Contact our staff

Victoria University has consolidated its research activity. From 2018 research of the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing (CCDW) is located within the Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities.

To contact us about a research project or for general enquiries we are available via phone and email.

The Centre for Cultural Diversity & Wellbeing

Building D, Room D113
Footscray Nicholson Campus
Victoria University
PO Box 14428
Melbourne Victoria 8001

Our research staff

Profile image: Craig Fry

Associate Professor Craig Fry

NHMRC Career Development Fellow &
Research Program Leader: Culture and values in health
Phone: +61 3 9919 5315

Associate Professor Craig Fry specialises in drugs in society, health ethics and identity. He has an academic and practice background in psychology, public health and applied ethics, and experience in the community, universities, the prison system, policy, and research institutes. Craig has obtained $4m of research funding since 1999 through competitive grants,tenders, and consultancies. He is an Editorial Board member of the International Journal of Drug Policy, and Associate Editor of Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics.

Profile image: Mario Peucker

Dr Mario Peucker

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Mario Peucker is a postdoctoral research fellow with expertise in the areas of Sociology, Political Science and Islamic Studies.

He has been working as a social researcher, both in Europe and Australia, since 2003 on issues related to exclusion-inclusion, multiculturalism, racism, participation and citizenship. Mario currently investigates ethno-religious community dynamics in the context of active citizenship, working on an internationally comparative research project on community activism as a vehicle to foster social cohesion.


Dr Debra Smith

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Debra Smith is a postdoctoral research fellow working with the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing and Defence Science Technology Group.

Debra explores the role of emotion within decisions to engage in violent political extremism. She has worked on projects with various law enforcement and government partners to understand processes of radicalisation that lead to violent political extremism. She is currently researching the area of social influence within the realm of social media and its relationship to violent extremism.

Dr Caroline Clark

Research Officer

Dr Caroline Clark joined the Program for Culture and Values in Health at the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing (CCDW) in November 2014. Prior to that, she worked in the alcohol and other drugs field for over 20 years, in community development, research and workforce education.

At CCDW, she researches current drug use issues in Melbourne’s west.

Profile image: Chandra Jha

Dr Chandra Jha

Adjunct Fellow

Dr Chandra Jha is a public health scholar with expertise in HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, harm minimization and research.

He received PhD from School of Health, the University of New England. His thesis explored how people cope with HIV and marginal identity in Nepal while they often experience exclusion and lack of support from family, communities and uncompassionate care from service providers.

Dr Jha has extensive industrial and research experiences from Nepal and Australia, and has published manuscripts on substance use, youth, HIV, STIs, migration, trafficking in women and stigma in peer reviewed journals.

Profile image: Michele Grossman

Honorary Professor Michele Grossman

Honorary Professor, Cultural Studies in the College of Arts & Education
Phone: +61 3 9919 5011

Professor Michele Grossman (PhD, MA, BA) earned her doctoral degree in Cultural Studies from Monash University.

Michele stepped down in March 2017 as Director, Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing, to take up a new role as Professorial Research Chair in Diversity and Community Diversity at Deakin University’s Alfred Deakin Institute.

She continues to serve as Honorary Professor of Cultural Studies in the College of Arts and Education, where she supervises PhD students and collaborates with VU colleagues on research projects. Michele continues to be available on her VU email address.

Her research expertise lies in cultural diversity and community engagement, particularly in the context of countering terrorism and violent extremism.

Michele’s research has a strong focus on questions of cultural identity, resources and strengths in harnessing community resilience to contemporary social challenges, including racism and discrimination, refugee resettlement, youth-police relations and social violence.

Read more in Professor Grossman's biography.

Dr Hussein Tahiri

Adjunct Associate Professor

Dr Hussein Tahiri holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Melbourne (2001) and a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Politics) from La Trobe University (1995). He has worked as a housing officer, research officer, community development worker, settlement planning officer, project manager, senior research analyst and lecturer. Dr. Tahiri has authored books, book chapters, academic journal articles and many research and policy reports. He is a well-known public commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, and his contributions in this sphere are regularly published in local and international media.