Ruth Wallace

NameProfessor Ruth Wallace
Home InstitutionCharles Darwin University
Host InstitutionKansas State University
Award NameFulbright Distinguished Chair in Agriculture and Life Sciences, Sponsored by Kansas State University
DisciplineAgricultural Science (Biosecurity)
Award Year2016

Ruth Wallace is the Director of the Northern Institute, the social and policy research institute at Charles Darwin University. Her research interests relate to the links between identity, marginalised learners and the development of effective learning and workforce development pathways. Her work is situated in regional and remote areas of northern Australia, and predominantly undertaken with Aboriginal people in remote and regional areas. Her critical thinking is driven by informed debate on the multifaceted issues that present in the unique political and geographic frontiers of northern Australia. Professor Wallace has extended this work to examine approaches to enterprise development in regional and remote areas of Eastern Indonesia. Her work incorporates areas of economic and social change through working with Indigenous land and sea managers undertaking key biosecurity and economic development roles. The Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Agriculture and Life Sciences Scholarship will allow Professor Wallace the opportunity to go beyond these northern borders to develop distinguished professional networks with a view to developing future collaborations.

Ruth was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy by Charles Darwin University in 2011. Her research focused on marginalized learners’ identities and the intersections with educational systems in regional areas. Ruth’s academic career started when she was awarded at Bachelor of Education (Primary) at the Queensland University of Technology, and she has gone on to postgraduate studies in Adult Education, Research Management and Mathematics. Ruth holds key leadership roles nationally and in northern Australia to improve research integration and utilization, particularly in remote areas. She leads the Workforce Development research theme and focuses on collaborative approaches with community, governments and industry that are sustainable and scalable. Ruth is committed to utilizing research’s potential to improve social, cultural and economic outcomes for marginalized people and works closely with Aboriginal researchers and community groups in regional and remote areas to support engaged and effective policy and enterprise development systems.

The Biosecurity Policy at the Margins Project is a major opportunity to build on research in northern Australia and focus on engaging regional and marginalized communities in biosecurity identification and response systems, at a national and local scale. Professor Wallace will work with researchers at the Research and Extension Division at Kansas State University to understand and articulate the ways that remote communities can contribute to, and partner in, the effective delivery of plant biosecurity surveillance through engaging a wide range of decision makers and knowledge systems. The project will contribute to understanding the processes that underpin priorities and decision making in policy networks and policy implementation.