Dr Lisa Stafford

Publications by year

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Program Leader, Ecologies of Justice

PhD (Queensland University of Technology)

Dr Lisa Stafford  is a social scientist, social/community planner and human geographer with 20 years' experience in the field of disability and inclusion practice and policy with specific focus on the social-spatial needs of children, young people and their families. Lisa also identifies as a chronically-ill disabled academic. Lisa is also the associate program lead of Ecologies of Justice in Centre for Justice QUT https://www.qut.edu.au/law/research/centre-for-justice Lisa's expertise is in participation and inclusive communities, and was recently awarded the highly competitive Australian Research Council - DECRA Fellowship 2019 in Inclusive community planning for people with disabilities in regional areas https://www.planninginclusivecommunities.com/ Her other strengths include the design and use of emancipatory creative participatory methods that enable all people, in particular children and people with complex communication needs, to be heard in research and engagement. In 2018 alone she was awarded nearly half a million dollars in research funding:

  • 2018 - $110,000 grant– Empowering Children’s Voices in services research project with UnitingCare  - Lead CI
  • 2018 - $383,960.00 - ARC DECRA 2019 - DE190101512 – category 1. Title: Inclusive community planning for people with disabilities in regional areas.

In addition to her work as an academic, Dr Stafford has worked in practitioner, management and director roles in government and non-government organisations. Dr Stafford's work has included the development and management of All Abilities Playground projects across Queensland. Research Specialities: Rights-based inclusive research approaches, interpretative policy analysis, phenomenology, person-environment interaction studies (environmental psychology, systems). Research Interests:

  • Inclusive Communities and Social-Spatial Justice. Interested in creating inclusion and equality through understanding the complexity of social and spatial injustices.  Specific areas of interest: neighbourhoods and regional centres, mobility studies, inclusive play spaces, and regional perspectives.  Interested in Spatial Justice theorising, Ableism and Body-space politics.
  • Mobility & Participation. Interest in understanding the meaning of participation and the journey (routines and processes) to achieve genuine participation for people with disabilities in everyday life. Mobility and participation are deeply connected. Specific interest is in children and young people with complex needs, and processes and practices for empowering their "voice". Critical Disability Theory, Geographical Phenomenology, Person-Environment Studies, and Rights-based inclusive approaches are common frames to examine participation and mobility.
  • Transition of Young people with disabilities. Interested in the transitional journey from education to work for young adults with disabilities. This includes taking a systems approach to understanding the complex policy/programmatic, structural inequality, social-cultural, and geographical influences that shape experiences and participation outcomes.

Additional information

Translating knowledge to practice – Workshops/Seminars/ External Service Engagement

  • 2020 - Health Dialogue Seminar on Inclusion and Disability Research https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9AIRnWkG3c
  • Lightening Talk panellist on Space, Place for Centre for Justice and Justice on Tuesday, 25 August, 2020
  • 2020 - QDN Power of Peers Advisory Group member
  • 2019 – Appointed to the Virtual Centre Expert Advisory Panel for Women With Disability Australia
  • 2018 invited to deliver Australia Awards Fellowships – AAF QUT workshop with representative from Tonga on building inclusive communities for people with disabilities.
  • 2018 invited to deliver workshop to Vietnam Department of Transport staff on the development of inclusive transport and inclusive economic development on the intersection of gender and disability. Australia Awards Short Course: Project Implementation to Optimise Gender Outcomes-AUS4REFORM.
  • 2018 – Building Inclusive Communities presentation– NDIS and Business Opportunities - Gympie Regional Council and Chamber of Commerce – 20 June 2018 https://gympiechamber.com.au/?tribe_events=national-disability-insurance-scheme-opportunities-for-business
  • 2018 – Hosting Team Member, for Changing Lives, Changing Communities Forum - QCOSS, QDN, ADCQ. Brisbane 27-28 November 2018. https://www.qcoss.org.au/qcoss-event-changing-lives-changing-communities-brisbane
  • 2017, invited to deliver a seminar and design inquiry workshop on community planning and universal design organised by Sunshine Coast Regional Council and USC in June 2017; https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Council/News-Centre/Attend-the-Inclusive-Tourism-and-Community-Planning-Forum-300517
  • 2017, invited to deliver a master class to Stockland in Sydney on behalf of Touched By Olivia Foundation on inclusive environments in shopping centres 2017.
  • 2017 invited to speak to Indonesia Ministry for Disability visit on the Social Model of Disability and Inclusive Spaces – Cases of play spaces.
  • 2017, invited to deliver Australia Awards Fellowships – AAF QUT workshop with women with disabilities from Ghana on building inclusive communities for women and girls with disabilities.

Key Note Speaker Stafford, Lisa. (October, 2015). Round Table 3. Children, Young People and Everyday Environments. “Through Their Journey’s: Understanding inclusivity of everyday environments for Children, Young People and Families. “ State and Status of Inclusive Design in the Australian Context Workshop, 20 October 2015, Brisbane. Research Translation

Design Practice – Inclusive PlaySpaces In 2003, Dr Stafford first seeded the idea of creating public all abilities playgrounds as a form of respite and enhanced community participation for children and families. This evolved into the development of the award-winning Pioneer Park’s All Abilities Playground at Landsborough. Since this time, she has been intensively involved in creating and promoting inclusive play-space design.  She developed and project managed the expansion of the pilot play-space into the $5M funded Queensland All Abilities Playground Project for Queensland Government between 2007-2010. This project engaged 16 local governments and industry to create 16 All Abilities Playground as well as an e-All abilities playground develop by sonakids. Since this time, Dr Stafford has been involved in more advisory roles such as National Inclusive Playspace Strategy as well working with local councils on identifying problems and solutions (access audits and ideas) to make public parks into inclusive playspaces. Awards

  • 2018 - $383,960.00 - ARC DECRA 2019
  • International awards program, ACCESS-IT - best practice in relation to accessibility All Abilities e-Playground  ACCESS-IT 2009 Best Practice Publication.  - Online All Abilities e-Playground created by Sonakids in conjunction with QAAPP and Gold Coast City Council, provided two gateways to playing the same online program – real example access for all.
  • QLD Government Premiers Awards - Highly Commended, Engaging and Serving Communities, Pioneer Park All Abilities Playground. Sunshine Coast Region, Disability Services Queensland 2006
  • PRAV/Parks & Leisure Australia  -  NationalPlayground Design Award - Pioneer Park All Abilities Playground 2006;
  • Kids Safe - Certificate of Commendation, Innovation in Industrial Design - Pioneer Park All Abilities Playground 2006.
Inclusive Community Planning for People with Disabilities in Regional Areas
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
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Seamless Journeys to Work for Young Adults with Physical Disabilities
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
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