Sandy is a social researcher and communication management specialist. Her research interests are centred on subnational governance of industrial development – mining, oil and gas extraction, power generation (including renewables) and ancillary infrastructure (pipelines and transmission lines). She is interested in the interface between governance actors (Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, proponents and governments) at local, regional and state/provincial levels and how they seek to enhance the benefits from industrial development and avoid or mitigate its adverse impacts.

Much of her research has been focused on the social risks associated with mine project development, mine closure and the transition of mining regions to post-mining alternatives.

Sandy has extensive experience working across the mineral resources sector – on site, in a corporate environment, in government, consulting, not-for-profit and research. She brings practical industry knowledge to her applied research projects and enjoys working in interdisciplinary teams.

Sandy joined CSRM in 2019 after completing her PhD at the centre. Her doctoral research examined how coal mining project teams in Australia construct and assess social risk.


Through her research projects, Sandy works with a range of resources companies, peak industry bodies and government departments, including Anglo American, BHP, CSIRO, EITI, ICMM, MMG, OceanaGold, OZ Minerals, Newmont, Queensland Office of the Coordinator-General, Queensland Resources Council and Rio Tinto.


Sandy’s research projects involve collaboration with other SMI centres, universities, industry partners, communities, and Indigenous peoples and their representative organisations.

Key publications

Worden, S., Svobodova, K., Côte, C., & Bolz, P. (2024). ‘Regional post-mining land use assessment: An interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach.’ Resources Policy, 89, 104680. doi: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2024.104680

Worden, S.Dalaibuyan, B., & Bainton, N.. (2023). Peer review of "Technical guidance for assessing and managing the social impacts of projects under the Coordinator-General Social Impact Assessment Guideline". Brisbane, QLD, Australia: CSRM.

Zhang, R, Worden, S, Xu, J., Owen, JR, & Shi, G. (2022). ‘Social stability risk assessment and economic competitiveness in China’. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 9(1), 309, 1-7. doi: 10.1057/s41599-022-01329-8.

Sturman, K.Loginova, J.Worden, S.Matanzima, J., and Arratia-Solar, A. (2022). Mission critical: strengthening governance of mineral value chains for the energy transition. Oslo, Norway: Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Wang, Y, Zhang, R, Worden, S, Cao, H., & Li, C. (2021). ‘Public participation in environmental governance initiatives of chemical industrial parks’. Journal of Cleaner Production, 305, 127092. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.127092.

Everingham, J, Svobodova, K, Lèbre, É, Owen, JR, & Worden, S, (2022). ‘Comparative capacity of global mining regions to transition to a post-mining future’. Extractive Industries and Society 11 101136. doi: 10.1016/j.exis.2022.101136

Worden, S., Neme Gaviola, L., Munguia Llort, P., & Tapia Rivera, R. (2022). Mine Closure Hub - resources for communities. Brisbane: CSRM.

Svobodova, K, Owen, JR, 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, 114778.

Kemp, D, Worden, S, & Owen, JR 2016, ‘Differentiated social risk: Rebound dynamics and sustainability performance in mining’, Resources Policy, vol. 50, pp. 19-26, DOI 10.1016/j.resourpol.2016.08.004.