Earthworks - envisioning innovative design solutions for the post mining landscape

Amelia takes a critical geographies approach to post-mine landscape planning, with an emphasis on identifying and tracing small-scale systems of disruption and knowledge emergence amongst local stakeholders.

While radical and innovative landscape design in European and North American post-mine planning is becoming increasingly common, Australian open cut mines remain bound to more conventional and rehabilitation-focused final land use and visual amenity decision-making processes. Amelia's research takes the position that more comprehensive recognition of a wider range of ideas around landscape planning throughout the life of mine would lead to more responsive final landforms, while also improving communication and facilitating shared understanding across internal and external stakeholders. As such, Amelia adopts a feminist geographies framework, and looks to recognise and map parallel, competing understandings and experiences of the mining landscape through an application of Actor-Network Theory.

Having recently completed her mid-candidature milestone, marking the two year point of my research, Amelia is undergoing the data collection and analysis stages of the project. The fieldwork site she is focusing on is Leigh Creek, a region with a recently closed coal mine in the South Australian Outback.

Biography

Since discovering the field of Human Geography early in her PhD, Amelia has been working towards establishing herself as a critical geographer. Like many in geography, she has come from a diverse educational background. Finishing her Bachelor in Interior Design in 2010 and armed with a design thinking ethos, Amelia realised her interests lay more towards semiotics and the role of design as a persuasive tool. Following this line of thinking, she undertook her Masters in Museum Studies, which was completed in 2013. During this time a strong interest was cultivated in the crossover between art and science, and Amelia's dissertation looked at the science museum as an educational institution, investigating the idea and ethics of representing 'unfinished' science within it. Combining an interest in spaces and industrial landscapes with her work in representations of science, Amelia refocused on the Anthropocene, and fostered a speciality in post-mine landscape design and planning. She also established a strong theoretical interest in feminist geographies, and hopes to follow this into the future.

Funding

​Japan Coal Development Australia (JCDA) Scholarship
Awarded $5000 through a competitive process within the Sustainable Minerals Institute, UQ, for use within coal related research. 

Graduate School Travel Award (GSITA) 2016
Awarded $5000 to fund a three week trip to present at a conference in London, attend the FORCCAST Summer School at Sciences Po in Paris with guest lectures by Bruno Latour and Luc Boltanski, and go on a site visit to meet the IBA Fürst-Pückler-Land team and view the Lusatia lakes region in Eastern Germany.

Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) 2015-2018
Awarded $26,288 annually, for a period of three years. APA Scholarships are awarded to students of exceptional research potential undertaking a research higher degree in Australia.

Supervisor

Associate Professor Peter Erskine