Anne Stephens is a Lecturer and Senior Researcher with the College of Arts, Society and Education and the Cairns Institute at James Cook University.

Anne has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Queensland (2012).  Her field of interest is in gender and critical systems thinking for applied social science research.  Anne’s feminist-systems thinking (FST) framework is in use to evaluate the gender mainstreaming, equity and empowerment programmes of the United Nations and NGOs in international development. Anne received a 2016 Endeavour Fellowship to develop this work with UN Women while being a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University's, School of International and Public Affairs in New York.

Anne is author of Ecofeminism and Systems Thinking, (first published 2013 and reprinted 2015). (see a recent review by Buyana Kareem, G.J. Lieberman Fellow Stanford Humanities Center, USA).  She has dozens of original research articles and several book chapters across diverse social issues: adult vocational education and training; social inclusion in climate change and environmental debates; family violence prevention; addictions treatment; and assessment of brain injury in Indigenous adults.

Anne’s background is in education, social enterprise and project management.  Anne was a founding member of the Food Connect Foundation and was an inaugural director of FoodSwell Inc, a charitable health initiative promoting fresh food availability in remote communities across Australia. She was a secondary school teacher working in private and public schools in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, and North Queensland. She worked for the Queeensland Government's Department of Education in curriculum research and strategy, Middle Years of Schooling, education events managment, and was the Curriculum Advisor at Network Ten's Children's Television Production Unit.

At the Cairns Institute, Anne’s work has focussed on the social inclusion of communities in Northern Australia. She has worked extensively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and collaborated widely with cross-disciplinary and institutional teams, and relevant industry, government and NGO representatives. Her focus has been largely on vocational training for social and community development, personal wellbeing, violence prevention and employment.

She regularly presents her work, including keynote and plenary addresses, conference and seminars and supervises PhD and Masters by Research candidates.

  • ED1401: Foundations of Education (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • ED3443: Teaching ESL to Indigenous Students (Level 3; TSV)
  • Undertaking a Masters of Business Administration (Conflict Negotiation) (JCU) Continuing studies in French language
  • Critical systems thinking methodologies for participatory research and systemic evaluation methodology and practice for social inclusion of marginalised agents (human and other than human)
  • 2016 - Visiting Scholar, Columbia University: Gender and Public Policy Specialization at the School of International and Public Affairs (New York)
  • 2013 to 2016 - Post-doc, The Cairns Institute (James Cook University, Cairns)
  • 2011 to 2013 - Senior Researcher, The Cairns Institute (James Cook University, Cairns)
  • 2006 to 2012 - PhD candidate, The University of Queensland (Brisbane)
  • 2000 to 2005 - Teacher and researcher of the New Basics trials, Education Queensland (Brisbane)
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2009 - The Sir Geoffrey Vickers' Award presented by the International Society of Systems Scientists
  • 2016 - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Endeavour Post Doctoral Fellowship
  • 2009 to 2010 - Post-graduate PhD scholarship Unviersity of Queensland

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters
Conference Papers

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 43+ research outputs authored by Dr Anne Stephens from 2003 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

The Faster Forward Fund - The Faster Forward Fund

Evaluation of pilots of the Inclusive Systemic Evaluation (ISE) Guidance

Indicative Funding
$9,756 over 2 years
Dr Anne Stephens and Dr Ellen Lewis are research partners. Dr Stephens is based at JCU (Australia). Dr Lewis University of Hull (UK). In 2016 they collaborated with UN Women?s Independent Evaluation Office to develop the Inclusive Systemic Evaluation (ISE) Approach for Gender Equality, Environments, and voices from the Margins (GEMs): A Guidance for Evaluators for the SDG Era (hereon known as the ISE Guidance). The guidance is a UN Women resource with a comprehensive 8 chapter online and published book to support practitioners gain both theoretical and practical skills to apply systemic evaluation to their practice. The Guidance is a practical tool to support the future provisions of people with serious unmet needs, whether physical, social, economic, educational, or political. It contains a dozen tools, examples of practice and other resources. The Guide is being piloted in various sites across the globe. This project will conduct a meta-evaluation of various pilot studies around the guide featuring different uses and efforts with the ISE methodology.
Anne Stephens and Ellen Lewis (College of Arts, Society & Education and University of Hull)
International development; Sustainable Development Goals; Research Methodology; Evaluation; Systems Thinking

Ninti One Limited - Contract Research

Enhancing Training Advantage for Remote Indigenous Learners

Indicative Funding
This research project seeks to provide answers to the longstanding questions about how post school training enhances the employability of remote adult learners. In particular, the project will examine programs in remote parts of Australia where rates of retention and completion are relatively high compared to the average for remote Australia. The research aims to achieve this through a series of five case studies. Each case study will examine retention and completion towards employability with individual cases considering aspects of funding models, pedagogy, cultural relevance, pre-vocational literacy, on-the-job-training, and block release training (away from communities) compared to on community training.
Anne Stephens in collaboration with John Guenther, Bob Boughton, Sandra Wooltorton, Janet Skewes and Melodie Bat (Cairns Institute, Ninti One Limited, The University of New England, University of Notre Dame Australia, Charles Darwin University and Batchelor College)
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander; Retentention; Vocational Education and Training; Completion

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Education for Sustainability in a Difficult Political Climate: A Social Learning Model (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Indigenous Economic Development and Sustainable Livelihoods for Northern Australia. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • The Relationship Between Policy and Practice in Addressing Gender and Social Inequity (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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