Emma George

Associate Professor Emma George

Program Director Occupational Therapy

School of Allied Health Science and Practice

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


As an occupational therapist (Ahpra registration #1749421) I am fascinated by the role and importance of occupation as a right for health and well-being. My research projects all explore the way we address health inequities among marginalised people and communities with a commitment to social and occupational justice. I have led and collaborated in research on national policy implementation, the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, and the recovery from exploitation and modern slavery in Australia and India. In all of my research I am committed to learning more about occupational injustices (marginalisation, alienation, deprivation, imbalance, apartheid and dysfunction), the recognition and realisation of rights, and the response of allied health in order to promote equity and justice, culturally safe practice and trauma informed care.

I am happy for students to contact me to discuss potential research projects ideas and supervision.

Research interests: 

  • Aboriginal childhood and culturally safe and responsive allied health service provision 
  • Equitable accessibility of health care for marginalised communities 
  • Addressing occupational injustices and promoting occupational rights 
  • Recovery from human trafficking and modern slavery 
  • Evidence based practice in occupational therapy 

Current major projects: 

  • "Virtucare" - The VirtuCare project applies learnings from the role played by telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic to inform the co-design, piloting and evaluation of inclusive virtual healthcare and rehabilitation services in India. It will produce a model of care to address health and rehabilitation needs of people with disability who were often excluded in the rapid expansion of telehealth. This project is a collaboration with researchers from the Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne, E-Sanjeevani, The George Institute for Global Health, the Indian Institute for Public Health, Flinders University, Emmunuel Hospital Assocation and the University of Adelaide. Virtual Healthcare: Towards an Inclusive Future of Healthcare - Australia India Institute (unimelb.edu.au)
  • "Piloting a Modified Occupational Justice Health Questionnaire" - This project aims to pilot a new research tool for use with marginalised women in rural India. This work follows two successive grants through the Australia India Institute, in partnership with the Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH) and Good Shepherd (GS). From an occupational justice perspective, marginalized women in rural India experience occupational injustice through alienation from meaningful activity, occupational deprivation leading to marginalisation, and occupational imbalance where they are over-occupied, under-occupied or unoccupied. Marginalisation of women is seen in the way that gender and caste make them vulnerable to discrimination and exploitation, and can lead to deprivation. Women in these situations are often unable to seek help and are described as “invisible” to mainstream society, held captive by the unfair cultural, societal, and power-based relationships that force them to work under exploitative conditions. The main outcome of this research is the development of three case narratives from women in rural India. 

 

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2022 - ongoing Program Director - Occupational Therapy University of Adelaide
    2020 - ongoing World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) 1st Alternate Delegate Occupational Therapy Australia
    2019 - 2022 Senior Lecturer Occupational Therapy University of Adelaide
    2018 - 2019 Lecturer Occupational Therapy Flinders University
    2016 - 2020 PhD Candidate - NHMRC Funded Scholarhip Flinders University
    2015 - 2015 Lecturer: Equity University of South Australia
    2012 - 2015 Lecturer Occupational Therapy University of South Australia
    2011 - 2012 Lecturer: Equity, Indigenous Student Support University of South Australia
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2016 - 2020 Flinders University Australia Doctor of Philosophy
    2013 - 2014 Flinders University Australia Master of Public Health
    2010 - 2012 Flinders University Australia Master of Health and International Development
    1998 - 2001 University of South Australia Australia Bachelor of Applied Science (OT)
  • Research Interests

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2024 George, E., Jameel, S., Attrill, S., Tetali, S., Watson, E., Yadav, L., . . . Grills, N. (2024). Telehealth as a Strategy for Health Equity: A Scoping Review of Telehealth in India During and Following the COVID-19 Pandemic for People with Disabilities. Telemedicine and e-Health, 0609-1-0609-10.
    DOI
    2024 George, E., Ritchie, T., Ryan, A., Fisher, M., Baum, F., & Mackean, T. (2024). “Listen with your ears and eyes and heart and your minds and your soul”: Implications for decolonising consultation and occupational therapy from case studies on “Closing the Gap” policy implementation. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 13 pages.
    DOI
    2023 George, E. (2023). Reflecting on research at the interface of knowledge and the importance of decolonising transformational unlearning for non-Indigenous researchers. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 11 pages.
    DOI Scopus1
    2023 George, E., Mackean, T., Fisher, M., & Baum, F. (2023). Analysing the Inconsistent Recognition of Indigenous Rights in Early Childhood Policy Documents from the Australian Government's "Closing the Gap" Strategy Between 2008-2018. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 14(3), 1-26.
    DOI Scopus1
    2023 Fisher, M., Harris, P., Freeman, T., George, E., & Baum, F. (2023). Universal and Targeted Policy for Health Equity in the Neoliberal Era. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 12(1), 2 pages.
    DOI
    2022 Fisher, M., Harris, P., Freeman, T., Mackean, T., George, E., Friel, S., & Baum, F. (2022). Implementing universal and targeted policies for health equity: lessons from Australia. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 11(10), 2308-2318.
    DOI Scopus15 WoS9 Europe PMC9
    2021 Fisher, M., Mackean, T., George, E., Friel, S., & Baum, F. (2021). Stakeholder perceptions of policy implementation for Indigenous health and cultural safety: A study of Australia's 'Closing the Gap' policies. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 80(2), 239-260.
    DOI Scopus14 WoS8
    2020 Fairlie, L., Stanley, M., George, E., Sereda, B., & Mosewich, A. D. (2020). Navigating the shift from netballer to former netballer: the experience of retirement from elite netball in Australia. Sport in Society, 23(7), 1100-1118.
    DOI Scopus1 WoS2
    2019 George, E., & Stanley, M. (2019). Exploring the occupational injustices of human trafficking. Journal of Occupational Science, 26(3), 394-407.
    DOI Scopus8 WoS7
    2019 George, E., Mackean, T., Baum, F., & Fisher, M. (2019). Social determinants of Indigenous health and Indigenous Rights in policy: A scoping review and analysis of problem representation. International Indigenous Policy Journal, 10(2), 1-27.
    DOI Scopus23 WoS18
    2018 George, E., & Stanley, M. (2018). Occupational therapy and the fight against human trafficking. Norwegian Journal of Occupational Therapy: Ergoterapeuten, 61(4), 50-53.
    2018 George, E., Tsourtos, G., & McNaughton, D. (2018). 'It's just about the crime, not the victim': critical insights from Australian service providers working with people who have been trafficked. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 30(1), 1-18.
    DOI WoS17
    2017 George, E., Schmidt, C., Vella, G., & McDonagh, I. (2017). Promoting the rights and responsibilities of children: a South Australian example. GLOBAL HEALTH PROMOTION, 24(1), 53-57.
    DOI Scopus5 WoS3 Europe PMC1
    2017 George, E., McNaughton, D., & Tsourtos, G. (2017). An Interpretive Analysis of Australia’s Approach to Human Trafficking and Its Focus on Criminal Justice Over Public Health. Journal of Human Trafficking, 3(2), 81-92.
    DOI Scopus9
    2014 George, E., Rosso, E., Burnard, K., & Drew, E. (2014). "Spark Awareness, Brighten Futures": Raising aspirations to tertiary education in disadvantaged communities through sport. Education and Health, 32(3), 80-84.
    Scopus3
  • Book Chapters

    Year Citation
    2021 Peart, A., George, E., Vogt, K., & Elliot, T. (2021). The role of occupational therapy in primary health care in Australia. In T. Brown, H. Bourke-Taylor, S. Isbel, R. Cordier, & L. Gustafsson (Eds.), Occupational Therapy in Australia: Professional and Practice Issues (Second Edition ed., pp. 357-367). Milton Park, Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England, UK: Routledge.
    2017 George, E., & Vogt, K. (2017). The role of occupational therapy in primary health care in Australia. In T. Brown, H. Bourke-Taylor, S. Isbel, & R. Cordier (Eds.), Occupational Therapy in Australia: Professional and Practice Issues (pp. 311-319). Crows Nest, NSW: Allen and Unwin.
    2017 Gilbert Hunt, S., Sellar, B., Berndt, A., George, E., Thomas, K., & Foley, K. M. (2017). From Rhetoric to Reality: Community Development in Occupational Therapy Curriculum. In N. Pollard, & D. Sakellariour (Eds.), Occupational Therapy Without Borders: Integrating Justice with Practice (2 ed., pp. 561-573). United Kingdom: Elsevier.
  • Conference Papers

    Year Citation
    2022 George, E. (2022). An occupational justice perspective in the fight against human trafficking: lessons learned from research and advocacy’. In https://www.traffickingconference.com/2022-conference. The University of Toledo, OHIO.
    2022 George, E. (2022). Amplifying occupational justice and equity in occupational therapy through podcasting. In https://wfotcongress2022.org/. Paris, France.
    2021 George, E., Mackean, T., Fisher, M., & Baum, F. (2021). Decolonising consultation and understanding power imbalances: Lessons learned from the implementation of the ‘Closing the Gap’ strategy in early childhood. In Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. Online: Wiley.
    2019 George, E. (2019). The role of occupational therapy in the fight against human trafficking. In Australian Occupational Therapy Journal Vol. 66. Sydney, Australia.
    DOI
    2019 George, E., & Mackean, T. (2019). The power of occupation as a method for community engagement in decolonising research: a comparative case study on implementation of the ‘Closing the Gap’ strategy. In Australian Occupational Therapy Journal Vol. 66. Sydney, Australia.
    2019 Macken, T., FIsher, M., George, E. K., Friel, S., & Baum, F. (2019). Improving ‘Closing the Gap’ policy to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sovereignty and wellbeing’. In Lowitja Institute. Darwin, Australia.
    2018 George, E. K., & Mackean, T. (2018). To what extent are Indigenous Rights recognised within the Australian government’s ‘Closing the Gap’ strategy in early childhood: an analysis of national policy documents 2009-2016'. In 25th World Congress of Political Science. online: IPSA.
    2018 George, E. K., & Stanley, M. (2018). ‘Human Trafficking and Occupational Justice. In World Federation of Occupational Therapists. Cape Town, South Africa.
    2017 George, E. K., & Mackean, T. (2017). Reflections on a decolonising approach in research at the interface of knowledge. In Australian Occupational Therapy Journal Vol. 64. Perth, Australia.
    2014 George, E. K., & Ritchie, T. (2014). A New Chapter for Occupational Therapy in South Australia. In Indigenous Allied Health Australia. Adelaide, Australia.
  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2023 George, E., & Cook, B. (2023). Poster: Occupational therapy podcasts: what, how and why we engage in this occupation. Poster session presented at the meeting of Occupational Therapy Australia 30th National Conference and Exhibition 2023. Cairns, Queensland.
    2023 Lo, A., George, E., & Mackenzine, L. (2023). Poster: Insights and Perspectives into the WFOT (World Federation of Occupational Therapists) for Australian Occupational Therapists. Poster session presented at the meeting of Occupational Therapy Australia 30th National Conference and Exhibition 2023.
    2022 George, E., & Stanhope, J. (2022). A call for global evidence on the important role of occupational therapy in recovery from modern slavery. Poster session presented at the meeting of https://wfotcongress2022.org/. Paris, France.
    2014 Denton, K., Pyman, A., & George, E. K. (2014). Process and Outcomes: Fostering a participatory community approach with Aboriginal youth. Poster session presented at the meeting of South Australian Occupational Therapy Conference. Adelaide, Australia.
  • Report for External Bodies

    Year Citation
    2023 George, E. (2023). WFOT Update. Connections: Spotlight on lived experience and co-design in mental health.
    2023 George, E. (2023). WFOT Update. Connections: Enhancing accessibility for health, independence and participation.
    2023 George, E. (2023). WFOT Update. Connections: OTs in Action.
    2023 George, E. (2023). WFOT Update. Connections: Reflection and Progression.
    2022 George, E. (2022). WFOT Update. Connections: Communication and Collaborations https://otaus.com.au/member-resources/publications.
    2022 George, E. (2022). WFOT Update. Connections: Spotlight on OTs in Mental Health.
    2022 George, E., & Lo, A. (2022). WFOT Update. Connections: Where can technology take us? https://otaus.com.au/member-resources/publications.
    2022 George, E. (2022). WFOT Update. Connections: How important is Innovation in your Practice? https://otaus.com.au/member-resources/publications.
    2021 George, E. (2021). WFOT Update. Connections: From Theory to Practice https://otaus.com.au/member-resources/publications.
    2021 George, E. (2021). WFOT Update. Connections: Supporting our Communities https://otaus.com.au/member-resources/publications.
    2021 George, E. (2021). WFOT Update. Connections: Brighter Futures https://otaus.com.au/member-resources/publications.
    2021 George, E. (2021). WFOT Update. Connections: This is OT https://otaus.com.au/member-resources/publications.
  • Theses

    Year Citation
    2020 George, E. (2020). Bandaid for a bullet wound”: the inconsistent recognition of Indigenous rights and social determinants of Indigenous health in ‘Closing the Gap’ policy implementation in early childhood. (PhD Thesis, Flinders University).
    2014 George, E. (2014). Exploring Human Trafficking in Australia and the Implications for Service Delivery and Public Health. (Master's Thesis, Flinders University).
  • Internet Publications

    Year Citation
    2024 Fisher, M., George, E., Baum, F., Macken, T., & Friel, S. (2024). Codesign and place-based approaches: Lessons from Indigenous-led initiatives in Australian's primary health sector.
    2023 Grills, N., McGuckin, M., Sood, S., Viggeswarapu, R., Kukkuru, M. G., Shanbhag, D. N., . . . Murthy, G. V. S. (2023). Virtual Healthcare: Torwards an Inclusive Future of Healthcare.
    2020 George, E., & Stanhope, J. (2020). Optimising recovery with occupational therapy for people who have experienced modern slavery: A protocol for a scoping review. ResearchGate.
    DOI

2024: Early Grant Development Award. Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Internal Strategic Research Support Schemes. Project: Occupational justice case narratives with marginalised women in India. $20,000.

2024-2025: New Colombo Plan, Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Project: Allied health student placement in India. $107,250.

2023: Unnati Research Collaboration Grant, Australia India Institute. Project: Developing an enhanced model of care for survivors of exploitation. $29,700.

2023: AIRS Fellowship, Australia India Institute. Project: Critiquing the ‘Occupational Justice Health Questionnaire’ for use with survivors of sexual servitude and exploitation in India. $6,200.

2022: Australia India Council, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Project: VirtuCare: co‐designing disability‐inclusive virtual healthcare and rehabilitation in India. $176,000. 

2022: School of Allied Health Science and Practice Research Support Grant, The University of Adelaide. Project: VirtuCare: co-designing disability-inclusive virtual healthcare and rehabilitation. $4,900

2021: School of Allied Health Science and Practice Research Support Grant, The University of Adelaide. Project: Amplifying occupational justice in practice through podcasting as a research method. $2,490

2021: School of Allied Health Science and Practice Research Support Grant, The University of Adelaide. Project: Nature-based interventions in allied health: current practice, challenges and opportunities. $2,480

2016-2018: NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence for Social Determinants and Health Equity (Flinders University) - PhD Scholarship $30,000 per year. 

2016: Flinders University, School of Medicine, Seeding Grant, Student Investigator. Funds: $13,260 

 

I am the Program Director for the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours).

I have experience teaching occupational science, public health, Aboriginal health, and supervising community based projects and placements. 

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2024 Principal Supervisor Enabling occupational transition, participation and social inclusion for women leaving ritualistic sexual slavery in rural Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Caitlin Prince
    2021 Co-Supervisor Access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS): An exploration of how individuals and families access the scheme for the first time. Master of Philosophy (Medical Science) Master Part Time Miss Jessica Lee Charlton
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2020 - ongoing Member Australasian Society of Occupational Scientists Australia
    2020 - ongoing Member Environmental Physiotherapy Association Australia
    2018 - ongoing Member Occupational Therapy Australia Australia
    2018 - ongoing Member World Federation of Occupational Therapists Australia
    2011 - ongoing Member Indigenous Allied Health Australia Australia
  • Position: Program Director Occupational Therapy
  • Phone: 83133122
  • Email: emma.george@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Engineering and Maths. Sciences, floor Fourth Floor
  • Room: 408B
  • Org Unit: Occupational Therapy

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