Ms Susan Beetson

Research Academic

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Research Academic

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
+61 7 336 53476


Susan is a research academic within the Human Centred Computing group in the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE). She has a B.InfoTech, Data Comms and Info Systems (Honours) awarded 1st Class. She has just submitted her thesis, and when conferred will complete her PhD degree in Information Systems Theory at QUT. Her thesis explores the dyadic phenomenon of nodes in culturally different social media networks, with implications in the design of information systems. Her research centres on Aboriginal peoples' design methods in human computer interaction; specifically within cultural learning contexts, including languages.

Susan's thesis, which explores the dyadic phenomenon of culturally different network nodes, extends social media network theories. The impact of Susan's Indigenist research extends Eurocentric designed virtual, interactive and immersive spaces and process incl. AI, XR and emerging technologies. As Ngemba Wiradjuri and grown up on Country her lived experience of social, institutional and political dimensions that impact Aboriginal peoples lives in Australia enables Susan to critically analyse and reflect on all aspects, reflexively throughout her research.

Along with esteemed national and international Indigenous academics, Susan is a Chief Investigator on the $35,000,000 ARC Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Futures and won a highly competitve Science & Technology Australia's #SuperstarsOfStem program. Susan is also a guest Academic Editor for Information Systems Journal (ISJ) and Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues (JAIIS).

Current research collaborations with Aboriginal peoples:

  • explores technology as a networking tool for Ballardong/Whadjuk (urban WA) and Ngemba (very remote NSW) community members on Country and in the diaspora, including the design, build and embedding of community cultural hubs. These are Knowledge (Data) Centres that have a holistic view of ancestral and contemporary Knowledges. Cultural hubs contribute to continuing, developing, consolidating and teaching the protection rehabilitation and restoration of cultural Knowledges and artefacts. This relates to languages, environmental and ecological communities across our waters, lands and skies. Elders and Knowledge rangers connected through Drone, AI, XR technologies, identify and connect Cultural Knowledges with local, national and global initiatives, innovation and solutions. Critical to the design and development is the specific Kinship lore of each community to ensure Kinship Intellectual Property remains with the individual, family and/or community. Outcomes facilitate individual and community digital entrepreneurship centred on Aboriginal Knowledge sovereignty and economic independence for Aboriginal communities in Australia.

Research Interests

  • Human Computer Interaction
    How we, as humans, interact with technologies and collaborate within co-design environments that embrace the diversity of our distinct every day lived realities.
  • Mobile Technologies and Cultural capital
    The pervasive and ubiquitous nature of mobile technologies has changed the way we do data and provides opportunities to think about Cultural capital and repatriation of knowledges.
  • Extending our understandings of community through Cloud platforms
    New and exiting community initiatives enhanced through kinship ties, whether colocated or relocated.
  • Cultural and Immersive language learning along side Social Robots
    I am interested in the ways in which First peoples' knowledge systems, specifically the cultural and immersive context of learning language, inform social robots. This includes the multi-modalities of communication.

Research Impacts

Susan's research directly extends current technology design and development by centering Aboriginal peoples voices and perspectives in the design and development process. Her research has practical, tangible and relevant benefits as determined by the peoples and communities she works with. At the core of Susan's research is reciprocity, which facilitates true technology transfer and ensures two way symmetric exchange of expertise and Knowledges shared.


  • Associate Fellow, Women in Information Technology, Queensland, Women in Information Technology, Queensland
  • Board Member, National Indigenous STEM Professional Network, National Indigenous STEM Professional Network
  • Member, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Alliance (NATSIWA), National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance (NATSIWA)
  • Member, Indigenous Human Rights Network Australia (IHRNA), Indigenous Human Rights Network Australia (IHRNA)
  • Member, Females in Information Technology and Telecommunications (FITT), Females in Information Technology and Telecommunications (FITT)
  • Member, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Member, Australian Computer Society, Australian Computer Society
  • Member, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance
  • Bachelor (Honours), Queensland University of Technology


View all Publications


View all Grants


Journal Article

  • Fredericks, Bronwyn, Martin, Kathryn, Warner, Brian, Perkins, Ren, Combo, Troy, McConochie, Emily, Stajic, Janet, Thomson, Amy, Holland, Lorelle, Olssen, Emma, Thompson, Kate, Broderick, Trudi, Gilbert, Stephanie, Murphy, Lyndon, Lee, Natasha, Beetson, Susan, Fraser, Jed, Allan, Hannah and Bunda, Tracey (2022). Ready to Write. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 25 (3-4), 1-10. doi: 10.3316/informit.881687898937422

  • Beetson, Susan Joy, Pradhan, Sojen, Gordon, Grace and Ford, Jason (2020). Building a digital entrepreneurial platform through local community activity and digital skills with Ngemba First Nation, Australia. International Indigenous Policy Journal, 11 (1), 1-19. doi: 10.18584/iipj.2020.11.1.10211

  • Whatman, Sue, McLaughlin, Juliana, Willsteed, Susan, Tyhuis, Annie and Beetson, Susan (2008). Quality and efficacy of the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS) for university students. Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 37 (S1), 118-130. doi: 10.1375/S1326011100000454

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)