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Nichole Georgeou

Associate Professor and Associate Dean International
School of Social Sciences, Western Sydney University (WSU)

Nichole Georgeou is Associate Professor and Associate Dean International in the School of Social Sciences at Western Sydney University (WSU) Australia, where she is also Director of the Humanitarian and Development Research Initiative (HADRI). She is a Thematic Editor of the journal Development in Practice and was on the inaugural board of the Development Studies Association of Australia (DSAA). She has been involved in ICIMOD’s Himalayan University Consortium (HUC) since 2018 and is currently a member of HUC’s DRR Resilience Education Cluster.

Georgeou holds a PhD in Development Sociology and a Master’s in Social Change and Development (Research). Her areas of research and academic writing fall into three intersecting streams: civil society and volunteering for development; humanitarian interventions and development; and human security and food systems.

Georgeou’s approach to research is based in mutuality and respect, co-design and co-production. She works and writes in teams, often mentoring younger scholars, and has published with scholars from the Pacific Islands, Australia, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

In Nepal, she works closely with Kathmandu University’s School of Arts, where she is an Advisor to the Nepal Centre for Contemporary Study. Her collaboration has focused on deepening WSU students’ understanding of Nepal’s socioeconomic development through the implementation of collaborative online international learning opportunities that enhance knowledge exchange between students at KU and WSU through joint projects and problem solving, as well as the establishment of an internship programme (now virtual) with local Nepali NGOs working in education, gender equality, waste management, disaster management, and democratic processes. She has also established scholarship opportunities for KU students at WSU and is currently engaged in research to support the Nepali diaspora in Sydney during COVID-19.

In Bangladesh, she initiated an edited book project in which she and scholars from HADRI and Dhaka University mentored Bangladeshi early career researchers through a writing and publication process that resulted in the co-edited collection of essays Bangladesh and COVID-19: Response, Rights and Resilience (April 2021). This publication built on the co-edited multi-country study State Responses to COVID-19: a global snapshot at 1 June 2020 (July 2020) that involved over 70 authors from the across the world, including over 40 from the Asia Pacific.

In the Pacific, her current projects include a multi-country multi-institutional study of family farming, lifestyle, and health in the Pacific Islands (funded by the European Commission) and research into post-harvest waste in the Pacific Islands, funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, and led by Pacific partners in Samoa.

Prior to her work in academia, Georgeou was involved in the private, government, community, and aid sectors in Australia, Japan, and Vietnam. She continues to play an active advocacy role in issues of aid and development and has conducted evidence-based research confronting the rules and practices that perpetuate global poverty and inequality.