Mahnaz Alimardanian


I am a qualified anthropologist based in Melbourne, Australia. I am an Honorary Associate with the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University and a Fellow of the Australian Anthropological Society. I hold a PhD (La Trobe University) and two Master’s degrees (Australian National University, University of Tehran) in Anthropology. I have years of professional research experience in the discipline and in conducting research under the Native Title Act and Victorian Traditional Owner Settlement Act. I consider myself a dynamic researcher with a diverse research background and long-term sound experience in qualitative, multi- and inter-disciplinary research projects. I have expertise and experience in the following matters:

  • Ability to work collaboratively and closely with Indigenous and culturally diverse communities:

I have worked with Indigenous communities, Traditional Owners and families in New South Wales and Victoria conducting ethnographic and participatory research. I also have experience in working with culturally diverse communities and engaging with refugees and asylum seekers.

  • Capacity to work in multi-disciplinary environments, and with multiple stakeholders:

I have collaborated with lawyers, historians, archaeologists, policy planners and environmentalists in land rights claims, and Indigenous Protected Area and Country planning programmes. I have worked closely with community organisations and have engaged professionally with the Federal Court of Australia and Victorian government departments such as the Native Title Unit of the Department of Justice and Regulation, Aboriginal Victoria (Right People for Country program), the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations, and the National Native Title Tribunal to assist with land justice and claims settlement in Victoria.

  • Capacity in design, management and conduct of diverse research projects:

I have an extensive study and research background in anthropology and performance studies. I have conducted research in different environments and on various topics and have collaborated with other anthropologists as well as scholars with different backgrounds in interdisciplinary projects. I have consistently engaged in research and publishing on matters associated with knowledge and lived experience across cultures and social circumstances.

  • Competence to undertake community-based and community-driven projects:

I have been professionally involved in Australian Indigenous land rights cases in Victoria and therefore navigated varying forms of communication and service delivery to communities.  My life time passion for social justice and transparency, belief in locally informed and small-scale community services, training in social sciences and performing arts and finally my trust in creativity have all equipped me to observe, listen and pay attention to nuances and details. I apply creative and effective research methods, models and techniques in undertaking engaged research and assisting with community involvement.

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