Mahnaz Alimardanian

I am a social scientist based in Melbourne with years of training and professional research experience in socio-cultural anthropology and in conducting research under various legislations such as the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and Victorian Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (VIC). I am an Adjunct Research Fellow at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University (see my academic profile here) and a Fellow of the Australian Anthropological Society. I hold a PhD and two Masters degrees in anthropology and have a background in visual and performing arts, design, and literary criticism.  I see myself a dynamic researcher and project manager, with diverse research background and extensive community consultation and engagement experience since 2010. I have long-term involvement in qualitative research, multi- and inter-disciplinary projects working in complex policy spaces and with diverse stakeholders. My skills, experience and expertise are in the following areas:

  • Long-term working relationship with Indigenous and culturally diverse communities:

I have worked closely with First Nations communities, Traditional Owners and families in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia since 2010 conducting ethnographic and participatory research and facilitating community projects. I also have experience in working with ethnic communities.

  • Positive and productive collaboration in multi-disciplinary environments, and with multiple stakeholders:

I have extensive experience in working collaboratively with diverse and multiple stakeholders in interdisciplinary projects from law firms to infrastructure and heritage consulting companies. I have collaborated with lawyers, historians, artists, archaeologists, policy advisors, urban designers, and environmentalists among other practitioners. I have enjoyed close working associations with community organisations as well as professional contact with the Federal Court of Australia, the National Native Title Tribunal, state government departments, local councils, and Commonwealth government agencies to assist with land settlements, cultural value and social impact evaluations, and social justice and cultural heritage cases.

  •  Design, management and conduct of complex and diverse projects:

For years I have undertaken time sensitive, confidential, and legally privileged research projects. The projects are often subject to shifting strategies and I organise them and write the associated reports in complex policy spaces.  I have conducted research in different environments and on various topics and have consistently engaged in research and publishing on matters associated with people’s knowledge and lived experience across cultures and social circumstances. In addition to social and cultural research projects, I have involved in literary criticism, journalism and performing arts, and participated in stage and virtual design, film, and documentary production. I have skills in design and creative writing, for instance in designing innovative data collection methods, and development of creative arts projects and publications.

  • Sensitive and effective community engagement process:

My lifetime passion for social justice and transparency, belief in locally informed and small-scale community services, training in social sciences, humanities and art, and finally my trust in creativity have equipped me to observe, actively listen and pay attention to nuances and details. I apply effective community involvement and research methods, models and techniques which are culturally sensitive, and healing and trauma informed, and design full consultation processes.

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