Dr Ali Black | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dr Ali Black

PhD Qld.UT, MEd Qld.UT, BEd, BCAE, DipT (EC), BCAE.

  • Senior Lecturer, Education
  • School of Education and Tertiary Access
+61 7 5456 5156
Office location
SD C.2.17
Sunshine Coast
Dr Ali Black

Dr Ali Black is an innovative arts-based and narrative researcher. Her research and scholarly work seeks to foster connectedness, community, wellbeing and meaning-making through the building of reflective and creative lives and identities.

Ali is a highly regarded early childhood specialist who lectures into the Education Programs at UniSC. She contributes to understandings about children, families, learning and education through a range of academic and community forums.

Recognised internationally as a leader in her discipline and research areas, Ali has published extensively for a range of audiences. She is a member of the Register of Experts of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). This register recognises Ali as an expert in the following areas for the discipline of early childhood:  Learning and teaching in higher education; work integrated learning; learning technologies; and curriculum development and design. Reward and recognition of excellence in learning and teaching is supported through the Advance HE Higher Education Academy Fellowships of which Ali is a Senior Fellow.


  • Certificate of commendation for exemplary practice: Recognition for making a genuine difference to student learning through quality teaching, UniSC's Advance Awards, 2016
  • Higher Education Academy (HEA), Senior Fellowship, 2019, in recognition and reward of teaching excellence


Ali is part of the Indigenous and Transcultural Research Centre, working together for culturally responsive knowledge and respectful policies and practices.

Professional Social Media

Potential Research Projects for HDR Students

Inquiry using arts-based research methods

  • Narrative and visual inquiry
  • Memoir
  • 'Research as writing'
  • Autoethnography, self-study, narrative constructions of the 'self'
  • Digital, visual and aesthetic pedagogies
  • Arts-based representations

Understanding lives and learning

  • Participatory research with children
  • Child/nature relationships
  • Academic identities
  • Women's lived experience
  • Gender studies and agency
  • Wellbeing and holistic education
  • Explorations of creativity, connection, identities, relationships
  • Relational knowledge construction

Research areas

  • arts-based research methods including narrative and story
  • knowledge construction and representation (ways of knowing and making meaning)
  • social cohesion, wellbeing, community connectedness and capacity building
  • building reflective and creative lives and professions through aesthetic inquiry
  • gender studies and stories from the academy and the community
  • participatory research with children

Teaching areas

  • Early childhood education
  • Children and the environment, education for sustainability, nature play
  • Arts in Education
  • Teacher knowledge, becoming a teacher, teacher identities, what it means to teach
  • Curriculum theory and pedagogy
  • Well being and holistic education
  • Adult learning
Exploring academic identities through arts-based research
  • Black, A.L. and Dwyer, R. (2021). Reimagining the academy: shiFting towards kindness, connection, and an ethics of care. Palgrave Macmillan. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-75859-2#about  This book explores the capacities and desires of academic women to reimagine and transform academic cultures. Embracing and championing feminist scholarship, the research presented by the authors in this collection holds space for a different way of being in academia and shifts the conversation toward a future that is hopeful, kind and inclusive.
  • Henderson, L., Black, A.L, Garvis, S. (2020). (Re)birthing the feminine in academe: Creating Spaces of Motherhood in Patriarchal Contexts. UK: Palgrave Macmillan. https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783030382100 Written collaboratively as international, interdisciplinary and intergenerational collectives, this book engages expansively with the concept of motherhood in academia, to offer insights into re-imagining a more responsive higher education.
  • Black, A., and Garvis, S. (2018). Lived Experiences of Women in Academia: Metaphors, Manifestos and Memoir. UK: Routledge. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781315147444 These chapters share meaningful stories of women working in the academy, from numerous disciplines, backgrounds and countries, to unveil the complex and distinct dimensionalities they experience in their life and work.
  • Black, A., and Garvis, S. (2018). Women Activating Agency in Academia: Metaphors, Manifestos and Memoir. UK: Routledge. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781315147451 This collection offers the stories of women academics from around the globe and across disciplines and showcases their efforts to meaningfully listen and converse in order to resist self-audit and diminished identities.

Dr Ali Black is an arts-based and narrative researcher and early childhood educator interested in storied and alternative forms of understanding and representing “data”. She privileges collaborative and relational knowledge construction across her research and scholarship as a means of cultivating experiences that support connectedness, community, wellbeing and meaning-making. Ali is available to comment on COVID-19 and related topics

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