Dr Hardy is a senior lecturer in Indigenous Studies in the Indigenous Education and Research Centre.  She is also a Research Fellow at The Cairns Institute in the Creative Innovation; Cultural and Linguistic Transformation; and Indigenous Futures strands as well as a member of the Tropical Archaeology Research Lab at JCU.

Dianna's research focuses on the use co-design of technology to support people in communities in trans-cultural settings to solve problems. Through these projects she has demonstrated expertise in co-design, participatory design methods and user experience design with industry and applied research partners. She uses cultural interface theory to inform her research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to leverage her IT and co-design skills to assist community members in developing projects that improve social and emotional wellbeing.

Dianna is also an expert in the Design Thinking method used to fast-track problem solving with diverse groups with many different types of stakeholders. She is a frequently requested presenter on Design Thinking and was the prior Design Thinking strand coordinator in the discipline of Information Technology at JCU. Dianna serves as lead industry liasion for the annual IT@JCU Technology Design sprint, which brings more than 30-50 industry subject matter experts to  collaborate with upwards of 200 Information Technology students in the largest education-based Design Sprint in Australia.

Her current research areas include:

  • Using co-design methods to facilitate group understanding and problem solving in diverse communities
  • Facilitating access to and use of sovereign data for Indigenous people
  • Improving information literacy training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to support persistence in study at the tertiary level

Dr Hardy is highly engaged in the tech startup community and works closely with DevNQ and with Smart Precinct NQ.

Dianna is currently looking for research students (MPhil and PhD) who are interested in the following topics:

  • Co-design of technology with community groups
  • Design of augmented reality devices for social wellbeing
  • GIS and 3D modelling development for historical and cultural sustainability
  • IA1011: Indigenous Australians (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • IA2023: Indigenous Continuity: Agency, Adaptation and Resistance (Level 2; CNS & TSV)
  • IA2030: Comparative Indigenous Studies (Level 2; CNS & TSV)
  • IA5013: Indigenous Australians (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • IA5029: Comparative Indigenous Studies (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2020 - Australian Award for University Teaching - Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
  • 2019 - College of Science & Engineering - Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
  • 2014 - School of Business, Law, Governance and Information Technology - Sessional Staff Teaching Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning

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 23+ research outputs authored by Dr Dianna Hardy from 2006 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Australian Council of Deans of ICT (ACDICT) Learning & Teaching Academy (ALTA) - Learning & Teaching Grant Scheme

Sustainably enhancing social presence while balancing teacher and student wellbeing

Indicative Funding
$11,591 over 1 year
As Australia moves to a post-Covid normal, online blended learning approaches in tertiary education have become more prevalent. Studies have shown that developing social presence for students and staff can lead to increased wellbeing. However, the steps to ensuring social presence are not well understood or studied in the Information Systems discipline. This project will investigate both student and staff perspectives in supporting wellbeing through social presence and highlight best practices at two Australian universities (JCU and QUT) and in the wider community. Outputs will be best practice guidelines and academic papers highlighting these learnings.
Dianna Hardy, Jason Holdsworth, Art (Hemmaphan) Suwanwiwat, Trina Myers, Jason Watson, Sharon Altena and Wasana Bandara (Indigenous Education & Research Centre, College of Science & Engineering and Queensland University of Technology)
Social Presence; Student Wellbeing; Educator Wellbeing; Online Teaching; scalability; Blended Learning

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.

  • Enhancing adult learner engagement to online learning activities in higher education (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Calf Clan Culture: Rock art of the Khorat Plateau (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Indigenous Student Perceptions and Assumprions about Digital Technology Curriculum and Opportunities (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • Exploration of Resilience of Indigenous Students in Remote Contexts (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • No-bodies are still somebodies: Identifying characteristics of long-term missing persons within Australia (Masters , Primary Advisor)
  • An investigation into the experiences of Indigenous students with information literacy training and seeking information from an academic library. (Masters , Primary Advisor)
  • Designing physical interface for application of augmented reality in toddler toys (Masters , Primary Advisor)

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