Kerry Zubrinich

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Dr Kerry Zubrinich is a researcher with the Department of Pacific Affairs. For the past 25 years, her research has centred on aspects of social life in Melanesia with the peoples of Papua New Guinea and the indigenous peoples of West Papua her key research focus.

She has allied these interests with ongoing examinations of the operations of governance in Australia: specifically the construction and treatment of mental illness and the relationship of police and indigenous Australians.

At the forefront of her work is the relationship between differing world views and the effects this has on the way people live. Specifically, she focused on cosmological underpinnings of the political (including but not solely focusing on, gender politics) and subsistence (economic) life of the people.

Since completing her PhD entitled Cosmology and Colonisation: History and Culture of the Asmat of Irian Jaya, Dr Zubrinich has held visiting fellowships to the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka Japan, and the Anthropology Department at Bergen in Norway, and has been an affiliate of the Research Centre for Applied Philosophy and Practical Ethics (CSU, University of Melbourne and ANU).

Since joining the Department of Pacific Affairs she has undertaken several collaborative research projects including Experiencing the Public Sector: Pacific Women’s Perspective (Zubrinich and Haley 2009) and co-authored several research reports with Dr Nicole Haley (the most recent being the Papua New Guinea National General Elections Domestic Observation Report 2013) after mentoring the local observation team in Kairuku-Hiri during the 2012 PNG general elections and has embarked on two new research projects.

Research interests

Sociology; Melanesia; Papua New Guinea; West Papua; women's leadership


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