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)
  • IA1012: Indigenous People of North Queensland (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • IA3025: Navigating Complex Knowledge Intersections (Level 3; CNS & TSV)
  • IA5013: Indigenous Australians (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • IA5030: Navigating the Cultural Interface (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • IA5119: Empowerment and Change (Level 5; 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 22+ research outputs authored by Dr Dianna Hardy from 2006 onwards.


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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.

  • Calf Clan Culture: Rock art of the Khorat Plateau (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Enhancing adult learner engagement to online learning activities in higher education (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Indigenous Student Perceptions and Assumprions about Digital Technology Curriculum and Opportunities (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • Representations of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Land Ownership in Australian Media: A Critical Discourse Analysis (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)
  • Designing physical interface for application of augmented reality in toddler toys (Masters , Primary Advisor)
  • Using online and mobile gamification to orient Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to Library services and resources. (Masters , Primary Advisor)

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