This past year of research for me has been both busy and exciting. I still love working as a researcher and enjoy the ECU environment. Since completing my PhD in 2008, I have been on short term contracts, and in June 2011 I began an ongoing research-only contract with the School of Management, Faculty of Business and Law.
This has been significant for me in a number of ways. First, the move to this school places me alongside colleagues with complementary and similar research interests. Second, I have been actively applying for category one grants, mentored closely by Professor Rowena Barrett. This relationship has been collegial and encouraging as well as extremely helpful, as I have noticed a marked improvement in my writing ability in the past two months. Working with successful and high calibre colleagues is essential in developing a research career. Third, I am actively writing grant applications and publishing journal articles in my area of expertise of Occupational Health and Safety and Risk Management. I have come to realise I have much to offer in this area with few academics in Australia with this expertise. The School of Management are supporting my career development through mentoring as well as encouraging the growth of OHS expertise. My hope is to build on this in the years to come including developing higher degree students.
I am currently working on four research projects for state government and private industry partners. Most of my research involves engagement with industry and sits nicely within the university’s strategic goals. I have found that by conducting research in this way, policy and practice are influenced and changed and this leads to improved conditions for Australian business, workers and the community.