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Researcher output profile for Prof Louise Johnson
Dr Louise Johnson is Professor in Australian Studies. A human geographer, she has researched the gendered nature of suburban houses and shopping centre, changing manufacturing workplaces as well as the dynamics of Australian regional economies. Major publications include Suburban Dreaming (DUP 1994) and Placebound: Australian Feminist Geographies (OUP 2000). Her most recent work has examined Geelong, Bilbao, Singapore and Glasgow as Cultural Capitals (Ashgate 2009) looking at how the arts have been re-valued and urban spaces remade by the creative economy. She is currently researching the nature of master planned suburban communities, waterfront renewal and post-colonial planning.
A working class girl from suburban Sydney, Louise Johnson was the first in her family to go to University, attaining a scholarship to Sydney University in 1972 after attending a selective government high school. After an Arts degree with majors in History, Geography and Art Louise did Honours in Geography and was offered a tutorship at Sydney University Geography Department in 1975. After teaching very large numbers of first year students, actively criticising the quality of teaching by senior staff in the department but also participating in the radical Marxist politics then engulfing the academy, she arrived at the end of her contract with no Masters completed. The contract was not extended.
Thankfully the Deakin job had appeared and Louise moved to Geelong and another tutorship in 1979. A few years later the Masters was meant to be upgraded to a PhD, but such a plan was scuttled by one of those senior colleagues back at the alma mata. So it was a Master of Arts (Honours, in 1982) and another degree to go to secure an academic future. While the PhD was begun so too were curriculum initiatives â€“ to create Suburban Dreaming as a book and subject and Womenâ€™s Studies, which had to be fought for and eventually established at Deakin. Melding feminism with geography became something of a challenge and speciality, leading to visiting lectureships at ANU and at Waikato University in Hamilton, New Zealand, significant publications and an international reputation. With a PhD completed, lots of publicatins promotion occurred to Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer before Louise entered middle management as a Head of School in 1998. Over six years, she headed a number of schools before resigning in 2005. After a year of recovery â€“ academically and emotionally â€“ Louise resumed her research, community and teaching initiatives, to the point of being promoted to Level E in 2012.
So the message to all those younger and less senior women out there is to hang in there, work hard, play the game(s), stay true to your principles, build allies and a strong support network (especially outside the University) and never give up!
Deakin University CRICOS Provider Code: 00113B