Research Team

Ms. Sarah Lambert completed a multi-phase qualitative and mixed methods PhD on Open Education as Social Justice after a 20-year career in educational technology. Sarah’s work in higher education has been made in the context of regional communities and widening participation. She has a track record of quality critical research outputs, including best-in-conference awards and runner-up best research paper in the 2018 Fred Mulder Awards for Global Open Education research. She maintains extensive international research and practice networks and recently co-edited a special edition of the Journal of Interactive Media in Education with Prof. Laura Czerniewicz (University of Cape Town). This project was supported by funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to ensure ECR and Global South participation and representation in the publishing opportunity. Sarah currently manages Deakin’s c$5 million per annum HEPPP program for the benefit of students who are under-represented in higher education such as regional, indigenous, and first in family. Previous research and scholarship interests have included ePortfolio, MOOCs and collaborative online learning. Sarah has been involved in 4 Australian Office of Learning and Teaching national research projects (two on ePortfolio, one on Open Education, and one as Steering Committee member). As a hybrid practitioner/researcher she is uniquely placed to leverage her technological, research and widening participation experiences to lead this study.


Professor Yin Paradies is Chair in Race Relations and Indigenous Knowledges and Culture Coordinator at Deakin University. He conducts research on the health, social and economic effects of racism as well as anti-racism theory, policy and practice across diverse settings, including the Internet, workplaces, schools, universities, housing, the arts, and health. He has authored 182 publications, including 114 peer-reviewed articles, 20 book chapters and one book. Professor Paradies has delivered 240 presentations and is an investigator on 11 current, and 42 completed, grants (11 as lead investigator) worth over $28.2 million as well as an invited reviewer for 100 peer-reviewed journals.  At July 2019, Prof. Paradies had over 7,000 citations across all publications, with a Google h index of 45.


Dr. Kelly George holds a Ph.D. in Forensic Entomology and is the team’s quantitative research and statistical cohort analysis expert. Kelly is a Senior Data Analyst and Student Equity Reporting Coordinator in Strategic Intel & Planning (Deakin). She has contributed to previous NCSEHE and HEPPP research projects on providing access for equity students, including evaluating the effectiveness of scholarships (2016) and evaluating equity initiatives in higher education (2018).


Dr. Ben Whitburn is the Chair of Deakin’s Arts and Education Equity and Diversity Working Group and also Senior Lecturer of Education (Inclusive Education). Dr Whitburn has made a substantial contribution to inclusive education policy and practice through research that emphasises the lived experiences of children and young people with disabilities and their families to inform inclusive reforms, transition and participation, and accessibility. Recently Ben was organising committee chair for The Inclusive Education Summit (TIES) 2018 and has undertaken research and consultancy projects on the National Disability Insurance Scheme and for Worksafe Victoria.


Ms. Habiba Fadel is a Research Assistant at Student Access and Equity, Equity and Diversity, as well as at the Centre for Research for Educational Impact (REDI) at Deakin University. She is also an Assistant Lecturer at the Faculty of Business and Law. Habiba completed her Master of Teaching degree by research and her thesis focussed on Humanities teachers’ perspectives on student engagement with contemporary local and global news events in the classroom. She published a journal article in the Social Educator Journal to showcase the findings of this research study. Throughout her roles at Deakin University over the past two years, Habiba has been collaborating closely with academics, researchers and HDRs, as well as with external organisations that are part of the projects she has been involved in. She is passionate about academic research that have impact on the field of education. Habiba is currently on the process of pursuing a PhD. 

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