Associate Professor John Whyte

John Whyte is the Deputy Dean of Policy Practice and Social Innovation and the Deputy Dean of the Indigenous Studies Unit.

John has worked, researched and taught in the area of human services engagement for more than 15 years, internationally. In his work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian and Native American communities, his research has explored not only the implications of cross-worldview social service practice, but it has also examined reconceptualised notions of identity, communications, and interactions arising from developments in physics, consciousness, and complexity dynamics across Western and Indigenous paradigms.

These understandings have served as a base for his further development of chaos and complexity approaches in practice contexts, including how when combined with critical theory concepts and design principles they can inform social innovation initiatives.

Research interests:

  • Chaos and complexity theory applications in social science contexts
  • Cross-cultural and cross-worldview social services considerations
  • Implications of quantum-level developments in consciousness and communications
  • Design for social innovation applications

Research supervision areas:

  • Social theorising
  • Complexity dynamics
  • Indigenous identity
  • International sex trafficking

Key activities

John Douglass Whyte is the Deputy Dean, Policy Practice and Social Innovation in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies; as well as the Deputy Dean of the University’s Indigenous Studies Unit. He has taught more than 18 different courses, across undergraduate and postgraduate levels, at five different universities, internationally.

Industry experience

John has over 25 years of industry practice and research engagement in the areas of community development and program evaluation—including experience as program manager on a number of urban low income housing and rural community development projects—as well as more than 15 years of experience with Indigenous Australian and Native American communities and agencies.

Expert commentary on...

Indigenous identity, post-colonial theory, cross-worldview social work practice, research methods, chaos/complexity theory, international sex trafficking

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