Jill is a research methodologist and data analyst specialist who guides quantitative, qualitative and mixed method research at CSRM for government and non-government agencies, organisations and community bodies. Jill applies her expertise to develop ways that enable organisations to assess and improve the health, safety and well-being of their workforces and their neighbouring communities.

Jill completed her PhD in the area of cognitive psychology and prior to joining SMI she investigated the attention, memory and well-being of children and adults experiencing physical and/or mental health challenges.

Current Research and Industry Engagement

A feature of Jill’s recent work has been conducting baseline studies to assess the current capabilities of multi-national and international organisations in areas such Community Social Performance (2019-current) and Safety Culture (2020). These factors are examined with reference to the demands of the local context (risk profile), the people and supporting systems of the organisation (capability), and opportunities and challenges reported.

Jill has recently provided in-depth analysis of large private/public databases on Aboriginal employment outcomes (2020) and retention (2019), demographic profiling as part of a social impact and opportunities assessments (2020), and factors contributing to mine health and safety incidents and events (2011-current).  

RISKGATE (http://www.riskgate.org/), an earlier mining industry database that Jill contributed to (2011-2015), is an online body of knowledge of controls to manage coal mining health and safety. Its development was reliant on ~ $4 million of ACARP funding and the participation of large numbers of experts from key global and Australian coal mining companies, OEM companies and QLD and NSW mining OHS regulatory bodies, and universities over a period of five years.

Jill has been the lead data analyst on various large studies, including a state-wide survey, conducted for the Victorian Government’s Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources concerning the preparation of a Regional Rehabilitation Strategy for the Latrobe Valley’s three brown coal mine voids and surrounding landform (2017/2018). As well, an Australian-wide survey, funded by ACOLA, to examine the opportunities and challenges of widespread deployment and uptake of energy storage technologies in Australia (2017).

In 2019, Jill contributed to the NSW’s Resources Regulator update of guidance material for the management of spontaneous combustion and in 2016 she was the lead contributor of the Federal Government’s Leading Practice Handbooks for sustainable mining on the topic of “Community Health and Safety”.


Jill collaborates widely across the Sustainable Minerals Institute, and across the University of Queensland (EAIT, UQ RISK, Dow Centre). She has recently completed  projects for several external bodies including: Antofagasta Minerals (Chile), BMA/BHP, Gemco/South32, Glencore, Oz Minerals, Rio Tinto, Yancoal, as well as for mining regulatory bodies in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.

Key Publications

Svobodova, K., Owen, J. R., Harris, J., & Worden, S. (2020). Complexities and contradictions in the global energy transition: A re-evaluation of country-level factors and dependencies. Applied Energy, 265, 11. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.114778

Cliff, D., Harris, J., Bofinger, C., & Lynas, D. (2017). Managing occupational health in the mining industry. In: Naj Aziz and Bob Kininmonth (Eds.), Proceedings of the 17th Coal Operators' Conference. Coal Operators' Conference, Wollongong, Australia (pp.296-305). Wollongong: University of Wollongong

Kirsch, P.A., Harris, J., Sprott, D., & Cliff. D. (2014). Industry scale knowledge management – RISKGATE and Australian coal operations. Canadian Institute of Mining Journal, 5, 79-86.

Harris, J. D., Cutmore, T. R. H., O'Gorman, J., Finnigan, S., & Shum, D. (2009). Neuro physiological indices of perceptual object priming in the absence of explicit recognition memory. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 71(2), 132-141. doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2008.08.005

O'Brien, M., Harris, J., King, R., & O'Brien, T. (2008). Supportive-expressive group therapy for women with metastatic breast cancer: Improving access for Australian women through use of teleconference. Counselling & Psychotherapy Research, 8(1), 28-35. doi:10.1080/14733140801889071


Since working at SMI (2011 – current) Jill has worked on competitive grants and research contracts valued at over AUD$5.5 m. Project funders have included the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP), resource companies, and the federal and state governments.