2014 was transformative for criminology at Deakin University.
For the first time our courses were offered at the Melbourne Burwood campus and following the introduction of several new Criminology degrees we now offer double degrees across each Faculty in the University. The expansion in course offerings led to exciting new appointments to our team.
In February 2014, Dr Wendy O’Brien joined us. Wendy came from the Australian Crime Commission where she was a senior research fellow conducting and overseeing a wide range of research. Wendy’s recent industry experience has been vital in shaping the criminology curriculum at Deakin in ways designed to enhance student employability through her role in developing and implementing the Criminology Practicum where industry is brought into the university.
In mid-2014 Dr Adam Molnar joined our team. Adam’s previous position was a post-doctoral fellow in the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queens University in Canada. Just prior to joining Deakin Adam was part of a research team that completed a major study for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada into the use of ‘drones’. This report attracted international media attention. Adam’s expertise in surveillance is helping to shape our focus on surveillance studies as one of the key distinguishing features, in both teaching and research, at Deakin University.
In other staffing developments the year began with Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon undertaking an Academic Visitor appointment in the Centre for Criminology at Oxford University. Kate’s year continued to develop with the publication of her sole-authored book Homicide Law Reform, Gender and the Provocation Defence (Palgrave MacMillan). In early October, Kate was named in the Westpac and Australian Financial Review 2014 ‘100 Women of Influence’ awards and was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Early Career Researcher Award for Research Excellence.
2014 also saw Dr Chad Whelan awarded an Office of Learning and Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, coming on top of his 2013 Vice-Chancellor’s award for Excellence in Teaching (previously awarded to another criminology team member, Dr Ian Warren in 2008 and 2009). As Chad took on the role of School Course Enhancement Leader, a new staff member Ruth Liston joined the team and has worked wonderfully in different teaching roles and course enhancement activities.
Throughout 2014 Dr Darren Palmer and Dr Ian Warren continued to develop their international research collaboration with several Canadian researchers, resulting in high quality publications. This served as the base for the successful award of the highly competitive Thinkers in Residence grant for Prof Randy Lippert (University of Windsor) to visit Deakin this year.
In 2014 Dr Richard Evans developed two new criminology units, one on crime and the media and the other on contemporary criminal justice issues. Richard also has a forthcoming article in Surveillance and Society that brings together these teaching and learning themes with his research interest in surveillance studies.
Also in 2014 Associate Lecturers Chris Linke and Clare Farmer made strong progress on their PhDs while also contributing to the delivery of the criminology undergraduate program. Both Clare and Chris are aiming to submit their doctorates in 2015.
Just before the Christmas break we were delighted to welcome the newest member of the criminology team, Dr Diarmaid Harkin. Diarmaid completed his PhD in the School of Law at the University of Edinburgh. Diarmaid is currently in the throes of publishing the findings of that research, the first of which is forthcoming in Theoretical Criminology.
In sum, 2014 has been a highly successful year for criminology at Deakin University, one that we aim to build on for further successes in the coming years.