Research Team

The Research Team consists of specialised researchers and research support staff who are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the ARC IGNITE - Buri Gamba research project. Lead by Roxanne Bainbridge, this team is located across Australia, including Cairns, Brisbane and Adelaide, and work together to coordinate and facilitate this project.

Professor Roxanne Bainbridge

Professor Roxanne Bainbridge

Professorial Research Fellow
Roxanne Bainbridge Staff Profile
Phone: (07) 4037 4742
Location: Cairns

Professor Roxanne Bainbridge is from the Gunngari/Kunja nations in South-Western Queensland. She is a Professorial Research Fellow at CQUniversity Australia, and an inaugural Atlantic Fellow for Social Equity. Roxanne works to strengthen researcher capacity and improve the integrity and quality of research to maximise its impact and benefit for Aboriginal and Torres Strait people.

Prof Bainbridge is the leading Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council (ARC) IGNITE project (IN200100057). She is also a Chief Investigator (CI) on the National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network, a national body of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholars led by Distinguished Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson, CIB on ARC Indigenous Research Impact, CIE on ARC Integrating Research into Services for Youth with Unmet Need, and CI in the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Integrated Quality Improvement in Indigenous Primary Health Care. Roxanne is a Principal Investigator alongside Professor Ross Bailie from the University of Sydney on the largest evaluation ever undertaken by the Commonwealth Government in Indigenous Primary Health Care. The evaluation is led by New Zealand group Allen & Clarke. She was also part of the team that developed Lowitja Institute’s research impact tool, Resilas.

Roxanne has multidisciplinary expertise specifically clustered around the social and cultural determinants of health, equity, health services, Aboriginal psychosocial resilience, empowerment and social inclusion. Her methodological expertise is in high impact applied research conducted in participatory and action-oriented research approaches embedded in systems sciences. Specific proficiencies are in research impact assessment and evaluation; integrated quality improvement; grounded theory; systematic literature reviews; and auto/ethnographic approaches. She has led research across a number of projects in Aboriginal health and wellbeing (e.g. mental health including suicide, child and maternal health, palliative care, social and emotional wellbeing across the lifecourse, binge drinking, health services research, and health promotion); education (e.g. engagement, pedagogy, school transitions, inclusive practice and mentoring); and conducted systematic literature reviews in various content areas for Indigenous populations e.g. Indigenous research impact, social and emotional wellbeing, mentoring, alcohol and other drugs, resilience strategies, Indigenous HDR education, child and maternal health, cultural competence, sexual assault, family-centred interventions, health promotion tools, program transfer and Indigenous community governance.

Headshot of Julie Ballangarry

Ms Julie Ballangarry


Ms Julie Ballangarry, BEd (Hons), is a Gumbaynggirr Women from Northern New South Wales, who is currently working towards her PhD at Griffith University, with her research focusing on Indigenous Education and the policy-making process. Julie is also a scholarship holder. During her time at Griffith University, Julie has had the opportunity to work on several research projects locally within the domain of Indigenous Education as well as an international study that is funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust and co-led by the University of Glasgow and Griffith University; these projects are currently ongoing. The roles Julie has undertaken include senior research assistant, project manager and key investigator. She has gained invaluable experience whilst working on these collaborative projects which include teamwork, self/time-management, project management, taking the lead on ethics applications, meeting with key stakeholders and working on systematic literature reviews. Working on such projects has also awarded her the opportunity to present at the 2020 GIER EPS Research Conference “Research in 2021 and beyond,” leading the discussion on “Sharing Indigenous Education: COVID & Beyond” with her research colleagues. Julie is also a current member of the Australian College of Educators and helped facilitate the establishment of the Indigenous Education Special Interest Group (IESIG) in 2020. As an active member of the IESIG, Julie also contributed to the development of the response paper to AITSL’s Indigenous Cultural Competency in the Australian Teaching Workforce Discussion Paper. Julie organised and collaborated with her peers in digital yarning circles, collected feedback, and co-created the official document on behalf of the IESIG. Julie was also a part of the Mount Stewart Cluster TECE program in her final year of her BEd (Hons), this afforded the opportunity to spend several years teaching in remote Indigenous communities, before departing the teaching profession. Julie’s research interest include:

  • Public policy
  • Indigenous education
  • Indigenous affairs and policies
  • Black politics
Head shot of Troy Meston

Mr Troy Meston


Troy Meston is an Indigenous lecturer in the final stage of his PhD candidature.  His work investigates the viability of a techno/cultural interface that could reduce the continuing legacy of Indigenous underachievement in Australian classrooms. He is a current member of the QLD advisory committee for the Australian College of Educators and in 2020 he established the Australian College of Educators Indigenous Education Special Interest Group and led the national response to the AITSL discussion paper: Indigenous cultural competency in the Australian teaching workforce. In this time also, Troy has either worked as or donated time, as a tutor and academic advisor for Indigenous undergraduate and postgraduate students at GUMURRI Student Support unit.

In 2018, Troy consulted as part of a national Indigenous team which evaluated the cultural appropriateness of subjects taught across the seven nationwide campuses of the Australian Catholic University.

From 2014 until 2016, Troy worked as a research fellow with the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).  While at ACER he worked as part of an Indigenous research team to develop or co-ordinate;

  • The Bungoo Bank, an Indigenous financial literacy program with ASIC,
  • A policy insights paper for the Prime Minister and Cabinet on Indigenous school attendance,
  • An Indigenous research agenda for the Science of learning Research Centre at the University of Queensland (UQ), &
  • A national Indigenous Educational Researcher Visiting Fellow program.
Georgia Spanner

Ms Georgia Spanner

Research Worker
Georgia Spanner Staff Profile
Phone: (07) 4037 4717
Location: Cairns

Ms Georgia Spanner is a Research Worker at CQUniversity Australia and works with Prof Roxanne Bainbridge on the ARC IGNITE Buri Gamba Project. Georgia previously worked as a Research Support Officer and Administration Officer for the Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research for three years, supporting a team of over ten researchers on multiple NHMRC & ARC projects. She has a Diploma of Health Science, and is an accredited General, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander, Youth, and Suicidal Persons Mental Health First Aider. Georgia strives to help others and is passionate about supporting people to improve their mental health and wellbeing. Her research interests include: Social & Emotional Wellbeing of Indigenous Youth, Impacts of Chronic Pain on the Mental Health of Youth, and improving Resilience, Empowerment & Wellbeing strategies of Indigenous Youth.

Tessa Benveniste

Dr Tessa Benveniste

Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Tessa Benveniste Staff Profile
Phone: (07) 4037 4732
Location: Adelaide

Dr Benveniste is a Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Central Queensland University. Prior to this, she was the Project Manager of a National Health and Medical Research Council funded grant, which took a strengths-based approach to suicide prevention, aimed at improving the psycho-social resilience and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. Her doctorate was awarded in 2018 and took a holistic approach to investigating the experiences of boarding school for remote Aboriginal students and families. Prior to this, Dr Benveniste was awarded a Bachelor of Medical Science (2008), a Bachelor of Psychological Science (2011), and honours in Psychology (2012). Throughout the past 8 years, she has built extensive experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and has conducted multiple research projects that cross between the education, health, and community sectors, and is a strong advocate for engaged and applied research. Her methodological expertise lies in Grounded Theory, qualitative and mixed methods, and has recently turned to evaluative approaches. She also sits on the evaluation working group for the Centre for Research Excellence: STRengthening systems for Indigenous health care Equity. Dr Benveniste has published 22 peer-reviewed journal articles and two book chapters, with over 60% as first author. Her most recent work includes several systematic literature reviews relevant to Indigenous Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Psychology. She is an active supervisor of Psychology honours students and has supervised and mentored Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and research assistants.