I grew up near Sherbrooke Forest in Victoria, in a valley surrounded by Eucalyptus Regnans - the same majestic trees that inhabit the Styx temperate rainforest in Tasmania. These forests engender awe and humility in the face of natural systems, and the motivation to protect them. I have been working both politically and as an educator to communicate the need for action around issues first raised in the Limits to Growth and around the implications of energy descent.
I first became interested in how people learn at the end of primary school when I noticed and became concerned about the fact that some of my friends, who were otherwise doing well at school, began to have difficulty with mathematics. As I explored this question I became increasingly interested in the whole question of cognition and creativity.
I continued to pursue these questions in my BA honours and PhD research in philosophy - on the role of metaphor in human reasoning and rationality - at La Trobe University. My research on these topics continues to inform my teaching practice and philosophy.
I have been lecturing at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) since 1992.
From 1985 to 1990 I lectured at the University of Maryland at College Park (UMCP - on the outskirts of Washington DC), Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase, University of Wisconsin at Steven’s Point (UWSP), and was a Mellon Fellow for two years at Rice University in Houston, Texas.
My research currently focuses on the metaphorical structuring of institutional discourses, particularly the institutional discourses of science and technology, economics, politics and ethics, with a specific focus on environment, energy resources, and democracy.