Season 1, Episode 8: Dr Lorraine Muller


“As an Aboriginal student in these situations you do sit on a knife’s edge, and you can fall either way” (21)

My last – but certainly not least – guest for Season 1 of Blacademia is PhD (x 2) DR LORRAINE MULLER.

In this episode we yarn up about:

  • The complexity of identity in academia, for Indigenous and non-indigenous academics
  • Completing various levels of degree via distance education (online and via post)
  • How Dr Muller came to complete not one, but TWO PhDs
  • What it means to be an ‘adjunct’ 



Dr2 Lorraine Muller 

Dr2 Lorraine Muller was awarded the university medal when she graduated at the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine ceremony in December 2017, with her 2nd PhD, awarded Cum Laude. Lorraine is Indigenous Australian, born on Kalkadoon country, raised in the Torres Strait and living on Girramay country and already has a BSocSc-BSWHons and PhD. Lorraine is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, School of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University, and Adjunct Research Fellow, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, University of Queensland.

Her second doctoral study shifted the research lens to explore non-Indigenous mainstream Australian culture and sought to address questions and issues raised in Lorraine’s first PhD. Published by Allen and Unwin, the first thesis that documented the theory that informs Indigenous Australians in the helping profession, Indigenous Australian Social-Health Theory was the basis of her 2014 book  “A Theory for Indigenous Australian Health and Human Service Work: Connecting Indigenous knowledge to practice”, winner of the Educational Publishing Awards Australia 2015: ‘Scholarly Resource’ category.

Her areas of expertise are Indigenous Australian knowledges and practices, and non-Indigenous mainstream Australian culture having extensively studied the values and principles that construct both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian cultural identities. Lorraine identifies the Indigenous understanding of respect as central to being able to sensitively broach difficult subjects in her research endeavours. Lorraine’s work has and is contributing to improving the delivery of Indigenous services, as it is being used in curriculum development, and in front line service delivery directly challenging negative stereotypes about Indigenous Australians. Her research and publications have been well received by peers and are recognised at a national and international level.

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