Q&A with Honours Fellow Anastasia Mortimer

Anastasia will analyse the role of the Western Australian state government in mining on Native Title lands in the Kimberly and Pilbara regions.

Anastasia Mortimer is one of three 2016 Honours Research Fellows at the Sydney Environment Institute. She’s undertaking her Honours in Sociology at the University of Sydney with her thesis examining the role of the WA state government in mineral development on native title land. She aims to analyse the underlying ideologies present in government policy and media statements which argue for mineral development on land seen as culturally significant.

Anastasia is passionate about environmental justice, Indigenous rights, animal rights and veganism. On her weekends, she also enjoys making garments from recycled fabric.

Find out more about Anastasia.


Describe what your Honours thesis is about.

My thesis looks at the role of the Western Australian state government in mining on Native Title lands in the Kimberly and Pilbara regions. I am particularly interested in the cultural and environmental implications that this has on Native titleholders and I aim to highlight examples of social power abuse and dominance by the WA State government in discourse surrounding mining on Native Title lands.

What gap in current research are you trying to fill?

My research aims to highlight the environmental aspects of issues surrounding mineral development on Native Title land, which has traditionally been ignored in the social sciences, but especially in the discipline of Sociology. My research aims to fill this gap and highlight the environmental connection to the ‘social’.

What do you think your conclusion/answer will be at the end of your project?

I suspect that my research will find that the actions of the State government abuse their power when it comes to mining, and that these practices are linked to underlying ideologies of neoliberalism, neo-colonialism and anthropocentricism.

What made you interested in that subject area?

I have been concerned with environmental issues for a long time, especially issues which arise from direct human interference with nature, which has made me passionate about environmental justice and advocacy. I am also passionate about Indigenous rights issues and believe that the laws and policies in relational to Aboriginal people in Australia fail to protect their basic human rights. Both of these passions led me to the impacts of mineral development in Australia.

What bit do you do for the environment?

I am vegan, and aside from this being a lifestyle for ethical reasons, I am a vegan for the environment. This is because animal agriculture, especially intensive factory farming results in pollution and an exhaustive use of natural resources, water and land which is environmentally unsustainable. To assure that I live a sustainable lifestyle I only use ethical, vegan and environmentally sustainable products in my day to day life.

What are your interests beyond researching?

My main interests beyond researching include creative based projects such as drawing, designing and making clothing. I enjoy making garments from recycled fabric, tablecloths and curtains. I also love cooking and creating recipes for vegan deserts which are both healthy and delicious.

What do you get up to on a weekend?

I like to explore the wonderful things that Sydney has to offer such as museums and galleries. And I enjoy going on long bike rides to places I have never been before. I also love going to the movies.

Have you only just lived in Sydney?

I am originally from the Southern Highlands and my Family moved to Grafton when I was 11. I moved to Sydney in 2012 to Study and I love it here!

You can contact Anastasia via email anastasiamortimer1@gmail.com