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Northern Institute

Demography and growth planning

People of NI
Researcher Fiona Shalley next to Nightcliff sandstone cliffs
Associate Professor Andrew Taylor

PhD, M.Bus, Grad Cert (Management), B.A.

Dr Andrew Taylor

: 08 8946 6692

: Casuarina campus, CDU

CDU research portal


  • Impacts from population changes in northern and sparsely settled areas
  • Population projections
  • Indigenous populations and the changing demography
  • Policy implications for population change in communities

Andrew researches the causes and consequences of population change for the Northern Territory of Australia and northern regions more broadly. He undertakes both quantitative and qualitative research to understand the impacts of policy, economic and structural changes on communities. In his PhD, he investigated policy and theoretical implications of changing migration practices for Indigenous Territorians. Prior to academia, Andrew worked for a decade with the Australian Bureau of Statistics. He currently teaches the masters level subject Topics in Human Geography.

Dr Sigurd Dyrting

Ph.D (Physics), B. Sc.(Hons)

Researcher Sigurd Dyrting

: 08 8946 6738 

: Casuarina campus, CDU

CDU research portal


  • Estimation techniques for small populations
  • Creating software to help practitioners prepare key demographic inputs.

Sigurd specialises in the application of mathematical, statistical, and computational methods to demographic problems. His current research is on estimation techniques for small populations with an emphasis on preparing inputs used by practitioners for demographic analysis and population projections.

Dr Dávid Karácsonyi

Ph.D. (Human Geography), M.Sc. (Geography, Regional and Urban Development)

Researcher David Karacsonyi

: 08 8946 7457

:  Casuarina campus, CDU

CDU research portal


  • Spatial analysis, GIS and thematic mapping of population trends
  • Construct, manage, manipulate and maintain demographic and labour market databases
  • Intersect different data sources such as ABS Census and Table Builder data with NT government and Geoscience Australia data to provide new insights into spatial relations
  • Assessing spatial data and its limitations in the remote and sparsely populated context

David completed his first PhD studies at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary) in 2009 and his second at Charles Darwin University in 2023.

David is interested in the geography of remote, peripheral and rural areas. While he has a strong quantitative approach to analysing spatial processes and relations, his aspiration is to assess empirical results and data limitations in a social and cultural context. His PhD, for example, was related to the understanding of the human–geography nexus behind the existence of sparsely populated regions such as the Australian ‘Outback’.

Jodi Cowdery

 PhD (in progress), Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), Bachelor of Laws, Master of Justice

Researcher Jodi Cowdery

:  08 8946 6367

:  Casuarina campus, CDU

Jodi is a proud long-term Territorian, originally from southeast Queensland, is a descendant of the Murri people from the Cunnamulla and Goodooga regions, as well as having English, Irish and Scottish ancestry. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), a Bachelor of Laws, and a Master of Justice. Jodi has over 15 years' experience working for both Australian and Territory Governments including senior roles in law and policy, compliance and enforcement, and economic regulation of utilities and major infrastructure.   

Fiona Shalley

 PhD (in progress), BSc (Hons), Grad Cert Statistics.

Researcher Fiona Shalley

: 08 8946 7782 

: Casuarina campus, CDU

CDU research portal


  • Enhancing quantitative data sources with qualitative research to enrich data storytelling.
  • Supporting ethical data linkage and data integration to make the most of existing data sources.
  • Helping people to better understand the inherent uncertainty associated with population forecasts so they can make informed decisions for policy, planning, and infrastructure and business investments.
  • Visualising data to aid understanding and to make statistics more accessible.

With a previous career spanning more than 20 years with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Fiona Shalley is an experienced data practitioner. This experience has included 2011 Census data collection management in Northern Australia, national household survey design, complex data processing activities, and statistical analysis and publication. Fiona has had a particular interest in data about and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, being the immediate past Director of the National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics. She is passionate about helping people access and use the extensive ABS data holdings and has run workshops aimed at encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers to gain quantitative data skills.

Fiona has worked with the CDU Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor – Indigenous Leadership on Indigenous student access to higher education and has co-authored a report providing a statistical overview of Aboriginal adult English literacy and numeracy skills in the Northern Territory.

Fiona is currently leading the research project. 

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