Kathryn Trees  from Murdoch University in Perth Australia.

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    Dr Kathryn Trees
    BA Hons 1st Class, MCrimJust, GradDip Ed, PhD

    Senior Lecturer

    About me

    My education background is in WA, with degrees from Murdoch and UWA. My study was interdisciplinary across literature, Indigenous studies, law and social justice, and education.

    I was fortunate in the early 1990s to be a member of the Australian Institute Judicial Education committee to develop education for magistrates and judges as a response to the Royal Commission Report into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. This led to coordinating the 1994 Aboriginal Culture: Law & Change Seminar for Magistrates. A key outcome of this work for me has been the relationships I have developed with many Indigenous people throughout WA and projects [including 2 books with children] and friendships we continue to enjoy. Later this led to teaching a unit for justices in the Murdoch Law school and writing for the WA Law Reform Commission and its Aboriginal Customary laws project. My research interest in resilience is partly tied to these experiences.

    My interdisciplinary background  has allowed me to teach and supervise at undergraduate, Honours, Masters and PhD level in literature, gender and cultural studies, Indigenous studies, and law. For the past three years I have been teaching a unit on gender, globalisation and cultural politics.

    For me, interdisciplinary study is particularly important. I ensure that my teaching is as  interactive as possible so that students learn from each other.

    Most importantly, I love my job.

    Teaching area

    MCC386 People and Globalisation

    Research areas

    My research interests are eclectic working as I have in literature, gender and cultural studies, and customary law. Much of my current research is focused on affect theory as it relates to dying and death, and resilience. My interest in resilience is particularly concerned with the ways that young people deal with difficult family and social lives and are positive and productive.


    Current projects

    Creative non fiction focused on affect and dying.

    Awards and grants


    2006 Vice Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award for Excellence in supervision

    2005 Vice Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award  for teaching excellence in my discipline

    1988 Convocation Award Murdoch University


    2004 Australian Centre for Interactive Design $125, 000

    “Developing a cultural database”

    2003 Australian Centre for Interactive Design $47, 000

    “Developing a cultural database”

    2002 Healthway $147, 800

    “Promoting Positive Images of Aboriginal People in Western Australian”

    2001 Australian Research Council Small Grants Scheme $9,000

    Kathryn Trees and Andrew Turk,  ”Investigation of Community Processes in Response to a Native Title Decision”

    1998 Australian Research Council Small Grants Scheme $10,000

    Andrew Turk and Kathryn Trees,  ”Evaluating cultural issues for usability of computer mediated communication”

    1997 Murdoch University Staff Development $16, 750

    Jo Goodie, Kathryn Trees and Andrew Turk, “Developments In Native Title”

    1997 Australian Research Council Small Grants Scheme $10,000

    Andrew Turk and Kathryn Trees

    Professional and community service

    Community Service

    2007-2008 Producing a book with students from East Carnarvon Primary School

    2002-2004 Independent Visitor (Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services) Roebourne and Broome Prisons

    1998 Roebourne Community, Culture, Communication Centre Committee

    1989—1997 Support for children of people who have died in custody


    1995—1996 Aboriginal Medical Service report writing

    1994—1995 Mooditch Koolark research and report writing re: domestic violence in Aboriginal communities


    1996—1997 Support for development of Ngurra Wangkamagayi (Roebourne Culture Group)

    1994 Australian Institute Judicial Administration Interview Western Australian Magistrates prior to constructing Cross Culture Awareness Programme. Research Australian and Western Australian government legislation in relation to Aboriginal peoples. Produce Research File for magistrates and judges. Construct Cross Cultural Awareness Programme. Evaluate Western Australian magistracy and response to training programme prior to implementation in all other states

    1993 NOW Programme Literature classes Aboriginal Women’s Community Centre

    Refereeing of books:

    2012 Nanni and James Coranderrk – We will show the country, for AIATSIS Aboriginal Studies Press

    2011 Monty Hale (Minjun) Kurlumarniny We Come from the desert, for AIATSIS, Aboriginal Studies Press

    2005 Quentin Beresford, Rob Riley: An Aboriginal Leader’s Quest for Justice, for AIATSIS, Aboriginal Studies Press

    2002 Ian Henderson, Bureaucracy and Aboriginal Peoples in the Northern Territory 1900 – 1968, for University of Western Australia Press

    1999 Ian Crawford, We Won the Victory: Aborigines and Outsiders on the north-west coast of Kimberley, for Fremantle Arts Press

    Editorial work:

    1999-2004 Co-editor Balayi: Culture, Law and Colonialism

    1995 bur-ran-gur ang (court out )Women and the Law The School of Architecture and Fine Arts & The Law School at The University of Western Australia—Co-editor

    Journal of the South Pacific Association for Language and Literature Studies: Following volumes:

    1994 Yorga Wongi: Postcolonialism & Feminism—Co-editor

    1993 Postcolonial Fictions—Assistant Editor

    1992 Neo-colonialism—Editor

    1991 Postcolonial Texts—Assistant Editor

    PhD, Masters, Honours examinations

    Doctoral and masters supervisions

    PhD completions:

    Gerrard Shaw, Vulnerability – An Affliction of the Powerless. A Noongar Story, 2012

    Naomi Sidebotham, “The White Man Never Wanna Hear Nothin About What’s Different From Him”: Representations of Law’s ‘Other’ in Australian Literature, 2009

    Michelle Carey, From Whiteness to Whitefella: To Deconstruct or Reconstruct Identity? 2008

    (Catriona) Karin Mac Arthur, The ‘Emporer’s New Clothes’: The role of the Western Australian press and state government in selling the story of the Northbridge Curfew 2006, [Co-supervisor Gail Phillips]

    Jo Green, ICTs: Empowering Western Australian Women? 2005 [Co-supervisor Fay Sudweeks]

    Tracey Summerfield, Families of Meaning: dismantling the boundaries between law and society, 2004

    Sean Gorman, Moorditj Magic: The Story of Jim and Phillip Krakouer, 2004 [Co-supervisor Deborah Robertson]

    Sasha Wasley, The Limits of Feminism, 2005

    Elaine Tay, Unpicking the Semes: Power, Resistance and the Internet, 2002

    Ahmad Abu Baker, The ‘other’, self discovery and identity – a comparative study in colonial and postcolonial literature, 2001

    Six candidates writing in the areas of aging, contemporary Australian historical fiction, Chick lit, PR education, PR and activism, Wadjemup [Rottnest Island],  are completing in early 2013.

    Other candidates are researching in the areas of Aboriginal camps in the Perth area, Aboriginal youth and resilience, film script, Indigenous art, autobiography of an artist, a biography of Ken Colbung, a novel of southern sealers and Aboriginal women, gender, transnational corporations and globalisation, and perimenopause.

    Masters completions:

    2012 Rizki Prafitri, Analysing Corporate Social Responsibility in the Marketplace, Community, Environment and Workplace: A Study of Nestle Indonesia

    2003 Gerrard Shaw, Meeting Your Depth

    1997 Juanita Durey, Governmentality, Customary Law and the Hindmarsh Island Bridge Royal Commission

    1995 Denise Groves, New Aboriginalities: Creating Multiple Sites





    • Trees, K., (2004),Background Paper on Contemporary Issues Facing Customary Law and the General Legal System: Roebourne - A Case Study,Law Reform Commission of Western Australia.


    • Trees, K., (2007),Practicing Law and Aboriginal Clients,In: Lawyers Practice Manual - Western Australia (2007), Thomson Lawbook Co, pages 105-1051 to 105-1062.
    • Turk, A., Trees, K., (2000),Facilitating Community Processes Through Culturally Appropriate Informatics: An Australian Indigenous Community,In: Case Study - Community Informatics: Enabling Communities with Information and Communications Technologies, Ideal Group Publishing, pages 339 to 358.
    • Trees, K., (1997),The Politics of Post-colonial Reading Practices as they Relate to the Work of Aboriginal Writers,In: Teaching Post-Colonialism and Post-Colonial Literatures, Aarhus University Press, pages 155 to 159.


    • O'Mahony, L., Trees, K., (2016), Writing domestic violence in Marian Keyes This Charming Man (2008), Text, Special Issue 38, April, 2017, pages 1 - 16.
    • Trees, K., (2015), Mobile media: communicating with and by Indigenous youth about alcohol, Australian Aboriginal Studies, 0, 1, pages 97 - 106.
    • Trees, K., (2013), Effectively teaching diverse student groups: a reflection on teaching and learning strategies, Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 53, 2, pages 234 - 252.
    • Turk, A., Trees, K., (1999), Culturally Appropriate Computer Mediated Communication: An Australian Indigenous Information System Case Study, AI and Society, 13, , pages 377 - 388.
    • Trees, K., Turk, A., (1998), Culture, Collaboration and Communication: Participative Development of the Ieramugadu Cultural Heritage Information System (ICIS), Critical Arts: a south-north journal of cultural and media studies, Vol. 12, No. 1-2, , pages 78 - 91.
    • Turk, A., Trees, K., (1998), Ethical Issues Concerning the Development of an Indigenous Cultural Heritage Information System, Systemist, The, 20, Special Issue, pages 229 - 242.


    • Turk, A., Trees, K., (1999),Ethical Issues Concerning the Use of Geographical Information Systems Technology with Indigenous Communities,In: AICEC99 Conference Proceedings.
    • Turk, A., Trees, K., (1998),Culture and Participation in Development of CMC: Indigenous Cultural Information System Case Study,In: .
    • Turk, A., Trees, K., (1998),Ethical Issues Concerning the Development of an Indigenous Cultural Heritage Information System. (11 Pages - no numbering),In: Proceedings: Second Symposium & Workshop on Philosophical Aspects of Information Systems: Methodology, Theory, Practice & Critique - PAIS II.