Institute Associates

Institute Associates are people who are deemed to have a sufficient connection to the Institute where both parties would benefit from the identification and declaration of the association. Naming Institute Associates is a way of consolidating our relationship with individuals with whom we are working on strategic and other projects. This group of associates ranges from local community-based practitioners and researchers to scholars and practitioners across the many places of our strategic engagement.

Dr Liz Clarke

Photo of Liz Clarke

Liz Clarke is a transdisciplinary researcher and practitioner with interests spanning complex integrated systems, sustainability science, research-policy engagement, and knowledge co-production and governance, as well as a background in natural resource and rural systems research and development. She recently completed her PhD on transdisciplinary research methodology, and lectures part-time at the Fenner School for Environment and Society at the Australian National University in society and environmental change, sustainable rural systems, and research practice. She has more than 25 years experience' in international development assistance and rural research for development (including senior management and leadership roles), in the public sector (internationally and nationally – including aid and donor organisations), industry organisations and business, and six years as the director of a research management support, communications and strategy consultancy.

Dr Luigi Di Martino

Luigi_Di_MartinoLuigi Di Martino (PhD, Institute for Culture and Society) has research interests in public diplomacy, social media engagement and digital methods. Recent works have focused on theories and practices of social media listening in public diplomacy and the assessment of social media engagement in international communication. His recent publication (opens in a new window) for the Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy, in which he sets out a taxonomy of listening in public diplomacy, has been defined as a “path-breaking” piece. He is the Student & Early Career Representative for the Public Diplomacy Interest group at the International Communication Association. In 2019, he received the “Top Student Award of the Public Diplomacy Interest Group” at the 69th Annual International Communication Association Conference. He teaches courses in social media analysis and engagement, data visualisation and digital research methods at Western Sydney University and the University of New South Wales. Luigi is also actively involved in community services for the Italian community in New South Wales. He currently servers as Vice President and Elected Member of the Committee of Italians Abroad. Check out his website here (opens in a new window)

Dr Sunil Dubey

Sunil Dubey is a thought leader in connecting global cities through people to people and institutional networks. He specialises in areas of governance and public assets, urban innovation, and institutional capacity building at government levels. He is one of the founding members and trustees of Geneva foundation for governance and public policy, which operates Centre de Recherche pour la Sécurité et le Dévelopement and Geneva graduate school of governance. Sunil was Metropolis Ambassador and senior advisor to the Metropolis World Association between 2008 to 2018. He has advised and conducted executive training programmes for the local governments of Guangzhou, Seoul, Mashhad, Johannesburg, Dubai, Delhi, Buenos Aires and Barcelona on innovation, city leadership, sustainability and smart cities. Sunil was executive board member of Citiscope publications, now part of Thompson Reuters foundation and member of World Economic Forum’s advisory board for Urban Development and Infrastructure. He had earlier chaired the property chapter of Australia India Business Council and was a technical director and executive board member for not-for-profit registered community housing provider Common Equity NSW (Australia). He earned his PhD doctorate at the University of Sydney in government ownership of public assets where is teaches in property and asset management. He is an adjunct professor at Asian School of Architecture and Design innovation in Cochin, India.

Dr Terry Kass

Photo of Terry Kass

Terry Kass (Master of Arts (Hons), PhD) is a consulting historian with specific expertise in land records and research. He is a founding member of the Professional Historians' Association, NSW. His publications include Parramatta: A Past Revealed, with Carol Liston and John McClymont; Sails to Satellites: The Surveyors General of NSW (1786-2007), NSW Dept of Lands, Bathurst, 2008; Jewels in the Crown: A History of the Bridge Street Plan Room and Crown Plans, NSW Dept of Lands, Bathurst, 2008; Grafton – Jacaranda City on the Clarence: A History, Clarence Valley Council, Grafton, 2009.

Giulia Maci

Photo of Giulia Maci

Giulia is a urban planning and policies expert. Currently she is the Coordinator of the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) that gathers five influential European development institutes (ODI, ECDPM, IAI, DIE and IDDRI) advancing research on European development policies. Giulia has worked as international consultant at COWI Denmark and as programme manager and researcher at IHS in Rotterdam and the International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP) in Copenhagen, developing and managing international urban projects. Giulia is specialised in smart mobility, urban renovation programs and community-based action planning with work experience in more than 20 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Giulia is also the president and co-founder of Urbego, an international NGO composed by a team of architects, economists and social innovators. Urbego aims to develop and test processes of integration, social inclusion and sustainable development through participatory planning, youth engagement and cultural mapping.

Ramon Marrades

Ramon MarradesRamon Marrades is an urban economist, writer, and activist with a passion for people and places. He is currently Director at Placemaking Europe and strategy advisor to a number of cities and large-scale development projects. Before, he has served as the Chief Strategy and Finance Officer at La Marina de València, Valencia’s waterfront redevelopment agency, and a board member of the Worldwide Network of Port Cities (AIVP). Ramon is co-editor of the book “Our City? Countering Exclusion in Public Space” (2019) and the host and co-curator of Placemaking Week Europe 2019. His work focuses on the interface between public space and economic development.

Dr Abby Mellick Lopes

Dr Abby Mellick Lopes

Abby Mellick Lopes is a design theorist with over 20 years' practical and academic experience in the field of design for sustainability, originating with her membership of the pioneering research and education consultancy the EcoDesign Foundation from 1996-2004. Her engaged research focuses on the relationship between design and social arrangements to support the transition to more sustainable cultures and economies, intersecting with a broad range of disciplinary fields including cultural studies, sociology, geography and planning. Abby has published extensively on sustainable design, transdisciplinarity and transdisciplinary education. She also contributes to scholarly discourse on design, ontological design and image ecologies, and her work has been presented in the UK, US, Canada, Cyprus, Spain, Malaysia and China. Abby is also an Associate of the Studio at the Edge of the World.

Abby currently holds the position of Associate Professor Design Studies at UTS. In addition to her role as Associate at the Institute for Culture and Society she holds an Adjunct role in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University. Contact Abby at

Dr Keith D. Parry

Keith D. Parry is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Winchester (UK). His research interests are based on the sociology of sport, with a focus on sports fandom and the spectator experience. His research has made use of innovative methodologies, such as Autoethnography, to provide a greater understanding of sports fans. He has collaborated with international colleagues to publish studies on international sports fandom and has co-edited a book examining the relationship between football codes and community. Keith’s PhD examined the formation of sports heroes within the setting of a new professional sports team (the GWS GIANTS), it investigated when and how heroes are formed, and who (or what) dictates their emergence. His research has examined issues around identity, masculinity, and the conflicts between country and culture in Australia. This research has provided him with a deep insight into both the sociology of sport (and sports fans) and the Greater Western Sydney region. He frequently contributes to The Conversation and his research is regularly highlighted within the mainstream media. Contact Keith at

Dr Vincent Ogu

Photo of Vincent Ogu

Vincent Ogu has research interests in urban services and housing; urban sustainability and liveability; cultural diversity, migrants and globalisation. He held a prestigious research fellowship at the University of New South Wales and taught urban social policy at Western Sydney University. He has experience in public and council sectors and held senior roles in research and planning. Chair of Liverpool MRC, Vincent was cited at the Australian Federal Parliament for contributions to migrants' settlement and NSW Government appointed him to the Ministerial Roundtable on Workplace Diversity. Author of published works, cited by international reputable agencies, Vincent holds a doctorate from Cambridge University.

Dr Louise Ryan

Photo of Louise Ryan

Louise Ryan has worked extensively as an educator and researcher in the area of cultural studies, particularly art and cultural development in the museum context. Her recently completed PhD investigated the museum as a contested space, especially the promotion of cross-cultural understanding, identity formation, inclusiveness and belonging. Current projects explore society's relationship with its cultural and natural environments and the perceived value and conflict that these cultural/artistic endeavours generate; cultural exchanges and their role in promoting national identity and a common cultural space; and the role that heritage sites and museums contribute to our understanding and knowledge of migration, colonisation and displacement.

David Sweeting

Photo of David Sweeting

David Sweeting (opens in a new window)is an is an urban development expert in areas of urban innovation, social entrepreneurship and participatory urban governance. He is Founder and Director of The Urban Platform Studio (opens in a new window), an urban innovation and research consultancy which supports assessment, design and evaluation of social services, social infrastructure and service delivery platforms in cities across Asia-Pacific. David is a former Urban Technical Advisor and Innovation Lead for Save the Children Australia, and previously worked with World Vision International's Centre for Urban Programming, World Vision Australia, World Vision Pacific Development Group, RMIT Global Cities Program, Development Planning Unit, and Baan Mankong Housing Program. In 2015, he co-founded a technology start-up called Kolorob - a service finder and youth employment application for marginalised urban communities - with Save the Children Bangladesh and Save the Children Australia, and research support from ICS at Western Sydney University. Kolorob has won several awards including a national mobile application award in Bangladesh; the MIT Solve Youth, Skills and Workforce of the Future Challenge; and the DFAT Indo-Pacific Development Prize.

Dr Erin B. Taylor

Erin_TaylorErin B. Taylor (opens in a new window) is an economic anthropologist who researches financial issues, including product use, money culture and financial inclusion. Her PhD (University of Sydney, 2009) examined material culture and social transformation in the Dominican Republic, resulting in the book Materializing Poverty: How the Poor Transform Their Lives (2013, AltaMira). After taking up a postdoctoral position at the University of Lisbon in 2011, Erin became fascinated with interdisciplinary approaches to financial behaviour and co-produced the Consumer Finance Research Methods Toolkit (2016, IMTFI).During this period she also conducted a three-year research project on mobile money in Haiti (with Heather Horst). In 2017 she defected from academia to co-found a business, Canela Consulting, which aims to translate academic insights for broader use. Most recently, Erin has been looking into the emergence of financial tools designed specifically for women or primarily used by them. She is also co-organizer of the research group of the European Women Payments Network (EWPN). Contact Erin at


Sign up to our mailing list