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New Director encourages collaborators to share in Northern Institute research successes

New Northern institute Director Professor Kim Humphery plans to focus on what the institute does best by championing collaborative research.
New Northern institute Director Professor Kim Humphery plans to focus on what the institute does best by championing collaborative research.

The new Director of Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) Northern Institute wants to build on the successes that it has had over the past decade.

New Director, Professor Kim Humphery, acknowledged the work that former Director Professor Ruth Wallace had done for the institute and said the Institute’s reputation was a big lure for her to move from RMIT University in Melbourne to Darwin.   

“A big reason why I wanted to be at the Northern Institute, was the research being undertaken and the researchers that are doing it.  It’s just such an interesting and dynamic group of people,” Professor Humphery said.

“Certainly, the Northern Institute seems to be an institute where people have a home, and their work is clearly appreciated and supported.”

Before taking up the role at the Northern Institute, Professor Humphery held various senior positions at RMIT University – as a Deputy and Associate Dean of Research and as Centre of Applied Social Research Director.

Professor Humphery is celebrated for her research on the socio-cultural and political dimensions of consumption and material life. She has also worked extensively on social and cultural aspects of Indigenous health (in the Northern Territory and Victoria) and on cross-cultural research ethics.

Professor Humphery said she would be working to achieve greater impact for research and encourage others to appreciate the Northern Institute’s work through building on existing collaborative research and partnerships.

“The Northern Institute has done a lot of respectful collaboration in its research and is very good at it.  I want to push that further, so our research has the impact it deserves,” she said.

“We want our research to be useful and have impact way beyond the university itself.”

Recently, the Northern Institute led research into creating a social index through a Territory wide survey into people’s social habits and behaviours and how people identify as a Territorian.

The Northern Territory Government is using the data in its development of the Social Outcomes Framework.

Along with its work in policy and demography, the Northern Institute is renowned for its research into Indigenous knowledge sharing and science, regional and remote workforce development, and community resilience and disaster management.

Over the past decade, under the directorship of Professor Ruth Wallace, the Northern Institute has grown to become a major ‘think tank’ in Australia’s north.

Former Northern Institute Director Professor Ruth Wallace said she was looking forward to seeing where Professor Humphery would take the Institute.

“Kim is an outstanding research leader and I’m confident that she will take the Northern Institute to further success delivering a strong legacy of research,” Professor Wallace said.

Professor Wallace continues with CDU as Dean of the College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Arts.

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