Sandie Suchet-Pearson

Associate Professor

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Personal profile


I am an associate professor in Geography and Planning at Macquarie University. My research and teaching experiences over the last 25 years have been in the area of Indigenous rights and environmental management. I worked on Cape York Peninsula on community development in the context of a major mining operation, examined the strategies used by Indigenous peoples and local communities to assert their rights in wildlife management in Canada and southern Africa, and my current work focuses on Indigenous self-determination in the context of cultural tourism in North East Arnhem Land, northern Australia and caring-as-Country in western Sydney.

Since 2006 I have been part of the Bawaka Collective which is an Indigenous and non-Indigenous, more-than-human research collective. It includes Bawaka Country, Laklak Burarrwanga, Ritjilili Ganambarr, Merrkiyawuy Ganambarr-Stubbs, Banbapuy Ganambarr, Djawundil Maymuru, Kate Lloyd and Sarah Wright and myself. Bawaka Country is the diverse land, water, human, and nonhuman animals, plants, rocks, thoughts, and songs that make up the Yolŋu homeland of Bawaka in North East Arnhem Land, Australia. Laklak, Ritjilili, Merrkiyawuy, and Banbapuy are four Indigenous sisters, elders, and caretakers for Bawaka Country together with their daughter, Djawundil. Sarah, Sandie and Kate are three non-Indigenous human geographers from the University of Newcastle and Macquarie University who have been adopted into the family as granddaughter, sister, and daughter. 

I am also currently working on a collaborative project in Western Sydney. Led by Darug custodian Uncle Lexodious Dadd, together with the NSW NPWS and researchers from Macquarie and Newcastle universities the project has three aims:

1) To work with environmental experts to enhance, implement and document Caring-as-Country mechanisms at Yellomundee Reginal Park in western Sydney.

2) To inspire local users to Care-as-Country through building awareness of the area’s cultural, environmental and historical significance, and

3) To develop an adaptive model of cross-cultural environmental stewardship for use by NPWS, community groups and Aboriginal custodians of other sites in NSW.

I welcome opportunities to supervise postgraduate students, especially students working in the areas of Indigenous rights, knowledges and methodologies; more-than-human geographies; cross-cultural environmental management and human-nature relations. 


I teach in the areas of environmental management and applied human geography and am currently convening:

ENV118: Environmental Management for a Changing World

GEOP380: Human Geography in Action.

Research student supervision

I am currently taking on new PhD and Masters of Research students in the following research areas: 

  • Indigenous rights and knowledges;
  • human-nature relationships; 
  • social justice, self-determination, reconciliation and ecological sustainability;
  • cross-cultural environmental management. 


Current students:

Corrinne Sullivan: An investigation of Aboriginal sex workers - PhD, principle supervisor.

Ropafadzo Moyo: Bringing People and Nature Together: A study of TFCAs in Southern Africa PhD, principle supervisor

Sara Judge: Belonging in place in western Sydney - PhD, principle supervisor

Yayut Chen: Indigenous Property Rights in Taiwan - PhD, associate supervisor

John Heydinger: Conservation in the Kunene: Rural Livelihoods Community-Based Natural Resource Management - PhD, associate supervisor

Sabiha Rosy: Development, Culture and Geographies of Tourism in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh: Exploring Indigenous and Gender Concerns - PhD, associate supervisor

Sufia Khanom: Exploring the Gendered (In)security of Environmentally Induced Migrants: A Case Study from Bhola Slum, Dhaka, Bangladesh - PhD, associate supervisor

Ena Chang:  Indigenous cultural sovereignty and biomedical hegemony: Rethinking pathways to health promotion in Eastern Taiwan - PhD, associate supervisor


Past students:

Jo Rey: Country Tracking Voices: Dharug women’s perspectives on presences, places and practices - PhD, 2018, associate supervisor

Sara Judge: Tupo pamoja, we are together: A collaborative case study of decolonising approaches to research and conservation with Mkuyu Guiding School, Tanzania - Masters of Research, 2018, principle supervisor

Sarah Prebble: - Ecological Footprinting as a tool for engaging sustainability in the workplace: transforming adult resource-use perspectives in a neoliberal university - Masters of Research, 2016, principle supervisor

Minna Hsu: Expert-centred discourses and Indigenous autonomy in post-disaster settings: insights from Wutai Rukai experiences in Taiwan - PhD, 2016, associate supervisor

Marnie Graham: Post-colonial Nature Conservation and Collaboration in Urban Protected Areas - PhD, 2015, principle supervisor

Rebecca Bilous: Telling and hearing: Learning from Macassan-Yolngu stories of connecting PhD, 2014, principle supervisor

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

Projects 2006 2021

Research Outputs 1996 2019

Bunbum ga dhä-yutagum: to make it right again, to remake

Bawaka Country, Suchet-Pearson, S., Wright, S., Lloyd, K., Tofa, M., Burarrwanga, L., Ganambarr, R., Ganambarr-Stubbs, M., Ganambarr, B. & Maymuru, D., 27 Feb 2019, In : Social and Cultural Geography.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

colonial age

Decolonising strategies and neoliberal dilemmas in a tertiary institution: nurturing care-full approaches in a blended learning environment

McLean, J., Graham, M., Suchet-Pearson, S., Simon, H., Salt, J. & Parashar, A., May 2019, In : Geoforum. 101, p. 122-131 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Blended Learning
learning environment

Everything is love: mobilising knowledges, identities, and places as Bawaka

Bawaka Country, Wright, S., Suchet-Pearson, S., Lloyd, K., Burarrwanga, L., Ganambarr, R., Ganambarr-Stubbs, M., Ganambarr, B., Maymuru, D. & Graham, M., 2019, Indigenous places and colonial spaces: the politics of intertwined relations. Gombay, N. & Palomino-Schalscha, M. (eds.). London ; New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, p. 51-71 21 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

collective research

Gathering of the Clouds: attending to Indigenous understandings of time and climate through songspirals

Bawaka Country, Wright, S., Suchet-Pearson, S., Lloyd, K., Burarrwanga, L., Ganambarr, R., Ganambarr-Stubbs, M., Ganambarr, B. & Maymuru, D., 20 Jun 2019, In : Geoforum.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

climate change
collective research
colonial age

Yanama budyari gumada: reframing the urban to care as Darug Country in western Sydney

Darug Ngurra, Dadd, L., Glass, P., Scott, R., Graham, M., Judge, S., Hodge, P. & Suchet-Pearson, S., 2019, In : Australian Geographer. 50, 3, p. 279-293 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

resource management
natural resource
natural resources

Press / Media

Reimagining NSW: going beyond ‘wilderness’ and finding fresh ways to relate to our environment

Emily-Aud O'Gorman, Matthew Kearnes, Sandra Suchet-Pearson, Tanya Latty, Pascal Scherrer & Hannah E. Power


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities