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Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Western Sydney University

Dr Rhonda Itaoui is a researcher interested in geographies of diversity and multiculturalism in urban spaces. Rhonda is passionate about using research as a tool to advocate for the needs and aspirations of underrepresented and disadvantaged communities through collaboration and meaningful engagement.

Rhonda Itaoui has a PhD and first-class honours in Human geography. Her PhD research on the geographies of Islamophobia in Sydney, Australia and the San Francisco Bay Area, USA revealed that the spatial mobility of young Muslims is shaped by global and local processes of racism. Based on this research, Rhonda advocates for local and context-specific anti-racism policy practice, public education campaigns and policy initiatives that respond to the spatial imaginaries and lived experiences of racialised groups.

Rhonda is also an Associate Lecturer at Western Sydney University, where she engages students in critical social issues and concepts related to Urban Policy, Social and Cultural Diversity, as well as Social Research Methods.

Prior to her appointment with the Centre for Western Sydney, Rhonda was a researcher with the Challenging Racism Project at Western Sydney University where she collaborated on multi-stakeholder projects focused on religious diversity, as well as geographies of racism in Australian cities. She was also previously appointed as a Research Fellow at the Othering and Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley where she worked on developing resources to challenge Islamophobia in the United States.


  • 2014–present
    Research assistant, Western Sydney University
  • 2017–present
    Research fellow, UC Berkeley
  • 2014–present
    PhD Candidate, Western Sydney University
  • 2021–present
    Postdoctoral research fellow, Western Sydney University


  • 2022 
    Western Sydney University, Doctor of Philosophy
  • 2014 
    University of Western Sydney, Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours, Class 1)


  • 2017
    Media representations of racism and spatial mobility: Young Muslim (un)belonging in a post-Cronulla Riot Sutherland, Journal of Intercultural Studies
  • 2016
    The Geography of Islamophobia in Sydney: Mapping the Spatial Imaginaries of young Muslims, Australian Geographer

Grants and Contracts

  • 2016
    Endeavour Scholarship
    Funding Source:
    Australian Government


Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship, Australian Postgraduate Award, Western Sydney University Medal for Outstanding Scholarship