Top (left to right): Leonie Rutherford, Katya Johanson
Middle (left to right): Andrew Singleton, Michael Dezuanni
Botton (left to right): Donald Matheson, Susan La Marca



About Us

Our team brings different disciplinary backgrounds to our ongoing research program, including research into children’s and young adult media and literature, education and arts, sociology, media studies, publishing studies and cultural policy. Our wide-ranging experience is designed to ensure that the research is useful to stakeholders working in a range of sectors, including education, media and telecommunications, libraries and the cultural sector.

Associate Professor Leonie Rutherford (Project Leader)

Leonie Rutherford (PhD, ANU) is a an Associate Professor of Literature and Writing at Deakin University. Her research focuses on a broad range of media with a special focus on young people. She currently leads the Teenagers Reading and Digital Practices Research Projects group in the Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University. She has previously researched media practices of children and youth, television studies, multiplatform production, audience research, media policy, and, as a member of interdisciplinary teams researching impacts of media on children’s digital literacy, health, and educational outcomes.

A/P Rutherford says this of her current research: ‘I’ve always been interested in questions of access, and the many barriers to (and enablers of) young people’s participation in media cultures. The Teen Reading in the Digital Era projects are exciting because they allows us to look at how diverse Australian teenagers can be, and how their various geographical and social contexts impact on their reading and their social and digital identities.:

 Professor Katya Johanson

Katya Johanson (PhD, Uni Melbourne) is Professor of Audience Research and a cultural policy researcher with a professional background and interest in publishing. She is currently co-editing a Routledge Companion to Audience Research and the Performing Arts (2021), and is co-editor (with Jennifer Radbourne and Hilary Glow) of The Audience Experience: A critical analysis of audiences in the performing arts  (2013). She also researches in partnership with government cultural policy and funding agencies, including the Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria, VicHealth and local councils. Professor Johanson is on the editorial board of Cultural Trends, and is a member of the Geelong Arts Centre Trust Board.

 Professor Andrew Singleton

Andrew Singleton (PhD, Monash) is  Professor of Sociology and Social Research in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities at Deakin University, Australia. His research interests include teenagers, survey methods, sampling, religious change, youth religion, personal belief, and alternative religions. Singleton has published extensively in these areas both nationally and internationally. He is the author of Religion, Culture and Society: A Global Approach,  co-author (with Anna Halafoff, Mary Lou Rasmussen and Gary Bouma) of Freedoms, Faiths and Futures: Teenage Australians on Religion, Sexuality, and Diversity, and co-author (with Michael Mason and Ruth Webber) of The Spirit of Generation Y: Young People’s Spirituality in a Changing Australia.   

 Professor michael dezuanni

Michael Dezuanni is a Professor in the School of Communication at Queensland University of Technology. He undertakes research about digital media, literacies and learning in home, school and community contexts. He is Program Leader for Digital Inclusion and Participation in the Digital Media Research Centre which produces world-leading research for a creative, inclusive and fair digital media environment. He is also a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child. Michael has been a chief investigator on six ARC Linkage projects with a focus on digital literacy and learning at school, the use of digital games in the classroom, digital inclusion in regional and rural Australia and in low income families, and the use of screen content in formal and informal learning.

Past Members

Dr Michelle McRae completed her PhD at Deakin University exploring the efficacy of modernist writing strategies to provoke deep reading in teenagers. Emerging from her experiences as a teacher, writer, and researcher, her research interests focus on creative writing and reading and the influence of these practices on young people.

Dr Elizabeth Bullen (Doctorate by Research, Flinders) – Senior Lecturer in Writing and Literature at Deakin University.

Dr Margaret Merga (PhD, Edith Cowan) – Senior Lecturer and researcher at Murdoch University in WA.

Associate Professor Lisa Waller (PhD, Canberra) – School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University.

Dr Ilona Urquhart completed her PhD in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University.