September 16, 2021

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Centre for Western Sydney announces two new research fellows

Associate Professor Rae Dufty-Jones and Dr Rhonda Itaoui have been announced as inaugural research fellows within the Centre for Western Sydney (#CfWS), within Western Sydney University, expanding the scope and profile of the Centre.

Associate Professor Dufty-Jones is an #economic and #social geographer, with research expertise on intersections of place, #mobility and #publicpolicy and has begun as Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Western Sydney. Dr Itaoui’s research in #social and #culturalgeography has focused on the geographies of #culturaldiversity and #anti-racism, and will take up the position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre in November.

Professor Andy Marks, Director for the Centre for Western Sydney, highlighted the region-shaping contributions both Associate Professor Dufty-Jones and Dr Itaoui are expected to bring to the Centre.

“The Centre for #WesternSydney offers deeper insight and understanding of Australia’s most exciting and opportunity-rich region. And I am proud that two of the most talented and dynamic researchers with lived experiences of the region are now joining our Centre to elaborate the region’s challenges, and also to champion our opportunities,” said Professor Marks.

Commenting on the new role, Associate Professor Dufty-Jones said, “Western Sydney and its people are at the heart of significant #economic transformations affecting Sydney and Australia. The region will be key to the wider Sydney metropolitan region’s recovery as we emerge from the severe lockdown restrictions of 2021 and learn to live successfully with the #COVID-19 virus in future years.

"Western Sydney University is the only university in NSW with the unique commitment to conduct research that meets the needs of Greater Western Sydney communities. The Centre for Western Sydney will be key to fulfilling this important mandate and I am looking forward to building a #research program in partnership with Western Sydney #communities that will support the development of Australia’s most diverse and innovative region.”

Dr Itaoui also commented on the new role. “Western Sydney has so many lessons that can be applied nationally. The region is the multicultural hub of our nation, and testament to the value of lived diversity in urban spaces. In my new role of Postdoctoral Research Fellow, I am looking forward to working with community groups to help inform and support #policymakers apply the most effective and transformative initiatives to our region.”

The Centre for Western Sydney is a collaborative #research and #advocacy hub, that works with community, industry and government partners to address the pressing issues of Australia’s most politically contested, and fastest growing region.