Elizabeth has a political science background and now works within the interdisciplinary field of global studies. Thematically, she is interested in how people traverse boundaries of difference in the global era, including theories of reconciliation, intercultural communication, and social inclusion/exclusion.
Regionally, she specialises in Latin America and the Caribbean (particularly Brazil, Cuba and Mexico). This has included a major study of the social and political dimensions of Cuba’s public health system, which explored the system’s institutional arrangements and the formal and informal ways in which Cubans navigate and negotiate access health care, and was published in a highly acclaimed book Social Relations and the Cuban Health Miracle.
Elizabeth also has a deep interest in Australia’s engagement with Latin America, which was the focus of a pioneering book – Australian-Latin American Relations: New Links in A Changing Global Landscape (2016). She has worked with organisations in Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro on health, wellbeing and social inclusion projects in favela communities, and on a cross-cultural action research project between Australia and Brazil focusing on themes of sport, wellbeing and reconciliation. Elizabeth speaks Spanish and Portuguese and has lived and researched Latin America intermittently, mainly in Cuba, Brazil and Mexico.
While at RMIT, Elizabeth has played a key role in establishing ‘Global Reconciliation’, a global network of partners around the world that focuses on researching and promoting ‘reconciliation’, or ‘dialogue across difference’.
Elizabeth’s work has been published in many academic journals and edited books and presented at international conferences around the world. She has received several awards and fellowships and has been reported widely in radio, TV and print media. Elizabeth maintains strong collaborative research partnerships across numerous Australian and international universities and has worked with a range of industry partners. She regularly serves as a referee for academic journals and both undergraduate and higher degree research theses. Outside of work she dabbles in Latin music and dance, acrobatics, and theatre.