Research Support Staff

ICS has a growing cohort of research support staff (comprising research associates, research assistants and research officers). Research support staff bring a wide range of interdisciplinary skills and interests to their roles, contributing significantly to the innovative and collaborative research that is characteristic of ICS.


Cecelia Cmielewski

Profile photo of Cecelia CmielewskiCecelia Cmielewski was awarded her doctorate from Western Sydney University through the Institute of Culture and Society in 2018. Her research interests address inclusion in the creative sectors with a focus on the relationship between creative production and multicultural policies. Her thesis researches the relationship between the experiences and practices of artists of non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB) and key arts policies through a consideration of the roles of creative and organisational leadership. Cecelia is a Research Officer on the ARC Discovery Project UNESCO and The Making of Global Cultural Policy: Culture, Economy, Development. She was project manager and contributing researcher on the ARC funded project Recalibrating Culture, and was a principal investigator on the ARC funded Large Screens and Transnational Public Sphere. She held senior roles at the Australia Council, the Federal Government's arts funding and advisory agency between 1998 and 2011. She is also a curator, most recently curating meta_narratives for ISEA2015 in the UAE. She holds an MBA (University of Adelaide), Bachelor of Design (University of South Australia) and a Bachelor of Arts (Flinders University).

» Contact Cecelia Cmielewski

Jakki Mann

Consultant Jakki Mann is the Manager of the Circles of Sustainability Strategic Initiative, an approach that guides engaged and collaborative practice in making our cities, locales and organisations more sustainable, resilient, adaptable and liveable. Through the Institute's relationship with the City of Berlin, she works with cities to promote case studies of urban sustainability initiatives around the world. Jakki also works as a consultant in communications and arts. She has previously been employed in roles with Darebin Council, Palace Cinemas, the Melbourne International Film Festival, Film Victoria and Internet Icons managing complex arts and community projects, major arts facilities and in the local government sector.


Dr Phillip Mar

Phillip Mar with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.Dr Phillip Mar is an Adjunct Fellow with the Institute for Culture and Society. He has a background in social anthropology and the sociology of culture. His research interests include transnational migration and culture, emotions and migration, and cultural policy. He contributed to Western Sydney University's Linkage project 'The Art of Engagement: Exploring C3 West, A Contemporary Arts Project Around Western Sydney' (2009-2011). At present Phillip is working with Professor Ien Ang of the Institute for Culture and Society on the 'Diversity of Cultural Expressions' project, a research partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts which is developing best practice case studies to guide the implementation of the UNESCO Convention for the Promotion and Protection of Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Information on this partnership is available on the UNESCO website (opens in a new window).

» Contact Dr Phillip Mar (Staff Directory)

Dr Joanne McNeill

Dr Joanne McNeill is a Senior Research Officer at ICS, managing Community Economies research projects and is also a member of the Community Economies Collective. These currently include: the ARC Discovery Project Re-configuring the Enterprise: Shifting Manufacturing Culture in Australia (REMaC) - her primary project; the ARC Discovery Project Strengthening Economic Resilience in Monsoon Asia; and Urban Food Economies: Rethinking Value for ‘More-Than-Capitalist’ Futures.

Joanne was recently awarded her Doctorate in Political and Social Thought, having been supervised by Professor Katherine Gibson at ICS. Her thesis is titled Enabling Social Innovation Assemblages: Strengthening Public Sector Involvement. She has presented papers on her doctoral research at several international research conferences in Europe.

Joanne also undertakes freelance research and writing, having almost 20 years’ experience with the social enterprise, social entrepreneurship and social innovation fields. A key focus has been developing the 'eco-system' and capacity building - including around social procurement, social investment, grant funding, legal structures and forms, demonstrating social impact, and managing partnerships. Joanne is a Churchill Fellow, awarded in 2008.

» Contact Dr Joanne McNeill

Lilly Moody

Lilly Moody is the Research Officer for the Young and Resilient Initiative, a collective of projects that aims to leverage digital technology to understand and promote the health, wellbeing and resilience of young people. Central to the Initiative is the Intergener8 Living Lab which brings together over 100 participants to co-research and design a range of solutions to the complex issues facing young people in Greater Western Sydney. Lilly previously worked as a Research Officer with the Institute for Culture and Society, and as a Research Assistant with the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre at ICS. She has also worked in a range of human rights and young people-centred roles in the NGO sector. She holds a Master of Human Rights and Democratisation and a Bachelor of Arts.

» Contact Lilly Moody

Dr Kim SpurwayDr Kim Spurway

After 13 years working as a research project manager in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Kim Spurway returned to Australia to work on her PhD. One of Kim’s areas of research has been developing more critical approaches to understanding the social impact and consequences of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Kim is particularly interested in the role of situated knowledge and practice as well as the interplay of vulnerability and resilience in humanitarian emergencies and disaster risk reduction. Kim’s prior experience also includes research into the intersecting issues/challenges related to the lived experiences of Australian Aboriginal peoples with disability; disability and disaster risk reduction; disability in resilience/vulnerability discourses; and Aboriginal peoples' Traditional Ecological Knowledge and disaster risk management in Australia. Kim’s research experience has been quite diverse from managing nationwide surveys, conducting focus group discussions and individual interviews to, more recently, conducting systematic evidence reviews. Kim currently works as a Research Officer at the Institute for Culture and Society undertaking research into the social and emotional wellbeing of Australian Aboriginal LGBTIQ+ people with Karen Soldatic and Linda Briskman.

Dr Timothy Erik Ström

Dr Timothy Erik Ström is a research assistant who completed a transdisciplinary PhD at ICS, conducting research across cultural geography, critical political economy, social theory, history of technology, media studies, and ecological ethics. He contributes to several of ICS’s projects, being a principle researcher for the Circles of Emotion (opens in a new window) project, part of the organisational group and a global associate for Circles of Sustainability (opens in a new window) and Circles of Climate (opens in a new window). In addition to this, he contributes regularly to Arena (opens in a new window) and writes science fiction.

» Contact Timothy Erik Ström

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