Research Groups

Our research spans a number of fields and we work together in multidisciplinary groups. Our research groups range from formal collaborations to informal groups of researchers working together on a theme or challenge. Often multidisciplinary, these groups bring together researchers at all career stages with partners and stakeholders on a range of activities that is of local, national or international importance.

   Abu Dhabi University Global Engagement Program Group

SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Abu Dhabi university global engagement

In 2021, Walid Bakry joined the Abu Dhabi university global engagement program and his research team successfully secured internal funding of USD 10,000 by being successful in the Abu Dhabi university annual funding competition in support of high-quality and impactful research. Currently, two papers from that grant are submitted to Q1 journals and both are under revision.


Dr Walid Bakry

External Research Partners:
Professor Sherine Farouk | Associate Provost of Academic Projects, College of Business, Abu Dhabi University
Dr Xuan-Hoa Nghiem | Faculty of Economics and Management, International School, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam

Current Research Projects:
Does technological progress makes OECD countries greener? New evidence from panel CS-ARDL

   Asia Pacific Economic and Financial Development

SDG 4 - Quality Education SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Studies Circle of Asia Pacific Economic and Financial Development

This research group was formed in 2008. Several colleagues from economics and finance group, as well as some colleagues from other disciplines of SoB and the post graduate students are the participants of this group. A number of collaborative research outputs and outcomes have been realised from the discussions on the various economic, finance and management issues in the Asia Pacific region.


Kingsley Agho | School of Health Science
Nichole Georgeou | Humanitarian and Development Research Initiative (HADRI)

External Research  Partners:
Professor Frank W. Agbola | College of Human and Social Future, University of Newcastle
Dr Gazi Hassan | University of Waikato
Dr Zaira Adnan | The Millennium Universal College, Pakistan

Current Research Projects:
Institutional Quality and remittances flow to the developing countries
Remittances, economic development and educational attainment

   Carbon Accounting and Sustainability

SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production SDG 13 - Climate Action SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Carbon Accounting and Sustainability

It has become alarmingly apparent that moving towards a low-carbon world is critical. For current and future accounting professionals, these changes carry an opportunity to directly support climate change mitigation in many ways. This group is led by Professor Qingliang Tang, and consists of active researchers from Australia, North America, the UK, China and Hong Kong. The members of the group are among the top 50 authors in the field of carbon accounting in terms of citation in business journals (Zahra Borghei 2021) and top contributors to publication on carbon accounting in accounting journals (He et al. 2021).

Our research team contributes to the knowledge in understanding how accounting can play a role in transition to carbon neutrality. We focus on developing carbon management frameworks and providing research-based insights for policymakers and companies. Our research helps Australian firms to achieve longterm sustainable development by adopting proactive climate-change strategy. It explores how businesses change their carbon disclosure, performance and management practices in response to new carbon regulations, and how these changes may impact business operations and stakeholders’ behaviours and decisions. All these research projects have significant practical implications and help our industries better transition to carbon neutrality.

We have developed various carbon accounting teaching materials for undergraduate and postgraduate students so that they are equipped with the most cutting-edge carbon accounting knowledge. We have a strong publication track record in carbon accounting. Our team has so far published book chapters and papers in high-quality international research journals (including 4A* and 21A), and our paper ‘Gender Diversity, Board Independence, Environmental Committee and Greenhouse Gas Disclosure’, published in British Accounting Review (A*), was recognised as the most cited article (all-time) in 2021 (Google Scholar citations: 910).

We have led and participated in many competitive research projects funded both internally and by external funding organisations. Furthermore, we currently have six higher degree by research (PhD and master’s) students at Western Sydney University and have had six PhD students in carbon accounting complete within the past 10 years at Western Sydney University alone – excluding those at other universities in our group. In addition, one of our PhD graduates, Le Luo, was named on Stanford University’s prestigious World’s Top 2% Scientists List (in the Accounting field), which lists the most widely cited of the more than 8 million active scientists worldwide in various disciplines. Moreover, our group members have served as ad hoc reviewers for more than 30 high-quality journals and as associate editors, guest editors and editorial board members for a range of the top accounting journals.

Professor Qingliang Tang
Dr Hanlu (Ruby) Fan
Professor Yi-Chen Lan

External Research Partners:
Professor Hongtao Shen | Jinan University
Professor George Shan | University of Western Australia
Professor Simon Gao | Edinburgh Napier University
Professor Robin Hui Huang | Chinese University of Hong Kong
Professor Yue Li | University of Toronto
Dr Le Luo | Macquarie University
Dr Lie Ming Tang | University of Sydney

   Circular Economy Research

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities SDG 13 - Climate Action SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Circular Economy

The circular economy is an innovative model for rethinking our approach to products and services.  The group research interest is guided by three principles: eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials (at their highest value), and regenerate nature. Our work is focused on research, education, and skills generation and we collaborate with a network of educational, industrial, and institutional partners to support the implementation of the circular economy.

Associate Professor Maria Estela Varua | School of Business, Economics and Finance
Dr Dorothea Bowyer | School of Business, Accounting
Dr Dharma Hagare | School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment

Research Assistants:
Dr Swami Palanisami | School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment
Dr Neha Deo | School of Business, Economics and Finance

External Research  Partners:
Dr Tu Anh Tran | Institute of Smart City Management, University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City (UEH)
Dr Loan Le Thanh | Department of Agriculture and Natural Resource and Environment; College of Economics, Law and Government - University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City (UEH)
Ms Dung Lai Phuong | Institute of Smart City Management, University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City (UEH)
Mr Tu Tran | Portland State University’s Hatfield School of Government; World Bank Group
Dr Murat Akpinar | JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Finland

Current Research Projects include:
Communication Strategies within Western Sydney LGAs Regarding Waste/Recycling Practices
FOGO Waste Contamination Among Local Councils in Western Sydney: An Appreciative Inquiry Approach
Urban Planning and FOGO Waste - Is Western Sydney Ready?
City Deals: Barriers, Challenges, and Drivers: An Australian Perspective
Examining Waste Management Practices within the Western Sydney City Deal
SMEs and their Circular Economy Practice Adoption: A Comparative Examination of Australia and Vietnam
Lessons from Finnish SMEs and their Circular Economy Practices: What can Australia Learn?

   Cost–Benefit Analysis

SDG 3 - Good Health and Wellbeing SDG 4 - Quality Education SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production SDG 13 - Climate Action

cost benefit analysis

This group aims to improve the practice of cost–benefit analysis in NSW and beyond.

We seek to ensure that new programs and policy are correctly evaluated and that all economic, social and environmental implications have been considered. As such, we seek to evaluate new projects and policy and affect decisions regarding the allocation of resources.

Where relevant and appropriate, we seek to change CBA guidelines, write public submissions on existing CBAs of new projects, and improve the analysis of new projects and policy indirectly through the upskilling of public servants.

Associate Professor Neil Perry
Associate Professor Kathy Tannous
Associate Professor Maria Estela Varua
Dr Heath Spong
Dr Edward Mariyani-Squire

   Exploring Local Government in NSW

SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production SDG 13 - Climate Action

Exploring Local Government in NSW


Our group shares a passion for research in NSW Local Government and focuses on mixed-method studies in the areas of Infrastructure Asset Management, Waste Management, Regional Airport Management and various other interesting projects that link Economic Growth and Urban Planning while exploring their impact on Governance and Leadership,  Service Delivery and Community Engagement.

Dr Dorothea Bowyer
Associate Professor Maria Estela Varua

External Researchers:
Ciorstan Smark | University of Wollongong, Australia
Greg Jones | University of Southern Queensland, Australia
Claire Beattie | Lincoln University, New Zealand
Leanda Garvie | Forest Research Institute, UniSC
John Sands | University of Southern Queensland
Toni Brackin | University of Southern Queensland

Research Assistants:
Dr Neha Deo
Dr Khalida Malik

PhD Candidates:
Mrs. Sarka Dvorakova

Current Research Projects:
Exploring SDGs and sustainability reporting by local government in Australia with a focus on council accountability
Waste Management practices in NSW LGAs
Barriers & Challenges of City Deal models
Regional Aviation & ESG Reporting in NSW LG
The use of collaborative auto-ethnography in assessing LG reporting
Stakeholder perspectives on urban planning

   Finance and Investment Group

SDG 5 - Gender Equality SDG 13 - Climate Action

Finance and Investment GroupBackground:
The group will focus on the following research areas:
1. Behavioral Finance
2. Asset Allocation
3. Empirical Asset Pricing
4. Culture Finance
5. Climate Finance
6. Cryptocurrency
7. Finance and Wellbeing


Associate Professor Anil Mishra
Professor Kevin Daly
Dr Siddharth Jain
Dr Kelly Liu

External Research Partners:
Dr Jacie Liu | Australian National University
Dr Zahid Hassan | University of Notre Dame, Australia
Dr Thao Tran | International School of Business, UEH, Vietnam
Dr Le Anh Tuan | International School of Business, UEH, Vietnam

   Financial Literacy, Financial Planning and Financial Wellbeing

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Financial LiteracyBackground:
Led by Dr Michelle Cull, this emerging research group falls under two of the University’s major themes (Health and Wellbeing, and Education and Work) and aligns with the School’s priority research initiative of Fair Go for Australian Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services.

Membership consists of both staff and HDR students who have an interest in engaged research in the topic area that has both an academic and practical impact. During 2021, the group provided support and feedback to one another on research in the field and established small research groups to discuss research topics that crossed disciplinary boundaries with the objective to apply for external grants and publish high-impact journal articles.


Dr Michelle Cull
Dr Connie Vitale
Dr Walid Bakry
Graeme Mitchell
Greg Cunningham

PhD Candidates:
Sharne Plumb
Csilla Skultety
Siddarth Jain
Loretta Iskra

   Innovation, Technology and Supply Chain Management Research for Business Growth and Competitiveness (INTUIT)

SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Innovation, Technology and Supply Chain ManagementBackground:
The INTUIT research group carries out research under the three main themes of innovation, technology, and supply chain management, focusing on conducting cutting-edge research addressing the rapid changes in Australian and global business contexts. It focuses primarily on small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and aims to create new knowledge that informs decisions and innovative practices of SMEs in their responses to be relevant and adaptive to rapid technological advancements and be socially and environmentally responsible.

The multidisciplinary expertise of member researchers and emerging higher degree researchers is harnessed through dynamic research collaborations and an expansive approach towards projects. The research team has demonstrated capabilities in using a diverse set of research methods and the capability in innovative designs and deliveries of empirical and operations research projects using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Associate Professor Dilupa Nakandala and Dr Henry Lau have published their collaborative research projects in top-tier journals, received competitive research funding and been invited to present their research at both local and international conferences. Projects on agribusiness and food supply chain research benefit from the strong partnership with the Global Centre for Land-based Innovation in collaboration with Professor Brajesh Singh and industry partners.

Associate Professor Dilupa Nakandala (lead)
Dr Henry Lau
Dr Hilal Hurriyet
Associate Professor Neil Perry
Dr Premaratne Samaranayake
Associate Professor Stella Wu
Dr Lil Rodriguez Serna

PhD Candidates:
Rola Fanousse
Muhammed Salman Asif
Samanthi Weerabahu

   Managed Aquifer Recharge through Village-level Intervention (MARVI)

SDG 1 - No Poverty SDG 3 - Good Health and Wellbeing SDG 5 - Gender Equality SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities


The overall aim of this project is to improve the security of irrigation water supplies and enhance livelihood opportunities for rural communities. Specifically, the project focuses on assessing the effectiveness of current rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge structures and demand management strategies at village scale. The project aims to develop or adapt suitable best practice guidelines and modelling and assessment tools that can be applied with relatively easily available local information. This study was conducted in Sabarkantha  district in Gujarat and Udaipur district in Rajasthan. Both districts are in hard rock aquifer areas and provide a diversity of transdisciplinary research issues in groundwater recharge and management.

MARVI was successfully scaled out in 11 villages (5 in Rajasthan and 6 in Gujarat), and in response to the Government of India and World Bank’s request for assistance, AWP is supporting WSU to implement MARVI on a wider scale through the ATAL JAL Program. The Program was launched on 29 December 2019 and took effect on 1 April  2020,  and is being rolled out across 8,500 village councils (20,000 villages).

Sunmmaries are given in the marvi-brochure (opens in a new window) (Oct 2016) or the MARVI web site (opens in a new window). The MARVI Declaration (opens in a new window) arising from the Ahmedabad Workshop 30-31 May 2017 summarises workshop outcomes concerning implementation of the concepts, methods and tools developed during the MARVI project.

Professor Basant Maheshwari
Adjunct Professor Roger Packham
Associate Professor Maria Estela Varua
Dr. Dharma Hagare

Research Partners:
CSIRO Land & Water
International Water Management Institute (IWMI) | India
M.P. University of Agriculture and Technology | India
Vidhya Bhawan Krishi Vigyan Kendra and Development Support Centre (DSC) | India

Assisting community management of groundwater: irrigator attitudes in two watersheds in Rajasthan and Gujarat, India (opens in a new window)
ME Varua, J Ward, B Maheshwari, S Oza, R Purohit, P Chinnasamy
Journal of Hydrology 537, 171-186

Groundwater management and gender inequalities: The case of two watersheds in rural India (opens in a new window)
ME Varua, J Ward, B Maheshwari, S Dave, R Kookana
Groundwater for Sustainable Development 6, 93-100

Exploring the relationship between subjective wellbeing and groundwater attitudes and practices of farmers in rural India (opens in a new window)
J Ward, ME Varua, B Maheshwari, S Oza, R Purohit, S Dave
Journal of Hydrology 540, 1-16

The role of transdisciplinary approach and community participation in village scale groundwater management: insights from Gujarat and Rajasthan, India (opens in a new window)
B Maheshwari, M Varua, J Ward, R Packham, P Chinnasamy, Y Dashora,
Water 6 (11), 3386-3408

Managing aquifer recharge and sustaining groundwater use: developing a capacity building program for creating local groundwater champions (opens in a new window)
Y Jadeja, B Maheshwari, R Packham, H Bohra, R Purohit, B Thaker
Sustainable Water Resources Management 4, 317-329

Groundwater scarcity impact on inclusiveness and women empowerment: Insights from school absenteeism of female students in two watersheds in India (opens in a new window)
RS Kookana, B Maheshwari, P Dillon, SH Dave, P Soni, H Bohra
International Journal of Inclusive Education 20 (11), 1155-1171

   Researchers for A New Tax System (RANTS)

SDG 3 - Good Health and Wellbeing SDG 4 - Quality Education SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Researchers for A New Tax System (RANTS)


The RANTS group is a collaboration of three tax clinics participants in the National Tax Clinic Program.  The three tax clinics have been established since the pilot program in 2019.

The three tax clinic directors found common issues occurring in their clinics identifying potential issues with the Australian Tax System.

In an effort to showcase problems with the Australian tax system at the individual and small business level the three participants formed a research group.

To date the research group has published two journal articles and is currently working on further publications. The group meets on a fortnightly basis.


Dr Connie Vitale

External Research Partners:
Dr Robert Whait | University of South Australia
Donovan Castelyn | University of Tasmania

Current Research Projects:
Improving the Australian Taxation System

   Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Western Sydney

SDG 5 - Gender Equality SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises

A cross-disciplinary research group examining contemporary challenges for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Western Sydney.


Dr Tendai Chikweche
Associate Professor Dilupa Nakandala
Dr Anna Evangelista
Dr Michelle Cull
Associate Professor Felicitas Evangelista
Associate Professor Ann Dadich
Dr Sheree Gregory

External Research  Partners:
William Buck
Western Sydney Business Connection
St George Bank

Current Research Projects :

  • Small to Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) in GWS: A Survey of Growth, Resilience and Critical Challenges
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion In the Western Sydney Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Research Publications:

  • Chikweche, T. Evangelista, A.,Cull, M. Evangelista, F. Dadich, A. and Gregory, S. (2022), ‘SME Sentiments, Access to Government Support, and Resilience During a Pandemic’ in Adapa, S., McKeown, T., Lazaris, M. & Jurado, T. (Eds) (2022), SMEs and Business Uncertainty – Just Surviving or Thriving? Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore (Forthcoming)
  • Chikweche, T., Cull, M., Evangelista, A., Evangelista, F., Dadich, A., & Gregory, S. (2022), ‘An investigation of micro-small and medium enterprises’ engagement of business advisory and support services during COVID-19’, SEAANZ 2022 Symposium: Looking Ahead to the Future of Work in SMEs, 25 October, Monash Business School, Caulfield, Australia

   SME Digital Transformation Research Group

SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Digital Transformation


A multidisciplinary group with the mission to conduct research and assist micro, small and medium enterprises in exploiting opportunities and addressing issues related to business digitalisation. The group also aims to advise government and industry and conduct educational programs on SME digitalisation.


Farid Ahmed
Dr Anna Evangelista
Dr Edward Mariyani-Squire
Associate Professor Maria Estela Varua
Associate Professor Felicitas Evangelista

External Research Partners:
Ms Lisa Phuong Thai
Ms Thi Ngoc Lien Nguyen
Associate Professor Nguyen Phong Nguyen
Associate Professor Mai Dong Tran

Current Research Projects:
SME Transformation in the Digital Economy: A cross-country research of SME digital transformation in Australia & Vietnam

   Social Robots in Marketing Communication

SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Social Robots in Marketing CommunicationsBackground:
Social robots are humanoids that have been designed to socially interact with people. While industrial robots have been assisting us in manufacturing and transportation for decades, social robots are a more recent development. These robots have mostly been used by researchers in the areas of health (e.g. in aged care homes) and education (e.g. in teaching of a language to primary school students). More recently, these robots have been employed by businesses as ‘greeters’ (e.g. hotel or airport concierges), information providers (e.g. product location in retail outlets) and even entertainers (e.g. singing, dancing or telling jokes in a mall; Nieto et al. 2014). It is expected that the number of social robots will increase as organisations have found them a useful tool in engaging with stakeholders, especially clients.

In Australia, there is a limited number of social robots currently available. Most of these are with universities or research institutes. Researchers in the field of human–robot interaction have been working with social robots for a decade now. Australians, unlike the Japanese, are cautious of this new form of technology. There are concerns voiced about loss of jobs, safety, trust and, generally, ethics in the use of social robots. It is agreed, nevertheless, that the use of such machines is on the rise.

Our research examines whether robots affect an employing organisation’s image. Just as an advertisement influences an organisation’s image, similarly we propose to find a link between the robot’s image and the organisation’s image. Since technology is well recognised to cause anxiety in some segments of the population, we are also interested in evaluating people’s anxiety levels with reference to the robot.

Dr Aila Khan
Dr Michael Lwin
Dr Omar Mubin
Isha Kharub
Mohammad Aoun

   Third Sector

SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Third SectorBackground:
This transdisciplinary research group will concentrate researchers and practitioners with an interest and expertise in third-sector research, whereby the third sector comprises primarily of not-for-profit organisations, charities and social enterprises. The group will primarily focus on conducting research that is broadly related to disclosures, accountability, social impact and innovation within the third sector, in Australia and abroad.

The primary outcomes of the group will be to:

  • disseminate research in high-impact journals, trade publications and industry presentations
  • foster research collaborations with crossinstitutional colleagues, both local and international
  • enable partnerships with industry partners (including third-sector organisations and Australian regulators)
  • facilitate the successful application of external grants to further support the research agenda of the group
  • attract and support higher degree by research students with an interest in thirdsector research.

These outcomes will explicitly further the research objectives of the School as well as those of the University.

Dr Ushi Ghoorah
Associate Professor Maria Estela Varua
Associate Professor Felicitas Evangelista
Dr Wayne Fallon
Dr Ikenna Asogwa

PhD Candidate:
Eddy Widjaja