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Personal profile


Deb teaches in the Journalism program in the School of Media, Film and Journalism.

She coordinates the undergraduate capstone unit Journalism and Global Change. She also helps coordinate the Master of Journalism degree, which includes a new international program, Journalism Futures: New York Field School.

Deb supervises PhD and Masters student research projects across disciplines including Journalism, Media and Communications, and History.

Born in north Queensland, Deb developed a passion for independent journalism while working for a range of newspapers and magazines in Australia and Britain. Highlights include roles as a features writer on education for Melbourne’s daily Age and news subeditor across four national elections for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Deb enjoys working on collaborative research projects that bring together people in university, industry and communities. For her PhD, Deb completed a longitudinal study of rural Australian experiences of drought, in a partnership between the University of Melbourne and Museum Victoria. The thesis was nominated for the University Chancellor’s Prize, while the oral history recordings at the heart of the project formed a new collection for Museum Victoria. This work also became her first book, Endurance: Australian Stories of Drought (CSIRO Publishing, 2014).

Deb is now extending a longitudinal approach to interview-based research through a range of projects with Monash University. Since 2013 she has been recording stories of crisis, loss and renewal in Queensland communities affected by cyclone. In 2016, she will embark on a new project to record stories in Victorian communities recovering from bushfire, too. This research aims to examine the experience and meaning of extreme weather events for ordinary people, in an era of politicized discourse on climate.

Deb’s fascination with climate likely stems from her youth spent in the Wet Tropics, where it can rain up to 200 days a year.

Get to know more about Deb’s career here.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Research area keywords

  • Sociology of Risk
  • Disaster history
  • Lived experience
  • Journalism studies
  • Cultural studies
  • Environmental communication

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or