Daniel Ooi is an Academic Teaching Scholar in the First Year College, teaching units in community development and sociology.

He has been at Victoria University since 2011, undertaking research focusing on the social and behavioural dimensions of water users and water policy in Australia, first as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (ISI), and then the Psychology discipline group.

His main areas of research are the cultural cognition of perceived environmental risks; the relationship between environmental beliefs and environmentally-friendly behaviours, and the social and cultural construction of values related to water. He is also interested in social inclusion and participatory democracy in urban planning (especially in relation to water and energy) in both Australia and developing countries.

More recently, he has worked on research young people at risk of homelessness in Australia. He also has a long-standing academic interest in anthropology and international development in Latin America.

Teaching responsibilities


Currently registered as an associate PhD supervisor at Victoria University and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).

Daniel has supervised a number of students for their dissertations in Psychology Honours, Masters of Community Development, and at RMIT in social aspects of water.

Research grants

Evaluation of Hope to Home Project Hope to Home Grant (2018) awarded to Prof. Marty Grace (VU), Dr Peter Gill (VU) & Dr Daniel Ooi (VU) by Hope Street.

Social costing of the benefits of the Brooklyn Industrial Site remediation (2013-2014) $57,500 awarded to Prof. Roger Jones (VU) & Dr Daniel Ooi (VU) by Brimbank City Council and the Office for Living Victoria. HERDC Category 2 grant.

Social and behavioral aspects of the advanced treatment of wastewater for potable reuse at Australian Antarctic Division stations (2012-2014) $119,250 awarded to Prof. John Cary (VU), Dr Daniel Ooi (VU), Prof. Adrian Fisher (VU), and Prof. Peter Scales (UniMelb) by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD). HERDC Category 1 grant.

National Demonstration, Education, & Engagement Program (NDEEP) for water recycling in Australia. Sub-stream 2.1: Community values in relation to recycled water (2011-2013) $274,580 awarded to Prof. John Cary (VU), Prof. Adrian Fisher (VU), and Dr Daniel Ooi (VU) by the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence (AWRCoE) as part of the Water for the Future initiative of the Federal Government. HERDC Category 1 grant.

The role of affect and knowledge in the judgment of risk in relation to potable water (2011) $10,000 awarded to Dr Daniel Ooi (VU) to support Honours student scholarship by the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia (NCEDA) as part of the Water for the Future initiative of the Federal Government. HERDC Category 1 grant.


Gill, P. & Ooi, D., and Chiodo, L. (2018). Hope to Home Evaluation Report : a research project evaluating the effectiveness of a new model for improving the lives of young people affected by homelessness. Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria. ISBN-13 978-1-862727-86-1.

Ooi, D. (2017) ‘Review of “Cities from Scratch: Informality and Poverty in Urban Latin America”, The Australian Journal of Anthropology 28(1). DOI: 10.1111/taja.12204

Ooi, D. (2016) ‘Review of “Cultures of Energy: Power, Practices, Technologies” (eds. Strauss, Rupp, & Love)’, The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 27(3). DOI: 10.1111/taja.12212

Ooi, D., Fisher, A., Cerini, S. & Cary, J. (2014), Community understanding of risk and safety in relation to recycled water. Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, Brisbane, QLD. ISBN-13 978-1-922202-20-8.

Ooi, D., Fisher, A. & Cary, J. (2014), The influence of water scarcity on public willingness to consider water reuse. Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, Brisbane, QLD. ISBN 978-1-922202-23-9.

Conference presentations

Ooi, D. (2015), Public engagement for successful implementation of reclaimed water. Building Urban Water Resilience: An International Water Reuse and Desalination Symposium. Brisbane, November 2015.

Ooi, D. & Fisher, A. (2013), Public engagement for successful implementation of reclaimed water. OzWater '13: Australia's International Water Conference, Perth.

Ooi, D., Fisher, A., Cary, J., King, T.J. & Murphy, K. (2013), Modelling geographical variation in the public attitudes to desalination in Australia. 2nd International Water Research Conference, Journal of Water Research and the International Water Association, Singapore.

Ooi, D., Fisher, A. & Cary, J. (2012), The impact of cultural background on residential complaints about drinking water quality. Tapping the Turn: Water's Social Dimensions, Australian National University, Canberra.

Ooi, D., Fisher A., Cary, J., King, T.J., Murphy, K. & Schibeci, R. (2012), Public perceptions of, and responses to, desalination in Australia. Alfred Deakin Research Institute Symposium. Deakin University Prime campus, Melbourne.

Appearances in the media

  • Ooi, D (2017) ‘Recycled water – a concept too hard to swallow?’ in Sustainability Matter, 2SER Radio, Sydney.
  • Ooi, D (2017) Water management yearbook
  • Ooi, D (2017) interview with Current, the journal of the Australian Water Association (peak body of water authorities).
  • Ooi, D (2016) ‘Why we can get over the ‘yuck factor’ when it comes to recycled water’ in The Conversation. Reprinted in The West Australian, December 22nd, 2016.
  • 2016 – Invited speaker at the Australian Youth Humanities Forum, January 20th, hosted by Architectural History, Urban, and Cultural Heritage at the University of Melbourne.

Areas of expertise

  • Community Development and International Development
  • Anthropology of development
  • Sociology and social studies of science and technology
  • Urban and regional planning: Water supply