Professor of Social Anthropology
University of Roehampton, UK
What’s your link to Townsville?
I was born in Townsville and lived there (with a few interludes overseas) until I was 25. I have memories of camping on Maggie Island, the Range Drive-in, the Jean Pierre Patisserie and Castle Hill (is the Saint still there?).
Where are you now?
I’ve been living in Vancouver for the past 11.5 years but am in the process of moving to London for work. I’m an academic social anthropologist, so my work primarily involves research and teaching, although I’ve focused mostly on the former over the past decade. I started out studying Korean new religions but these days my research focuses on the experiences of people diagnosed with cancer and the impacts of tobacco control policies on smokers. For the past few years I’ve been studying smokers’ perceptions of cigarette packaging. As the UK has recently followed Australia’s lead in introducing plain cigarette packaging, that’s the focus of my next project.
How did your time in Townsville set you up for success?
JCU had an excellent anthropology program and the training I received there was first rate – I’d go so far as to say world class.
Do you still come ‘home’ to Townsville to visit?
Very infrequently as my siblings are both in Canada and my parents live in the Tablelands (so I mostly see aerial views of Townsville from the plane as I fly up to Cairns). However, my husband still has some family in the area, so I do occasionally visit – generally at Christmas and the height of the wet season, which never fails to remind me that living in Canada has destroyed my ability to cope with tropical weather.