Personal details

Dr Deanna Grant-Smith
Senior Lecturer
QUT Business School,
Discipline *
Business and Management, Human Geography, Policy and Administration
+61 7 3138 2491
+61 7 3138 1313
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Identifiers and profiles

Doctor of Philosphy (Griffith University), Master of Business (Communication Studies) (Queensland University of Technology), Graduate Diploma of Sciences Communication (Central Queensland University), Graduate Certificate in Management Communication (Other), Bachelor of Science (Australian Environmental Studies) (Griffith University)

Professional memberships
and associations

unpaid work, internships, deathscapes, unspeakable policy problems, stakeholder engagement, participatory planning, environmental stewardship, education-to-employment transitions, work-integrated learning, equity and social justice

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


With a PhD in public consultation and policy analysis, Deanna has more than 20 years of experience conducting research and providing policy and strategy advice across the areas of environmental policy, participatory planning, community engagement, and organisational strategy and development. Deanna has an outstanding record of achievement in delivering strategic and high impact solutions for a wide range of environmental, engagement and change issues which are based on sound research. Deanna has conducted and supervised a range of research activities to inform strategic evidence-based decision-making. Within a government setting these include research into: boating activity in high growth areas; indigenous boating safety issues; transport needs and disadvantage; and risk management approaches in regulatory regimes. She has also conducted a range of research projects within an academic environment to provide an evidence-base to support decision-making for government partner organisations on a range of issues including public participation in regional planning and inter- and intra-agency collaboration. Deanna maintains an active research interest in embodiment and gender issues particularly as they relate to planning, policy-making, education and employment. Deanna has extensive experience in developing and delivering consultative approaches for a range of issues including transport and infrastructure planning, and environmental policy review. Deanna maintains an active research interest in public involvement and stakeholder engagement with a focus on consultation with marginalised or disadvantaged groups, particularly young people and women, and cultural and political engagements with the environment and sustainability issues particularly those associated with waste management. She also explores the potential for exploitation and exclusion presented by unpaid work and emerging forms of unpaid and unconventional internships.        

This information has been contributed by Dr Deanna Grant-Smith.


Dr Grant-Smith is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Mentor Advisor for the QUT Academy of Learning and Teaching (QALT) . She currently teaches MGB310 Managing sustainable change and GSZ633 Managing outwards in a networked government (as part of the Public Sector Management Program).

This information has been contributed by Dr Deanna Grant-Smith.


Dr Deanna Grant-Smith brings to her research an innovative interdisciplinary approach that is underpinned by a commitment to sustainability and social inclusion. Prior to an academic career, she worked in the government sector, where she had roles in policy development and implementation, public sector reform, integrated regional planning, inter-governmental program management, organisational evaluation, and community consultation and stakeholder engagement. Deanna’s current research projects include:         • Equity considerations of unpaid work & internships – This research focuses on the potential for exploitation & exclusion presented by unpaid work & emerging forms of unpaid & unconventional internships. Funded by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education.         • Widening participation in postgraduate education  – This research documents equity trends in postgraduate study comparing enrollment, completion & employment data across Australian universities. Funded by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education.         • Social impact of community art organisations – A collaboration with Cork Community Art Link (Ireland) and Dr Tony Matthews (Griffith), exploring the management of stakeholder relationships in the non-profit arts sector & the social impact of community art & placemaking/place management in Ireland, Australia & Singapore.         • Unspeakable policy problems – My PhD focused on stakeholder engagement in the development of marine pollution prevention policy concerning the discharge of sewage from vessels. To explain high levels of regulatory resistance I theorized a new form of wicked policy problem—unspeakable policy problems—characterized by a high degree of psychosocial sensitivity and verbal proscription. The successful management of unspeakable policy problems has potentially significant sustainability, social justice and economic impacts. My current research theorises unspeakable policy problems such as unpaid internships, adoption of recycled water, and innovation in death-related industries.         • Stakeholder engagement & sustainable governance – This research focuses on stakeholder engagement in the regulation & management of heterotopic & ludic spaces & the responsibilisation of environmental management & stewardship. With Dr Jennifer Bartlett (QUT) I am currently working with OzFish Unlimited to identify recreational fishers motivations for engaging in habitat stewardship activities.

This information has been contributed by Dr Deanna Grant-Smith.


For publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.


Awards and recognition

Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
Reference year
Awarded 2016 Best Higher Education Research Publication Award Early Career
Reference year
Awarded 2016 ANZAM Award for Early Career Researcher


Current supervisions

  • Path dependence and sustainable socio=technical transitions in infrastructure systems in regional planning in Queensland
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Severine Mayere, Professor Les Dawes
  • Understanding Mining Governance in Indonesia: A Study of Governmentality
    PhD, Mentoring Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Robyn Mayes
  • Minding my own business: A multiple capitals perspective exploring Australian small business survival of natural hazards
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Amisha Mehta
  • Governance and Power in Australian Federalism: The case of independent federal transport regulators
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Robyn Mayes
  • A Critical Study on the Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Business Organisations in Sri Lanka.
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Robyn Mayes
  • Environmental Equifinality: Exploring Predictors of Responsible Environmental Behaviour of Recreational Fishers
    MPhil, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Bernd Irmer
  • Problematising The Wickedness of 'Disadvantage' in Australian Indigenous Affairs Policy
    Masters by Research, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Robyn Mayes
  • Fishers Are Doing It For Themselves? Responsibilisation and the framing of fish habitat rehabilitation and stewardship
    Masters by Research, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Carol Richards

Completed supervisions (Masters by Research)