Rachel England

BSc (Hons I, ANU)
PhD Student

Environmental scientist with a passion for qualitative research methodologies, decolonising research, and sustainability practices. My other particular interests are sociology, biocultural diversity, gender studies, and science communication (graduate of two Sustainable Stand Up comedy courses).

Since 2002, I have worked for the Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service (AQIS) (policy development and plant pest risk assessments), AusAID (science capacity building in Samoa), Australian Department of Defence (Defence Force training area/base environmental management), and private sector environmental consulting (for a range of government and non-government clients).

In March 2016, I started my PhD at the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society researching with Indigenous women in Australia and the Pacific Island to privilege their ways of being, knowing and doing sustainability.

In 2018 I became a partner investigator with the Jean Monnet Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Network (an EU-funded programme that will span 2018-2020).

At ANU, I am an Associate of the ANU Centre for European Studies, and student representative on the Climate Change Institute (CCI) internal Advisory Committee, the Fenner School Board, the Fenner School Research Committee, and the Fenner Invited Seminar Series (gender) organising committee. I am also a member of the ANU Pacific Institute, ANU Gender Institute, the ANU Methodology for Integrative, Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Engagement (AMICIE) forum, and various groups within the Fenner School of Environment and Society, such as the Small Island Developing States (SIDS); Gender Equity Discussion; Policies, Institutions and Economics for Sustainability (PIES); and Human Ecology.

From 2015-2017 I was an elected member of the ACT Branch Committee of the Australian Water Association (AWA).

I am a member of the International Water Centre (IWC), having completed an IWC Leadership Short-Course in 2014; the Australian Association for Pacific Studies (AAPS); the Society for Conservation Biology (Oceania); and the Institute of Australian Geographers.

Please don’t hesitate to connect with me via email or one of these social platforms: Academia | LinkedIn | ORCHID | ResearchGate | Twitter.

Research interests

Thesis title

Indigenous women’s ways of being, knowing and doing sustainable development.

Thesis description

I commenced my research with the Fenner School in late March 2016.

My PhD research is interdisciplinary, focusing on Indigenous women’s ways of living sustainably on their country, and how these ways differ to the dominant sustainable development approaches and practices of their respective States. The aim is to offer insights into how sustainable development-related policy can be informed (reformed) to reconcile with Indigenous peoples’ worldviews of sustainability and their quests for self-determination.

My two semi-comparative case studies are with and for two Indigenous communities: the White Grass people of Tanna island (Vanuatu), and the Nyikina people of the Mardoowarra (colonially known as Fitzroy River, west-Kimberley region, Western Australia).

Numerous consulting reports and policy documents relating to environmental impact assessment, natural resource management (NRM) programme monitoring and evaluation, and on-ground environmental monitoring. Reports are commercial or government in confidence and unable to be shared.

Kriticos, DJ, Stuart, RM & Ash, JE. 2004. ‘Exploring interactions between cultural and biological control techniques: modeling bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata) and a seed fly (Mesoclanis polana)’, Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds Conference, eds. J.M. Cullen, D.T. Briese, D.J. Kriticos, W.M. Lonsdale, L. Morin and J.K Scott, pp. 559-566. (CSIRO, Canberra).

Stuart, RM. 2002. Contributing author. CAB International paper on Chrysanthemoides monilifera. Titled: ‘Chrysanthemoides monilifera (Boneseed) Datasheet’, CAB International (2007), Crop Protection Compendium, Wallingford, UK: CAB International (2005 edition).

Stuart, RM, Kriticos, DJ & Ash, JE. 2002. ‘Modelling the biological control of bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera: Asteraceae) by Mesoclanis polana (Tephritidae)’, Proceedings of the 13th Australian Weeds Conference, eds H. Spafford Jacob, J. Dodd and JH Moore, pp. 591-4 (Plant Protection Society of WA, Perth).

Stuart, RM. 2002. ‘A biological control model for Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata (Asteraceae) by Mesoclanis polana (Tephritidae)’, BSc (Hons) thesis, unpublished. (Australian National University, Canberra). (Hardcopy only available).


  • ‘Pacific Ocean, Pacific Climate’ 2nd Pacific Climate Change Conference, February 2018, Wellington NZ [presenter]
  • Codification and Creation of Community and Customary Laws in the South Pacific and Beyond Conference, July 2018, ANU, Canberra [presenter]
  • ‘Creative Conversations, Constructive Connections’ NZGS/IAG Conference, July 2018, Auckland NZ [presenter]
  • Climate Change Institute Talanoa Dialogue ‘Implementing the Paris Agreement’, August 2018, ANU, Canberra [presenter and panellist]

Convenor of the 2019 ENVS3028/6528 Environmental Policy [3rd/4th year + Masters]