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I am a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, at the University of Canberra. My current research explores the role and mechanisms for more participatory forms of governance within rural and regional communities. This includes (i) understanding the socio-political community context, including existing power relations, networks and institutions; (ii) identifying current governance arrangements and the strengths and weaknesses, including existing forms of participation across the community; iii) identifying, often in collaboration with communities, how to support positive community engagement processes in policy governance, industry and NRM contexts, and (iv) communicating the diversity of research findings into outcomes accessible by a range of audiences including policy-makers, community members and stakeholders. I have undertaken a range of projects across water management, community development, forest management and agricultural sectors.


Specifically, my academic interests focus on:

  • Community engagement strategy development and training for the forest sector and other stakeholders including NRM agencies and local government.
  • Improving engagement between communities, decision makers and experts to promote effective decision making.
  • Governance within regional communities. Understanding the differences between communities and how to work with communities for sustainable futures. I undertake this work in both communities and industry-based sectors.
  • Environmental governance and its interface with national policy agendas.


I was a Schlich Medallist at the Australian National University, where I completed undergraduate degree in Science (Forestry) (Honours First Class) in 1998. I then worked in the forest industry in Victoria and Tasmania as a forester until 2006 when I commenced my doctorate with the CRC for Forestry at the University of Tasmania. 

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Tasmania

Award Date: 11 Dec 2011

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Research Output

Understanding water governance: the case of Australia’s Murray-darling basin

Dare, L. & Evans, M., 3 Sep 2017, In : Policy Studies. 38, 5, p. 411-417 7 p.

University of Canberra

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialResearchpeer-review

  • When private water rights become a public asset: Stakeholder perspectives on the fairness of environmental water management

    DARE, L., 2016, In : Journal of Hydrology. 536, p. 183-191 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review