Catherine Allan is a social scientist interested in the human aspects of framing, and managing ’natural resources’ including land, freshwater, groundwater and vegetation. She is fascinated with how individuals and societies frame issues through language, images and behaviours, and the implications of these framings. For example, raised in Benalla and subsequently working in South Eastern Australia Catherine saw Winton Swamp turned into Lake Mokoan, and then into Winton Wetlands, and notes how each framing promotes different aspects of the human existence in our environment. Catherine has expertise in a range of social enquiry approaches.
- Qualifications PhD; MNatRes; BAgSci;
- Employment: Professor, Charles Sturt University
- Member – Winton Wetlands ESAP
After being raised and educated in Benalla, and studying agricultural science at the University of Melbourne Catherine began her professional career in the mid 1980s in State government advisory work, initially helping farmers reclaim drifting sand dunes in the South Australian Mallee. Later, with the Victorian Government, she supported community groups in with activities as diverse as managing their creek frontages and dryland salinity, to building group’s capacity to act. To improve her service to land managers she obtained a Masters in Natural Resource Management. This strengthened her understanding of vegetation, biodiversity and ecosystems, but also made her realise that people were a fascinating aspect of management. Catherine moved from State government to academia in 2001 to undertake a PhD regional scale adaptive management of resources such as water, soil, flora and fauna. Since commencing employment at CSU in 2004 her teaching and research have centred on predominantly social and institutional aspects of social ecosystems. Catherine still acts in the connected fields of agriculture, environmental management and community development. A common thread in all her work is seeking to create opportunities for people with diverse world views and skills to work together to co-develop appropriate responses to global, regional and local challenges.