Dr Fikreth Shuaib holds a PhD in International Development and Planning from the University of Queensland and a Bachelor and a Master Degree in Regional and Town Planning, also from the University of Queensland. Fikreth has undertaken specialised training on ‘community infrastructure planning’ at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden.

Fikreth’s current research focuses on the interface between Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) and Large-Scale Mining (LSM). This research initiative is being conducted under the auspices of the SMI Complex Ore Bodies cross-cutting program, and is co-supervised by Professor Rick Velanta from BRC and Professor Deanna Kemp from CSRM.  As part of this work, he is building a knowledge database on a range of critical issues related to the interface between ASM and LSM. This builds on Fikreth’s earlier work in community and informal economies, and local economic development and employment strategies.

Since joining CSRM in early 2018, Fikreth has played a pivotal role in updating CSRM’s ‘Towns Diagnostic Tool’ which is designed for use by both mining companies and government agencies to build a collective understanding amongst stakeholder groups about the current state and future options for a mining town. The application of the ‘Towns Diagnostic Tool’ has significant utility for assessing the future of mining towns, and broader regional development and planning issues, both in Australia and internationally.

Prior to joining CSRM, Fikreth worked for the Queensland State Government; Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI); and the Foundation for Development Cooperation (FDC). Fikreth has spent substantial time working in offshore contexts, including in the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region (Sri Lanka, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Samoa). The range of projects which Fikreth has been involved include: assessing livelihood opportunities in the urban informal sector; local infrastructure upgrading in informal settlements; leveraging migrant remittances and microfinance to facilitate local employment; institutional capacity building in conflict areas; forecasting population and employment trends; and the master-planning of towns and regional areas.