Asia-Pacific Australia

Faculty and Staff

Soenke Biermann, Director, Faculty and Advisor,
Soenke holds a Bachelor of Indigenous Studies, a B.A. (first-class honours), and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (Teaching and Learning) from Southern Cross University (SCU) where he was awarded the University Medal in 2009. He is currently in the final year of a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies at SCU, and his thesis explores the ways in which academics in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand decolonize their pedagogical practice. As a researcher, Soenke has presented his work on pedagogy, decolonization, social justice, and human rights at more than 20 national and international conferences. He has been invited to give guest lectures at institutions such as the University of Barcelona, McGill University, UC Berkeley, and Humboldt University, and has published articles in a range of scholarly journals. Soenke is a passionate and dedicated teacher who has won a number of institutional and national Australian teaching awards over the past few years. He also has set up and been involved with a series of initiatives and projects focusing on student equity, social justice, and cultural diversity, and has led a yearlong participatory action research project on the sources of resilience in high-achieving students from poor backgrounds. Soenke has been with the Australia Program since 2010.

Nigel Hayes, Adjunct Faculty and Advisor,
Nigel holds a B.A. (first-class honours) degree from Southern Cross University where he received the University Medal in 2008. Nigel is an experienced university teacher (both online and face-to-face) and has project leadership expertise in effective assessment and feedback. He has been teaching in the Environmental Humanities for Southern Cross University and LIU Global College since 2008. Nigel’s research interests revolve around theories of embodiment and subjectivity, the cultural controls on perception, especially as they involve food, and the ethics of eating. He has published several scholarly articles in academic journals and has presented his research at a number of national conferences. Nigel has been with the Australia Program as an adjunct since 2013.

Marcelle Townsend-Cross, Adjunct Faculty and Advisor,
Marcelle is a mixed heritage Indigenous Australian woman of Biripi, Worimi, and Irish descent. She has 16 years’ experience teaching Indigenous Studies in Australian Universities. Marcelle graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney, in 2009 with a Master of Education in Indigenous Studies, and from Southern Cross University in 1995 with a B.A. in Contemporary Music. Her research and professional activities have concentrated on defining and engaging Indigenous Australian philosophy in relation to pedagogical theory and praxis in past, present, and future contexts, and in engaging Indigenous Australian values in mainstream Australian social policy and practice. Specifically, her research pursuits focus on exploring critical Indigenous Studies pedagogical theory and practice in the vocational, higher education, and community adult education sectors. Marcelle has been with the Australia Program since 2012.

Alexandra Tuai, Student Services & Field Coordinator
Alex is a graduate of LIU Global (Class of 2015) where she focused on international affairs and transculturation. Besides working with LIU Global, she also volunteers with the UC Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies. In her free time she enjoys scuba diving and solo traveling.