Dr Lisa Palmer is a human geographer who teaches and researches on human-environment relations and indigenous approaches to environmental and social governance. Her research takes a critical ecological approach and is focused on south-east Asia (particularly Timor Leste) and indigenous Australia.
She is currently working on two ARC funded research projects: ‘Spiritual Ecologies and Customary Governance in Post-conflict East Timor’ (2016-2019, led by Prof Andrew McWilliam, Anthropology, ANU/UWS) and ‘The Social Benefits of Market-based Policy Instruments for Carbon and Water' (2019-2021, led by Prof Lesley Head, Geography, UoM).
Her doctoral research examined ideas and practices of 'nature' and 'place' in the making of Kakadu National Park, while her post-doctoral work with Prof Marcia Langton and others investigated new approaches to treaty and agreement making between indigenous peoples and others in Australia and other settler states. In recent years she has concentrated her field research in Timor Leste examining the intersection of custom and modernity in the diverse governance approaches of this new nation state. She has published widely in geography, anthropology and multi-disciplinary journals and is the co-editor of two books (Settling with Indigenous Peoples (Federation Press, 2006) and Honour Among Nations? (MUP 2004)).
Her 2015 book, Water Politics and Spiritual Ecology: Custom, environmental governance and development (Routledge Explorations in Environmental Studies), is the culmination of a decade of ethnographic research in Timor Leste. It addresses a critical need for a sustained geographical and anthropological inquiry into the social issues of water governance. Exploring the ritual ecological practices, contexts and scales through which use, negotiation over and sharing of water occurs at the local level, the book shows the complex functioning and social, cultural, economic and environmental interdependencies of hydrological societies. It examines the difficulties local communities face in having their rights recognised and their efforts to maintain and assert control of their waterscapes in the face of rapidly changing water governance institutions.
In 2019, in collaboration with Balthasar Kehi and Timor's Lookeu community, she made the film, Wild Honey: Caring for bees in a divided land. The film is distributed by Ronin Films: https://www.roninfilms.com.au/feature/16418/wild-honey-caring-for-bees-in.htmlTogether with a group of Timorese and non-Timorese researchers she is developing an online digital oral history archive 'Culture and Ecology in Timor-Leste'. The archive will be launched in 2020.
Lisa teaches at the undergraduate and postgraduate level: GEOG30026/90025 East Timor Field Class, GEOG20012 Post-conflict Development and Difference and GEOG90021 Conservation and Cultural Environments.
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Intersectoral collaboration for people-centred mental health care in Timor-Leste: a mixed-..
Displaying the 14 most recent projects by Lisa Palmer.
Internal Research Grant
Displaying the 49 most recent scholarly works by Lisa Palmer.
Intersectoral collaboration for people-centred mental health care in Timor-Leste: a mixed-methods study using qualitative and social network analysis
Teresa Hall, Ritsuko Kakuma, Lisa Palmer, Harry Minas, Joao Martins, Greg Armstrong
Journal article | 2019 | International Journal of Mental Health Systems
Spirit Ecologies and Customary Governance in Post-conflict Timor-Leste
Lisa Palmer, Andrew Mcwilliam
Journal article | 2019 | Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia
AbstractIn post-conflict Timor-Leste, the concepts of spirit ecologies and intergenerational wellbeing direct our attention to the..
Are people-centred mental health services acceptable and feasible in Timor-Leste? A qualitative study
Teresa Hall, Ritsuko Kakuma, Lisa Palmer, Joao Martins, Harry Minas, Michelle Kermode
Journal article | 2019 | Health Policy and Planning
People-centred mental healthcare is an influential concept for health system strengthening and sustainable development that has be..
Community economies in Monsoon Asia: Keywords and key reflections
Katherine Gibson, Rini Astuti, Michelle Carnegie, Alanya Chalernphon, Kelly Dombroski, Agnes Ririn Haryani, Ann Hill, Balthasar Kehi, Lisa Law, Isaac Lyne, Andrew McGregor, Katharine McKinnon, Andrew McWilliam, Fiona Miller, Chanrith Ngin, Darlene Occena-Gutierrez, Lisa Palmer, Pryor Placino, Mercy Rampengan, Lei Lei Than Wynn, et al.
Journal article | 2018 | Asia Pacific Viewpoint
Cultures of Carbon and the Logic of Care: The Possibilities for Carbon Enrichment and Its Cultural Signature
Sue Jackson, Lisa Palmer, Fergus McDonald, Adam Bumpusy
Journal article | 2017 | Annals of the American Association of Geographers
Climate change and the associated need to decarbonize pose not just risks to cultures but potential opportunities for cultural exp..
The Modern Origins of Traditional Agriculture Colonial Policy, Swidden Development, and Environmental Degradation in Eastern Timor
Christopher Shepherd, Lisa Palmer
Journal article | 2015 | Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia
Land access and livelihoods in post-conflict Timor-Leste: no magic bullets
Simon Batterbury, Lisa Palmer, Thomas Reuter, D do Amaral de Carvalho, Balthasar Kehi, Alex Cullen
Journal article | 2015 | International Journal of the Commons
In Timor-Leste, customary institutions contribute to sustainable and equitable rural development and the establishment of improved..
Community-Orientated Protected Areas for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities: Indigenous Protected Areas in Australia
M Langton, L Palmer, ZM Rhea
Book Chapter | 2014
It explores new policies and practices, which offer alternatives to exclusionary, uninhabited national parks and wilderness areas ..
Modernising water: Articulating custom in water governance in Australia and East Timor
SE Jackson, LR Palmer
Journal article | 2012 | International Indigenous Policy Journal
The modernisation of water governance, which can entail resource commoditisation and privatisation, requires the reformation of wa..
Associate Professor In Environmental Studies
Australian Institute of Geographers
Institute of Australian Anthropologists
Doctor of Philosophy
Northern Territory University