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Top PI Emma Lee: Harvesting social impact

Image: JGraham & TMazur

Involving policymakers in her research, Emma Lee is creating lasting social change for Indigenous communities

Since completing a PhD in 2017, Emma Lee has achieved as much impact as many researchers might hope for over an entire career. A Trawlwulwuy woman of Tebrakunna country, north-east Tasmania, Australia, Lee is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Research Fellow at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, and the driving force behind an initiative to enable Indigenous communities in Tasmania to have the right to sell seafood harvested from their sea country.

While studying for her doctorate at the University of Tasmania, Lee applied for funding for her post-doctoral research, which would allow her to start working on the cultural fisheries project as soon as possible. “I literally started my post-doc four days after submitting my PhD,” she says, laughing at the suggestion that such foresight is perhaps not completely normal for doctoral students.

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