The research Team




Associate Professor Shanthi Robertson

Shanthi Robertson is Associate Professor in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and an Institute Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University.  A sociologist specializing in migration, youth studies and urban social change, she has published extensively on the experiences of contemporary Asian migrants to Australia in urban contexts, particularly in relation to her ARC DECRA (2015-2018) project on young Asian temporary migrants. Alongside the Civic Sinoburbia project, she is also working on projects that investigate the outcomes of transnational youth mobility for young people moving into and out of Australia for work, leisure and study (ARC Discovery) and the role of consumer AI and autonomous technology in the lives of migrants living with disability in Sydney (ARC Linkage). Her most recent publications appear in Population Space & Place, Global Networks, Geoforum, Current Sociology, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and Journal of Youth Studies. Her second book, Temporality in Mobile Lives: Contemporary Asia-Australia Migration and Everyday Time will be published by Bristol University Press in 2021. She is a regular commentary in the national media on migration and cultural diversity issues.


Distinguished Professor Ien Ang

Distinguished Professor Ien Ang is a Professor of Cultural Studies and was the founding Director of the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Her books, including Watching Dallas, Desperately seeking the audience and On not speaking Chinese: Living Between Asia and the West, are recognised as scholarly classics and her work has been translated into many languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Turkish, German, Korean, and Spanish. Her most recent books are Cultural Diplomacy: Beyond the National Interest (Routledge, 2016, co-edited with YR Isar and Phillip Mar) and Chinatown Unbound: Trans-Asian Urbanism in the Age of China (Rowman and Littlefield 2019, co-authored with Kay Anderson, Andrea Del Bono, Donald McNeill and Alexandra Wong). She has collaborated extensively with a range of partner organisations in Sydney including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Migration Heritage Centre, the City of Sydney and the Special Broadcasting Service.


Professor Megan Watkins

Megan Watkins is Professor in the School of Education and Institute Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. Her research interests lie in the cultural analysis of education and the formation of human subjectivities. She has extensively examined the impact of cultural diversity on education and the ways in which different cultural practices can engender divergent habits and dispositions to learning in partnerships with the NSW Department of Education and the NSW Teachers Federation. She is currently undertaking research into the impact of Asian migration on Australian society in two ARC Discovery Projects: Schooling, Parenting and Ethnicity: Asian Migration and Australian Education and Civic Sinoburbia? New Chinese migrants and everyday citizenship in Sydney. Previous publications of relevance to this research include Watkins, M, Ho, C & Butler, R (eds) (2019) Asian migration and education cultures in the Anglosphere. London: Routledge and Watkins, M. and Noble, G. (2013) Disposed to Learn: Schooling, Ethnicity and the Scholarly Habitus. London: Bloomsbury Academic. 


Associate Professor Christina Ho (UTS)

Christina Ho is an Associate Professor of Social and Political Sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology Sydney. She researches cultural diversity and inequality in education, and inter-cultural relations in urban areas. She has a particular focus on Chinese diasporas, and in addition to this project, is also involved in the ARC-funded project ‘Schooling, Parenting & Ethnicity: Asian Migration & Australian Education’. Her latest book is Aspiration and Anxiety: Asian Migrants and Australian Schooling (MUP 2020).





Dr Bonnie Pang

Bonnie Pang is Senior Research Fellow of School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University, UK. She has made original and sustained contributions to her globally situated research program ‘Rethinking Health Experiences and Active Lifestyles: Chinese’ (REHEAL-C). This research aims to meet the need of a lack of sociological imagination of Chineseness in health and physical cultures in Anglophone countries. Her work has been published in key journals including Sport, Education, and Society, Pedagogy, Culture, and Society, and Teaching and Teacher Education. She has co-authored one monograph on Interpreting the Chinese Diaspora: Socialisation, Identity and Resilience: According to Pierre Bourdieu (Routledge, 2019), and is working on a second one on Understanding Diversity, Differences and Social Justice in Physical Education: Enduring Challenges and Possible Directions in a Translocated World (Routledge, forthcoming). Bonnie is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow (2019-20), AIESEP Young Scholar (2011), and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). She is an editorial board member of Sport, Education, and Society. 


Dr Alexandra Wong

Dr Alexandra Wong is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society of Western Sydney University.  She received interdisciplinary training from her PhD at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Her research is focussing on three areas of interests, (1) creative cities and cultural policies (2) migration and multiculturalism (3) urban studies and sustainable development. Her past research has covered topics on cultural infrastructure, Chinese diaspora, ethnic relations, housing, multicultural education, entrepreneurship, urban infrastructure crisis, heritage management and ‘just’ economic transition.  Currently, she is working on three ARC Discovery Projects: ‘The China Australia Heritage Corridor’ (2017-2020), ‘Civic Sinoburbia? New Chinese migrants and everyday citizenship in Sydney’ (2020-2024) and ‘Schooling, Parenting and Ethnicity: Asian Migration and Australian Education’ (2020-2023). Her latest book, jointly authored with researchers from the ICS, was Chinatown Unbound: Trans-Asian Urbanism in the Age of China’ (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2019).

The advisory board



Associate Professor Fran Martin, Associate Professor and Reader, School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne


Dr Dallas Rogers, Senior Lecturer, Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, The University of Sydney


Ms Susanna Ng, Senior Social Programs Officer, City of Sydney


Ms Jane Lin, Chinese Community Development Officer, Georges River Council


Mr Barry Li, Author of ‘The New Chinese: How They Are Shaping Australia


Ms Caroline Xu, OAM, Principal, Feng Hua Chinese School


Mr Kurt Cheng, University of Technology, Member of Youth Advisory Committee, Georges River Council