Lynda is a Senior Research Fellow in the Development Minerals program at the Sustainable Minerals Institute. Her research interests include small scale mining, supply chains for gemstones and opportunities for gender equity. Her PhD awarded in 2020, examined Opportunities and challenges for women’s’ empowerment in the gemstone value chain in Madagascar and Thailand.

She is also a knowledge transfer specialist and has designed and led training and Train the trainer programs in the extractive industry in Africa, Asia, Australia and South America. She is especially interested in miner education. She is currently the lead on knowledge transfer design in the Delve Exchange, a new online network to facilitate knowledge sharing and support between ASM associations, ASM communities and quarry workers in different countries and regions during the pandemic. Lynda’s design of the knowledge transfer component of the exchange and her mentoring of the local coordinators, has been an important part of the success of this network, which has already grown to 670 members across 65 countries.

She worked as the Training and Knowledge Transfer Manager at the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) in the Sustainable Minerals Institute for 9 years and has worked for many years in Higher Education and the corporate training space both in Australia and overseas. At CSRM she was responsible for all aspects of the Centre’s training offerings including recent online programming. She also designed and led CSRM’s local economic and social development training programs in Africa and she is committed to ensuring that these types of developments include the voices of women and youth. She has extensive experience in Africa, having led training programs in 13 different countries. Her special interest is in Madagascar where her work has focused on remote and vulnerable populations, particularly female miners. She has designed materials and led field training for these women funded by Tiffany and Co Foundation, DFAT and GIZ.

She speaks fluent French and has a particular interest in mining and development in Madagascar and Francophone Africa and Togo in particular.

She is a UQ mental health champion. 

Key Publications

Lawson, L & Malik, O. 2022. The India-WHWB Experience: Processing of coloured gemstones in Jaipur - a collaborative approach to worker health education. Safety and health at work, 2022-01, Vol.13, p.S84-S85

Lawson. L. (2020). Opportunities and challenges for women's empowerment in the gemstone value chain in Madagascar and Thailand [The University of Queensland, Sustainable Minerals Institute]. Available online here

Lawson, L & Lahiri-Dutt, K 2019, ‘Women sapphire traders in Madagascar: challenges and opportunities for empowerment’, The Extractive Industries and Society April 2020, Vol.7(2), pp.405-411. Available online here.

Lawson, L & Harimalala, Z 2017, ‘Reflections on the life stories of gemstone professionals in Madagascar’, a paper presented at the International Conference on Sustainable Development, New York, 18-20 September. Available online here.

Lawson, L 2019, ‘Women working in the Thai coloured gemstone industry: Insights from entrepreneurial ecosystems’, The Extractive Industries and Society, , Vol.6(4), pp.1066-1074Available online here.

Lawson, L 2018, ‘Sapphire secrets: They aren’t all blue, and mining them requires luck plus labour’, The Conversation, 9 August. Available online here.

Lawson, L 2018, ‘Rice, sapphires and cattle: Work lives of women artisanal and small scale miners in Madagascar’, in K. Lahiri-Dutt (ed.), Between the plough and the pick, ANU Press, Canberra, pp. 171-193. Available online here.

Lawson, L 2018, ‘Sapphire mining, water and maternal health’ in S Ali, K Sturman & N Collins (eds), Africa's mineral fortune: The science and politics of mining and sustainable development, Routledge, London, DOI 10.4324/9780429467424

Lawson, L 2014. 'I have to be my own mother and father': The African student experience at university, a case study using narrative analysis, Australasian Review of African Studies, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 59-79.

Dalglish, C., Evans, P. and Lawson, L 2011. Learning in the global classroom: a guide for students in the multicultural university. Edward Elgar Publishing.