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Dr Catherine Koerner

Lecturer in Community and Human Services, Federation University Australia

Motivated by compassion, Catherine Koerner is committed to interdependent nonviolent relations. Since 2003 Catherine Koerner teaches across undergraduate and postgraduate in community and human services, critical race and whiteness studies, identities, pluralism (including religious freedoms), colonialism/anti-colonialism, critical Indigenous and social policy, critical community and international development and counselling. She has collaborated in community work and research in Australia, Indigenous Australia, Indonesia, Nepal and India.

Previous to this Catherine worked for ten years in the community non-for-profit sector in young homelessness, sexual violence crisis response, prevention and advocacy. She was elected representative for rural and remote Qld on the National Youth Coalition for Housing. She also received a number of awards including the Australiasian finalist for the International Stop Rape contest (New York); a National University-Indigenous Community Partnership Award (with Professor Simone Ululka Tur and Dr Christopher Wilson); an Australian University Quality Assurance commendation and an Australian Awards for University Teaching all at Flinders University of South Australia.

Her research interests include critical race and whiteness, colonialism/decolonisation, Indigenous relations, pluralism and identity. Her current projects include The patience to win freedom with Tenzin Choephel on Tibetan experiences of Chinese colonialism and genocide. Catherine has ten publications including her most recent article (2019) Ever expanding circles of compassion, Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association e-journal and book Koerner & Pillay, Governance and Multiculturalism: the white elephant of social construction and cultural identities, Palgrave and MacMillan.


  • –present
    Research Fellow in Social Policy, Charles Darwin University


  • 2011 
    Flinders University of South Australia, Doctor of Philosophy


  • 2019
    Governance and Multiculturalism: The white elephant of the social construction of cultural identity, Palgrave & MacMillan (forthcoming)
  • 2019
    Ever expanding circles of compassion, Critical Race and Whiteness Studies
  • 2017
    The Socio-legal construction of Ahmadiyah as a Religious minority by local and national government policy: Restrictions before the law, a challenge for religious freedom in NTB,
  • 2015
    White Australians & Indigenous Sovereignty, ,
  • 2013
    Learning the past to participate in the future: Regional discourses of Australian colonial history , International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies
  • 2011
    A critical analysis of white Australian identities and Indigenous land rights: an empirical study, Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Annual Conference
  • 2011
    In relationship with Indigenous sovereignty,
  • 2011
    Child protection consultation in the Solomon Islands: Capacity building or welfare colonialism?, http:// pdf/ConferenceProceedings2011.pdf
  • 2010
    Whose security? How white possession is reinforced in everyday speech about asylum seekers,
  • 2010
    We’re multicultural mate!”: regional Australian discourses of multiculturalism and the reproduction of ‘white Australia’ as a national identity, , TASA annual conference published proceedings 6-9 December, Sydney: Macquarie University.

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association
  • The Australian Sociological Association TASA
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies Association NAISA
  • Meditation Association of Australia


New York International Stop Rape Contest Australiasion finalist; Australian Teaching & Learning Program for programs that enhance student learning (2009); National University Indigenous Partnership Award (2007, DEST).