edu.au)

Diane Russack (d.russack@deakin.edu.au)

Sara Holton (s.holton@deakin.edu.au)

Utsana Tonmukayakul (utsana.tonmukayakul@deakin.edu.au)

Kathryn Backholer (Kathryn.backholer@deakin.edu.au)