Department of Geography and Planning

Dr Jessica McLean

Jessica McLeanPosition: Lecturer
Location: W3A 416
Telephone: +61 2 9850 6295


Jess McLean has two main research areas: first, she is examining water governance in Australia at multiple scales, including the role of Indigenous knowledges in water planning, and; geographies of digital change in the Anthropocene. 

Her PhD research involved fieldwork in northern Australia, working in partnership with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities to gain an understanding of water matters in the Ord catchment. Part of this research included investigating the negotiation of native title and how Indigenous water rights were excluded from that process. While new co-managed conservation areas and economic development opportunities for Indigenous people were being established, water justice was elusive and water supply and sanitation issues persisted in Indigenous communities.


  • GEOP111 Geographies of Global Change (convenor)
  • GEOP340 Resource management: Worlds turned upside down
  • GEOP380 Human Geography in Action
  • GEOP330 Asia Pacific Development

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Selected publications:

  • McLean, J. 2017. 'Water Cultures as assemblages: Indigenous, neoliberal and colonial water cultures in northern Australia', Journal of Rural Studies. DOI information: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.02.015
  • McLean, J., and S. Maalsen. 2017. "We Don't Want It to be Like that for Her Again: Gendered Leadership and Online Feminism in Australian Politics and Planning." Australian Planner, doi:10.1080/07293682.2017.1297316.
  • McLean, J. and Maalsen, S. in press, accepted 09/2014. 'From #destroythejoint to far reaching digital activism: Feminist revitalisation stemming from social media and reaching beyond.' In Gordon, E and Mihailidis P. (eds), Civic Media Reader, MIT Press.
  • McLean, J. Maalsen, S. and Grech, A. 2016. 'Learning from Feminism in Digital Spaces: digital spaces: Online methodologies and participatory mapping', Australian Geographer. DOI: 10.1080/00049182.2016.1138842.
  • Maalsen, S. and McLean, J. 2016. 'Digging up Unearthed: a hybrid geography of a musical space', Gender, Place and Culture. 23:3, 418-434. DOI:10.1080/0966369X.2015.1013443. 
  • McLean, J. 2015. 'The contingency of change in the Anthropocene: More-than-real renegotiation of power relations and climate change activism in Australia', Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 10.1177/0263775815618963.
  • McLean, J. 2015. 'Beyond the Pentagon Prison of Sustainable Livelihoods Approaches and Towards Livelihoods Trajectories Approaches' Asia Pacific Viewpoint. 56 (3): 380-391, doi: 10.1111/apv.12097.
  • Lloyd, K., Howitt, R., Bilous, R., Clark, L., Dowling, R., Fagan, B., Fuller, S., Hammersley, L., Houston, D., Miller, F., McGregor, A., McLean, J., , Ruming, K., Semple, A.L., Suchet-Pearson, S. 2015 'Embedding field based learning into institutional curriculum reform: an Australian example' Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 10.1080/03098265.2015.1103710. 

I also occasionally write for a range of accessible publications, recent articles include:


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