Emma George

Dr Emma George

Senior Lecturer, Occupational Therapy

School of Allied Health Science and Practice

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

I am interested in research that explores policy, health equity and justice. My research interests include policy implementation, the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the recovery from exploitation and modern slavery in Australia and overseas. As an occupational therapist I am fascinated by the role and importance of occupation for health and well-being. In my research, I want to learn more about occupational injustices  (marginalisation, alienation, deprivation, imbalance, apartheid and dysfunction) 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.

My PhD thesis is entitled: “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. This research explores the way that policy has been implemented and the varying degree of recognition of Indigenous rights, action on the social determinants of Indigenous health, and the importance of self-determination. 

My Master of Public Health thesis is entitled: Exploring human trafficking in Australia and the implication for service delivery and public health. The Australian government approach to service provision was analysed to show a focus on criminal justice over health and rights. Service providers working with survivors of exploitation in a range of industries identified the barriers for collaboration and gaps in services that require a more holistic response. 

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    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.
    2019 George, E., & Stanley, M. (2019). Exploring the occupational injustices of human trafficking. Journal of Occupational Science, 26(3), 394-407.
    DOI Scopus3
    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), 27 pages.
    DOI Scopus4
    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.
    2017 Oral Presentations - Friday 21 July 2017 (2017). Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 64, 68-90.
    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 Scopus1 WoS1 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 Scopus4
    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.
  • Book Chapters

    Year Citation
    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
    2019 George, E. (2019). The role of occupational therapy in the fight against human trafficking. In Australian Occupational Therapy Journal Vol. 66. Sydney, Australia.
    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., & 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
    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.
  • 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).
  • Internet Publications

    Year Citation
    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.

NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence for Social Determinants and Health Equity (Flinders University) - PhD Scholarship 

Flinders University, School of Medicine, Seeding Grant, Student Investigator, $13,260 - 2016


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

  • 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: Senior Lecturer, Occupational Therapy
  • Phone: 83133122
  • Email: emma.george@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: NorthTerrace
  • Building: Engineering & Maths Sciences, floor 4
  • Room: 4 06
  • Org Unit: School of Allied Health Science and Practice

Connect With Me
External Profiles