Who are we?

Intergener8 Living Lab is a collective of scholars, practitioners and other experts from different fields in the humanities, arts and social sciences. Our special skill is bringing social and cultural research to research and design collaborations addressing complex problems in the digital society.


Philippa Collin

Associate Professor,
Western Sydney University

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Dr Philippa Collin is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. Pip researches children and young people’s digital media practices, social and political participation, mental health and wellbeing. Over 15 years she’s worked with hundreds of young people and dozens of community, government and corporate partners including Reachout.com, the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network, Alannah and Madeline Foundation, Foundation for Young Australians, Google Australia/NZ, the Office for Youth as well as NSW and Federal Departments of Health. Her work examines the intersections between particiaption, technology and disadvantage, diversity, safety and citizenship. She’s extremely interested in the potential of participatory reserach and design for democratic practice and policy across a range of areas including m/health, education and exmployment - especially in digital society. philippacollin@westernsydney.edu.au


Amanda Third

Associate Professor,
Western Sydney University

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Associate Professor Amanda Third is Principal Research Fellow in Digital Social and Cultural Research in the Institute for Culture and Society. Her research focuses on the socio-cultural dimensions of young people's technology use, with particular emphases on the intergenerational dynamics shaping technology practice, and vulnerable young people's technological engagements. She has conducted several large externally funded projects with industry organisations (Google Australia, Google UK, Starlight Children's Foundation, Telstra Foundation, Foundation for Young Australians) focusing on young people's everyday use of online and networked technologies and the potential for new technologies to support young people's wellbeing.

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Teresa Swist

Research Fellow,
Western Sydney University

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Dr Teresa Swist is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society. Dr Teresa Swist is Engaged Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. Her research interests explore the complexity and power relations of knowledge practices in the digital age, with a particular focus on co-design, youth participation, creativity and wellbeing. Teresa was a postdoctoral fellow on the Safe and Well Online project – exploring the role of social communications in fostering young people’s wellbeing – and has facilitated multiple workshops with stakeholders from across education, government, industry, and the non-profit sector. She recently worked on a project with refugee young people to co-design a peer-mentoring program, and has conducted interviews with young people about their technology use and involvement in the participatory design process.

Peter Bansel

Senior Lecturer,
Western Sydney University

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Dr Peter Bansel is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Western Sydney University. As a member of Sexualities and Gender Research (SaGR) Peter researches the social, educational, cultural and political dimensions of children and young people’s experiences of marginalization and discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, sexuality, class and race. The research projects he has undertaken have foregrounded and explored questions of diversity and disadvantage, citizenship and social cohesion. He is particularly interested in the impacts of marginalization and discrimination on children and young people’s: educational participation and outcomes; experiences of work; family, community and intimate relations; and mental health and wellbeing. Peter has worked as an educator, consultant, advocate and researcher with children, young people, teachers and parents in schooling settings (from kindergarten to tertiary) as well as community organisations. He is committed to collaborative research methods that lead to changes in practice and policy in education and health.


Louise Crabtree

Senior Research Fellow,
Western Sydney University

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Dr Louise Crabtree was awarded her PhD in Human Geography from Macquarie University in 2007 and has been with Western Sydney University since 2007. Her research focuses on the social, ecological and economic sustainability of community-driven housing developments in Australia; on the uptake of housing innovation in practice and policy; on complex adaptive systems theory in urban contexts; and, on the interfaces between sustainability, property rights, institutional design and democracy. Her recent and ongoing projects focus on two practical areas funded by a series of competitive research grants — community land trusts and participatory mapping methodologies. Both are being used to simultaneously foster social innovation and equity outcomes on the ground, and explore and build theory on multi-stakeholder governance, decolonisation, property law, resilience and citizenship. Louise's work on resilience and governance in community housing was the basis for her receipt of the inaugural Housing Minister's Award for Early Career Researchers in 2009; in announcing the award, the Hon. Tanya Plibersek described the work as 'crucial'.


Michelle Catanzaro

Senior Lecturer,
Western Sydney University

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Dr. Michelle Catanzaro is a Senior Lecturer in Design, within the School of Humanities and Communication Arts. Michelle’s research explores marginalisation, visual identity, ways of seeing, and creative and alternative cultures. She is particularly interested in exploring these issues through practice based methods. Her work is outcome driven with a focus on creating non-traditional research outputs that engage with local communities. Michelle has been developing a research profile aligned with the WSU Intergenerate Living Lab, where she has explored questions around place and identity utilising digital and visual methodologies. Michelle has collaborated with researchers across WSU and with a large number of young people, community members and organisations within Greater Western Sydney and abroad. Some of these include; Navitas English, Marina De Valencia (Spain), Parramatta City Council, Office of Equity & Diversity (WSU), Student experience office (WSU), Headspace, Show me the Way, Bayside City Library, The Westies and Penrith Regional Art gallery.

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Milissa Deitz

Senior Lecturer,
Western Sydney University

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Dr Milissa Deitz is a Senior Lecturer in communication, digital media and creative writing at Western Sydney University. Milissa’s book Watch This Space: The Future of Australian Journalism (2010) was published by Cambridge University Press. Her novel Bloodlust and non-fiction title My Life As A Side Effect are both published by Random House. Her research and scholarly interests include death literacy, grief and identity; voice and the marginalised within digital storytelling (The Right To Know: 100 Years of the Australian Red Cross International Tracing Service, Immigration Museum, Melbourne 2015); and young people, wellbeing and technology (www.invisiblecity.org.au). Milissa’s ongoing interest in breaking the boundaries of traditional frames, disrupting expectations and attempting to narrate stories that are difficult or taboo has led her to various research projects concerning mental health, wellbeing and trauma. The connection between Milissa’s past and current research is bearing witness: witnessing has a long history of inspiring social change, and such testimonies have been integral to shaping historical records of injustice. Among other theorists, Milissa draws on Judith Butler (2009) whose work locates grief and mourning as political, and emphasises ways in which grief is mobilised to create hierarchies that dictate "whose lives count as liveable and whose lives count as grievable".


Nida Denson

Associate Professor,
Western Sydney University

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Dr Nida Denson is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology (SSAP) at Western Sydney University. She is also a member of Sexualities and Genders Research (SaGR). Nida’s research focuses on young people from underrepresented minority groups (e.g., from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, sexuality and gender diverse youth) in a variety of contexts, and the factors that improve or hinder their well-being and development. She has worked collaboratively with a number of community organisations such as Twenty 10, ACON, and Great Lakes for Peace and Development International to address issues of local, national and international importance. These projects have examined issues of difference, diversity, equity, safety, and well-being.


Liam Magee

Senior Research Fellow,
Western Sydney University

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Dr Liam Magee is a Senior Research Fellow at ICS. Liam's principal research interests focus on the application of social methods and information technology to the areas of urban development and sustainability. His doctoral dissertation, completed in 2010, examined the importance of cultural assumptions in the emerging world of interconnected knowledge systems, including emerging systems such as the Semantic Web. His current work extends this research into the areas of urban development and sustainability. He is presently investigating how online games, simulations and other information technologies can facilitate greater clarity and visibility of sustainability objectives among urban communities and stakeholder groups. This research includes study of the underlying technological requirements for such tools (data structures, communication and visualisation), as well as the social research methods for evaluating those tools in practice.


Katrina Sandbach

Director of Academic Program (Design),
Western Sydney University

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Katrina Sandbach is the Director of Academic Program, Design, in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University. A designer and academic with a background in brand communication design, she has taught across the undergraduate degree with a focus on studio skills and professional practice, and now coordinates the teaching studio Rabbit Hole that connects emerging designers with local organisations requiring creative input. Her long history with Western Sydney infuses her practice, and in addition to collaborative research projects, she is engaged with a range of community-based projects that support the development of the region’s creative capacity through educational partnerships. Katrina is particularly interested in how visual communication affects place, communities of practice, and peri-urban creative industries.


Lilly Moody

Research Officer,
Western Sydney University

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Lilly Moody is the Research Officer for the Young and Resilient Initiative, a collective of projects that aims to leverage digital technology to understand and promote the health, wellbeing and resilience of young people. Central to the Initiative is the Intergener8 Living Lab which brings together over 100 participants to co-research and design a range of solutions to the complex issues facing young people in Greater Western Sydney. Lilly previously worked as a Research Officer with the Institute for Culture and Society, and as a Research Assistant with the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre at ICS. She has also worked in a range of human rights and young people-centred roles in the NGO sector. She holds a Master of Human Rights and Democratisation and a Bachelor of Arts.