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Dr Eva McRae-Williams

Principal Research Leader

Social Anthropology, Community Livelihoods, Education and Employment Pathways, Homelessness

  • Name: Dr Eva McRae-Williams
    Position: Principal Research Leader
    Research focus: Social Anthropology, Community Livelihoods, Education and Employment Pathways, Homelessness

    Phone: +61 8 8946 6651

    Qualifications: PhD (Charles Darwin University), MA Research (Charles Darwin University), BB Honours (University of Ballarat), BA (University of Tasmania)

    Professional memberships and associations
    • Member – Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
    • Member – Australian Vocational, Education and Training Research Association
  • Dr Eva McRae-Williams has worked in the Social Anthropology and Community Livelihood research space for nearly 10 years, with most of this work situated in the Northern Territory. As Principal Researcher and Lecturer , she has extensive experience as an educator, researcher and consultant.


    Dr McRae-Williams has researched and published nationally and internationally in the areas of:
    • Social Anthropology
    • Remote Indigenous Community Livelihoods
    • Education Engagement and Employment Pathways
    • Indigenous Homelessness
    She has research management and project coordination experience. Her research adopts ethnographic and participatory action research methodologies that strive to make visible and challenge central ontologies and build local capacity for social justice outcomes. Examples of this research approach include exploration of the cultural nature of concepts such as work and employment, an investigation into non-Indigenous perceptions of Aboriginal people living rough in Darwin, a participatory action research project on microenterprise development and Aboriginal community livelihoods in very remote Australia. She is currently the Principal Research Leader for one of 12 research projects operating under the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation.

    Dr McRae-Williams has in-depth knowledge of national and regional initiatives impacting on Aboriginal engagement in the economy in the Northern Territory and more generally in remote Australia. Her earlier research, for her Masters in Museum studies considered the question of Indigenous Museums with a case study focused on the Tiwi islands.


    • CI -competitive research grant, Northern Territory Research Branch, 2011
    • CI -competitive research grant, FaHCSIA National Homelessness Research Agenda Fund 2010
    • Ph.D. scholarship from the Tropical Savannas CRC, Charles Darwin University, 2005.
    • Golden Key International Honour Society member
    • Northern Territory Archive Service History Grant recipient 2003.
    • Australian Post Graduate Research Award, 2002.


    2013 – Present Higher Degrees by Research Coordinator, Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education.
    2012 – Present Principal Research Leader – Pathways to Employment Project, Cooperative Research Centre of Remote Economic Participation, managed by NintiOne and in partnership with Batchelor Institute.
    2010 – 2011 Research Fellow and Research Excellence Manager, Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
    2009 – Associate Research Fellow, Cooperative Research Centre – Tropical Savannas, Charles Darwin University
    2005-2008 Doctoral Candidate, Charles Darwin University
    2003-2005 Masters by Research Candidate, Charles Darwin University


    • Research Committee
    • Academic Board
    • Teaching and Learning Committee
    • Scholarships Committee

    CRC-REP Pathways to Employment Duration: January 2012 – December 2016 This project involves a number of staggered case studies. The case studies explore the following questions, using qualitative and mixed method approaches.
    • How do Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander People in very remote Australia navigate their way into meaningful livelihoods?
    • What kinds of work might help to support sustainable livelihood outcomes in very remote Australia?
    • What kinds of learning could support meaningful livelihood agendas, aspirations and pathways in very remote Australia?

    Language, Aspirations and Identity among language students at Batchelor Institute Duration: April – Dec 2014 Principle Investigators: Chie Adachi, Henk Huijser, Rena Stanton & Eva McRae-Williams


    McRae-Williams, E. (2008) Understanding “Work” in Ngukurr: A Remote Australian Aboriginal Community. PhD thesis, Charles Darwin University, Darwin. available at:
    McRae-Williams, E. (2005) What is an Indigenous Museum? A Tiwi Islands Case Study, Masters by Research thesis (unpublished), Charles Darwin University, Darwin.
    McRae-Williams, E. (2002) Aboriginal Mission Tourism: Visitation to Ebenezer Mission. Honours thesis (business), (unpublished), University of Ballarat, Ballarat.


    McRae-Williams, E. (2014) ‘Aspirations for Meaningful Livelihoods: Challenges of Pathway Navigation’, Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues (Special Issue: Red Dirt Research in Remote Australia), vol. 17, no. 4, pg. 57-71
    Parkes, A., McRae-Williams, E. & Tedmanson, D. (2014) ‘Dreams and aspirations of mobile young Aboriginal Australian people’, Journal of Youth Studies, pg. 1-14
    Clark, I & McRae-Williams, E. (2014) Tourist Visitation to Ebenezer Aboriginal Mission Station, Victoria, Australia, 1859–1904: A Case Study. Tourism Culture & Communication, Volume 13, Number 2, March 2014, pp. 113-123
    Guenther, J. & McRae-Williams, E. (2012) Making the most of technologies for learning in remote context. VOCAL: The Australian Journal of Vocational Education and Training in Schools, 9 (2011-2012). pp. 88-95. ISSN 1835-338X
    Lea, T., Wegner, A., McRae-Williams, E. , Chenhall, R. & Holmes, C (2011): Problematising school space for Indigenous education: teachers’ and parents’ perspectives, Ethnography and Education, Vol6, No. 3, pp.265-280
    Lea, T., Thompson, H., McRae-Williams, E. & Wegner, A. (2011) Policy fuzz and fuzzy logic: researching contemporary Indigenous education and parent-school engagement in north Australia. Journal of Education Policy, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 321-339
    McRae-Williams, E. & Gerritsen, R. (2010) Mutual Incomprehension: The cross-cultural Domain of Work in a Remote Australian Aboriginal Community. The International Indigenous Policy Journal. Vol.1, No. 2. Available at:
    Senior, K., Chenhall, R., McRae-Williams, E. , Daniels, D. & Rogers, K. (2006) ‘Dogs and people in Aboriginal communities: exploring the relationship within the context of public health’, Environmental Health, Vol 6, no. 4: 39-46


    Guenther, J. and McRae-Williams, E. (2015) The training and employment challenge of remote communities: Is collaboration the solution? 18th AVETRA International Conference: Walking the Tightrope:The implication of markets for VET research, policy and practice, Melbourne 8-10 April.
    McRae-Williams, E. & Guenther, J. (2014). Learning Pathways for Economic Enterprise in Remote Aboriginal Communities: Are Certificate IIIs the ticket? 17th AVETRA International Conference: Informing changes in VET policy and practice: The Central role of Research, Surfers Paradise 22-24 April. Full paper available at:
    Guenther J. & McRae-Williams, E. (2014) Does education and training for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lead to ‘real’ jobs? Evidence from the 2011 Census. 17th AVETRA International Conference: Informing changes in VET policy and practice: The central role of research, Surfers Paradise QLD. Full paper available at:
    Guenther, J., Osborne, S., Arnott, A., McRae-Williams, E & Disbray, S. (2014) Amplifying the voice of remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander VET stakeholders using research methodologies: Volume 1. 17th AVETRA International Conference: Informing changes in VET policy and practice: The Central Role of Research, Surfers Paradise, 22-24 April. Full paper available at:
    McRae-Williams, E. & Guenther, J. (2012) Pathways: following the highway, taking the scenic route or journeying through the dreaming. In: AVETRA 15th Annual Conference: The Value and Voice of VET Research for individuals, industry, community and the nation. Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association, , pp. 1-13. ISBN 978-0-9805275-3-7
    Guenther, J., McRae-Williams, E. and Townsend, P. (2012) Can m- and e-learning support pathways for meaningful vocation in remote communities? In: AVETRA 15th Annual Conference: The Value and Voice of VET Research for individuals, industry, community and the nation. Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association, , pp. 1-11. ISBN 978-0-9805275-3-7


    Holmes, C. & McRae-Williams, E. (2012) “Captains” and “Selly-welly”: Indigenous women and the role of transactional sex in homelessness, Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary education, Batchelor, NT, Australia.


    McRae-Williams, E. (2011) Living with work in a remote Aboriginal Community. In North Australian Political Economy: Issues and Agendas, edited by R. Gerritsen. Charles Darwin University Press, Darwin.


    Holmes, C. & McRae-Williams, E. (2009) An Investigation into the Influx of Indigenous ‘Visitors’ to Darwin’s Long Grass from Remote NT Communities – Phase 2: Being undesirable: law, health and life in Darwin’s Long Grass. NDLERF Monograph No. 33. National Drug and Law Enforcement Research Fund and Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation.

    Principal Supervisor - PhD

    Kaye Goyen
    Exploring Yarning as Medicine

    Principal Supervisor – Masters

    Beverly Councillor
    Noongar, Boodjarah, Galyakoorl, (People, Country, Always/Continuously): Resolving Native Title in the South West