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Personal profile


My research focuses on Indigenous rights and the interface between Indigenous communities, natural resource development, governments and corporations at the scales of the project, the community, the landscape and the nation. Much of my work uses highly participatory social impact assessment methodologies (first discussed in a widely cited paper in 1993), which aim to equip Indigenous peoples to identify, address and challenge the marginalisation of their legal and property systems by dominant management regimes through negotiation.

In engaging with the institutions of mainstream society, my work relies on the metaphors of coexistence and engagement to provide a framework for ethical practice through processes of corporate social responsibility, institutional capacity building, negotiation and sustainability. Theoretically, my work on geographical scale is seen as innovative and significant in the discipline. In developing a 'relational' view of scale, my work provides a framework for reconsidering legal pluralism in environmental and urban planning systems.

My role in Native title negotiations in South Australia has integrated consideration of legal and social issues into consideration of reconfiguring various administrative and planning systems to allow statewide recognition of Native title as a basis for transforming Aboriginal participation in the processes of governance in that state. This work is widely seen as taking the lead in a new approach to resolution of cultural and racial conflict over native title.More broadly, my work seeks to integrate the scholarship of teaching into all aspects of my teaching, research and community engagement. From 2012 I have taken up a role in developing and directing the research partnership between Macquarie University and the City of Ryde.

I was first appointed to Macquarie in 1992, and previously worked at the University of Sydney, the Commonwealth Aboriginal Education Service and the NSW Department of Education as a primary school teacher. My teaching covers areas of cultural, social and environmental geography at undergraduate, honours, Masters and PhD levels.

1992-present Macquarie University (commenced as Lecturer B, currently Lecturer E [Professor]; Head of Department 2005-2010; 2012-2013 - Director, Macquarie Ryde Futures Partnership)

2014-2015 - Elected academic staff member of Macquarie University Council

2018 (August) - retired

External positions

Director, Richard Howitt

11 Jun 2018 → …

Adjunct and visiting Professor, Kyoto University

Adjunct and visiting Professor, University of Kansas

Justice of the Peace, NSW

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Richie Howitt is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 4 Similar Profiles
geography Social Sciences
social effects Social Sciences
social impact assessment Earth & Environmental Sciences
community Social Sciences
disaster Social Sciences
coexistence Social Sciences
resources Social Sciences
management Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2006 2021

Research Outputs 1989 2019

Open Access
planning practice
social impact
social issue
social effects
social impact assessment

New Indigenous geographies

Howitt, R., 28 Oct 2019, In : Geographical Research.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review


Resettling, disconnecting or displacing? Attending to local sociality, culture and history in disaster settings

Hsu, M., Okada, T., Mori, S. & Howitt, R., Aug 2019, In : Asia Pacific Viewpoint. 60, 2, p. 163-174 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Unsettling the taken (-for-granted)

Howitt, R., 17 Jan 2019, In : Progress in Human Geography.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

United Nations

Decolonizing property in Taiwan: challenging hegemonic constructions of property

Chen, Y. Y-S., Kuan, D-W., Suchet-Pearson, S. & Howitt, R., Dec 2018, In : Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 36, 6, p. 987-1006 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

property rights
right of ownership
World War

Activities 1999 2014

  • 2 Editorial work
  • 1 Membership of committee
  • 1 Membership of network

Geographical Research (Journal)

Richie Howitt (Member of editorial board)
2014 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

Journal of Geography in Higher Education (Journal)

Richie Howitt (Member of editorial board)
2005 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

Committee on Environmental Justice in Transportation, US Transportation Review Board (External organisation)

Richie Howitt (Member)
2005 → …

Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

Institute of Australian Geographers (External organisation)

Richie Howitt (Member)

Activity: MembershipMembership of network