Associate Professor Wendy Shaw
Associate Professor
Field of Research: 
Human Geography, Social Science methods
Contact details:
+61 2 9385 3715

Room 613, D26 Building
UNSW, Kensington 2052

Research & Current Projects


Contemporary research field of whiteness in postcolonial Australia and Indigenous geographies; theoretical debates about identity, specifically concerning urbanism and urbanity, gentrification and cosmopolitanism, and the complex realities of (post)colonial urban life in Australia, and beyond.

Current research includes projects and collaborations that span the Asia-Pacific region, new methodological journeys and fascinating collaborations, which include work with non-social scientists that bring social science and scientific methods together in transformative ways.



Human-Animal Bonds Between Zoo Professionals and the Animals in their care. CIs: V Melfi, G Hosey, L Birke, W Shaw. Collaboration between UNSW, Taronga Zoo, University of Bolton and Chester Zoo (UK).

Accommodating DisabilityCare: Maximising Housing Options in a Reformed Disability Sector. I Wiesel, C Bridge, C Laragy, W Shaw, AHURI (Project code 71040), April 2014 – 2015.

Biodiversity capacity building in Papua New Guinea and sustainable development of its primary industries. G Cassis, G Jackson, C Reid, W Shaw. AUSAID/ Public Sector Linkages Program, UNSW and National Agricultural Research Institute (PNG).

Rip currents: an evidence based approach to managing the greatest beach hazard, ARC Linkage Project with Surf Life Saving Australia, CIs: RW Brander, IL Turner, DT Dominey-Howes, J Goff, WS Shaw, D Drozdzewsk and S Sherker (2011-14).

Coffee Green Scales in PNG: Highland Arabica Coffee and Yield Loss, (UNSW, CABI International & Coffee Industry Corporation PNG) Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (2011-13).



Demographics, surf knowledge and behavioural responses of rip current rescue victims, funded by Surf Life Saving Australia (2011).

A historical geography of cotton farming in NSW & QLD: adaptation and adoption, funded by Cotton Catchment Communities CRC Ltd (2010 - 2012).

Treechange migration to the NSW Southern Highlands: motivations and outcomes of urban to rural migration, Regional and Rural Research Development Grant, Department of Infrastructure and Transport, CI: D Drozdzewski (2010-11).


See also:


Research Students

Geoffrey Brown (PhD candidate) - ‘Be entrepreneurial!’: decentred welfare provision in the revanchist city.

Helen Karathomas (PhD candidate) - Social Mixing and Urban Redevelopment in Millers and Dawes Point, Sydney (submitted).

Lindsay Menday (PhD candidate) - Does the emphasis on building ‘communities’ fragment the city?  An analysis of ‘community’ as a cause and means of social fragmentation in Sydney, Australia.

Veronica Ritchie (PhD candidate) – Cultures of disaster survival in the aftermath of tsunamis - Social scientific approaches (Joint supervisor with Professor James Goff)

Melissa Vogt (PhD candidate)

Todd Walton (PhD candidate) - Australian rip currents, community knowledge and implications for surf drowning, rescues and education.

Darren Ngaru King (PhD candidate, co-supervision) - Tsunami disturbance, recurrence and risk along the New Zealand’s coast: learning from differences in knowledge, practice and belief.



GEOS3611           Geographies of the Asia Pacific (Course Convenor)

GEOS2641           Urban Environments (Course Convenor)

ENVS2030           Australian Cultural & Social Environments (Course Convenor)




Shaw WS, 2007. Cities of Whiteness, Blackwell Wiley, Oxford (Antipode series).



A life in Cotton: The Birth of the Modern Cotton Industry in Australia. Trailer at: Contact Wendy for details/to obtain a copy.


For journal articles, book chapters and reports: