News

SEI Welcomes Professor Danielle Celermajer As Our New Deputy Director – Academic

SEI is thrilled to announce the appointment of Professor Danielle Celermajer as our new Deputy Director – Academic, to start in January 2021. Prof Celermajer joins the leadership team of Director David Schlosberg and Deputy Director – Operations, Programming, Impact, and Engagement Michelle St Anne.

Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney, Professor Celermajer is a social and political theorist who has published extensively on human rights, torture, institutional transformation, and issues of conservation, animal rights, and multispecies justice. She was Formerly a Policy Director and Senior Policy Advisor with the Australian Human Rights Commission, Founding Director of the Masters of Human Rights at the University of Sydney and of the EU-funded Masters of Human Rights and Democratisation (Asia Pacific), and Director of the EU-funded Torture Prevention Project.

The new position of Deputy Director – Academic is designed to provide the SEI with leadership in the development, implementation, and management of new and innovative multidisciplinary research projects. Professor Celermajer will work with the Director and Deputy Director – Operations to ensure the integration and alignment of researchers and projects across the core focus areas of the Institute. In envisioning and developing new projects, the leadership team will be seeking to ensure that the SEI is at the forefront of innovative and high impact research and that its projects and programs meet the research and education strategies and KPIs of the Institute and University.

Looking forward, Professor Celermajer will be dedicating herself to SEI’s mission of building collaborations across and beyond the University of Sydney with a view to identifying and nourishing the intersections between environmental scholarship and a range of other disciplinary, professional, social and political interests, challenges and agendas for research and action. The focus of a Multidisciplinary Institute like the SEI is precisely to work at and not simply around such intersections. This new role will enhance SEI’s capacity to reach, influence and learn from the knowledge production and communication practices, normative orientations, and actions of different groups and sectors. Professor Celermajer is particularly excited to join the work that Deputy Director Operations Michelle St Anne has been leading on understanding the impacts of the arts and cultural sectors on how different audiences and publics apprehend and respond to climate change and other environmental relationships.

Prof Celermajer has already exemplified the kind of work expected of this position in her leadership of the Multispecies Justice Collective. There, she has worked with researchers across multiple disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences to develop a new field of research, produce field-defining publications, curate high impact events, and nurture the development of researchers across all levels (from postgraduate to senior researchers moving into the field). New collaborative projects in development include work for the Sydney Festival with the artist Janet Lawrence and Michelle St Anne reflecting on the impacts of last summer’s bushfires, and work focused on the ‘grounded imaginaries’ of communities undertaking transformational thinking and social, political and economic reorganisation in the face of climate change.

Dedicated to the mission of academic development and mentoring at the heart of SEI, Prof Celermajer has expressed a dedication to not only identify and nurture current and future projects in critical areas such as multispecies justice, health, Indigenous environmentalisms and architecture/design, but also to further develop the process of inter-disciplinary collaboration and build the capacity of researchers to work as effective collaborators and communicators.

Having worked with Professor Danielle Celermajer on multiple projects over the last few years, we look forward to adding her experience, dedication, creativity, and spirit to the leadership team at the Sydney Environment Institute in 2021.