Kylie McKenna

PhD, Research Fellow - Livelihoods

Registered to supervise postgraduate research


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

I am an interdisciplinary social scientist with a PhD in Sociology (ANU) and 10 years experience in research and development projects in social change in the Asia-Pacific region. I joined the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods at Charles Darwin University (CDU) in May 2023, working across a range of funded research initiatives, including the ACIAR project Towards improved livelihoods for Indonesian fishers in Nusa Tenggara Timor Province, Indonesia, and the CDU project Encountering Maritime Northern Australia: Perspectives on Sea Country, Fisheries and Governance.

My PhD research focused on the social and environmental responsibilities of natural resource companies operating in areas affected by conflict in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. This work was published as Corporate Social Responsibility and Natural Resource Conflict in the Routledge Research in Sustainability and Business Series. I have since published on a diverse range of social and environmental challenges in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Australia. A key theme of my research are the impacts of conflict, violence, and development on rural and remote communities, utilising participatory research methods with vulnerable populations.

Current and past research and consultancy projects have included: Conflict Analysis Study of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and Solomon Islands (Save the Childred); Evaluation of the Rural Service Delivery and Local Governance Project - Papua New Guinea (World Bank); The social perspectives of different age and gender groups in Western Highlands, Jiwaka and Madang Provinces in PNG (DKA Austria); Status and Implementation of the Peace Agreement and Implications for Referendum (PNG National Research Institute); Evaluation of the NSW Environmental Trust Education Grant Programs (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage); Climate Resiliency and Biodiversity in PNG (USAID); Natural Resource Governance Index (NRGI). 

Education and academic qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy (Sociology), Australian National University, 2012

Bachelor of Arts (Hons), University of Sydney, 2008

Diploma of Community Services (Youth Work), TAFE NSW, 2003

Research interests

  • Livelihoods
  • Conflict and peace building 
  • Gender-based violence, family-sexual violence, and child abuse
  • Climate change 
  • Papua New Guinea 
  • Indonesia

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Interdependent Engagement: Achieving Corporate Social Responsibility in Bougainville and Papua , Australian National University

Award Date: 7 Dec 2012

Bachelor, The University of Sydney

Award Date: 6 Dec 2008

External positions

Program Committee, Australian Doctors International

1 Nov 2021 → …


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