Professor Lyn Parker
Started at UWA: 1997
Sociocultural anthropologist specialising in contemporary Indonesian culture and society
Doing the first ever research on how to educate Indonesian young people about the environment feels important.Professor Lyn Parker
Professor Lyn Parker is a sociocultural anthropologist and researcher specialising in contemporary Indonesian culture and society, environmental problems and gender issues at the UWA School of Social Sciences. Her main research interests are the anthropology of Indonesia, women and gender relations, education and the environment.Her interest in Indonesia flourished during her high school years when she enrolled in an Indonesian language class, the first Indonesian class taught in schools in New South Wales. She acknowledges that if Hindu, Urdu or Sanskrit had been offered, her career could have taken a different trajectory, studying and researching in India. Lyn did not foresee that she would combine her love for the Indonesian language with the culture and become an anthropologist, until she had finished her honours year at Australian National University (ANU). Following her tertiary education, Lyn conducted doctoral fieldwork in east Bali in 1980–81, studying the integration of a pre-colonial kingdom into the Indonesian nation-state. This was when she became interested in education and its role in citizen creation.
Professor Parker is currently completing a book about how Indonesia is (and isn’t) educating children and young people on how to be good environmental citizens, which is a deeply saddening but important study. Lyn believes her research is critical when considering the many serious environmental problems – air and marine pollution, loss of habitat and loss of biodiversity in the region – as well as lack of knowledge about these problems. She wishes to inspire young people, to learn about human-environment interactions and motivate them to learn how to prevent environmental problems and solve existing ones.
Recently, Professor Parker organised a series of research training workshops in Indonesian universities in response to the rapidly growing Indonesian economy and the need for academic research training and improvement to the Indonesian education system, essential to building a skilled workforce. Lyn is also focused on developing engagement between UWA and Indonesian tertiary institutions, particularly in East Java.
- BA (Asian Studies) (Hons), Australian National University
- PhD (Anthropology), Australian National University
- Visiting Professor, Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia
Awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award for Research Supervision (2012)
Awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award for Research Supervision (2006)
Professor Lyn Parker ensures her classes involve highly interactive discussions. She hopes to create safe, friendly spaces in which students feel free to discuss their ideas, ask questions, wonder and think independently about the issues raised in readings.
Lyn currently uses her knowledge to teach honours and master’s-level units specifically – ASIA5001 Key Debates in the Asian Region alongside Associate Professor Stephen Dobbs and SOCS5013 Gender in Development: Approaches and Issues. She is also part of the EcoPeoPle Research Cluster in the UWA School of Social Sciences.
- Education for a tolerant and multicultural Indonesia (ARCDG, 2009–)
- Fostering Pro-environment consciousness and practice: Environmentalism, environmentality and environmental education in Indonesia (ARCDG, 2013–)
- Understanding social, economic and health vulnerabilities in Indonesia (ARCDG, 2017–)
- Environmental Education in Indonesia: Creating Responsible Citizens in the Global South, co-authored with Kelsie Prabawa-Sear, Routledge, 2019.
- From Subjects to Citizens: Balinese Villagers in the Indonesian Nation-State. Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2003.
Professor Lyn Parker has been a supervisor at UWA since 1998. Her first PhD student was Sharyn Graham Davies, an Associate Professor at the Auckland University of Technology. Both Professor Parker and Sharyn Graham Davies travelled to the University of Tasmania to work on a ‘gender’ project in Indonesia.
- ‘The Impact of Culture on Environmental Education in Java, Indonesia’
- ‘The Silent Desire: Islam, Women’s Sexuality and the Politics of Patriarchy in Indonesia’
- ‘Islamic Popular Culture and the New Identity of Indonesian Muslims: Investigating the Consumption of Islamic Popular Culture’
- ‘Educated Young People, Rural Authorities and Village-based Reactions to Troubled Education-to-Work Transitions in Central Flores (eastern Indonesia)’
- ‘Transition from University to Work: Dilemmas and Challenges faced by Graduate Unemployed Youth in Shanghai, China’