Dr Faiza El-Higzi

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School of Psychology
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences


Faiza El-Higzi OAM is an early career researcher and nationally recognised professional awarded an Order of Australia Medal (2020) and a Queensland Outstanding Achiever Award (2018) for her contributions to the community. She has a wealth of experience having worked in government policy at both State and Federal levels. Her extensive practical knowledge of service delivery comes from her time in the not-for-profit sector. and more recently consultancy work through the coporate sector.

Faiza's interest is in knowledge translation with a focus on ideas that address social inequality across gender, faith and culture. Her research focuses on social issues such as gender and Islam; health anthropology investigating cultural views of blood donation, concepts of health, illnes and disease; and domestic and family violence in culturally and lingustically diverse communities.

Research Interests

  • Domestic and family violence among culturally diverse communities
    Domestic abuse and violence among culturally and linguistically diverse people remain an under-researched area. I am interested in projects that focus on the impact of migration and settlement on family dynamics, extended family dynamics and case studies that address male behaviour amongst Middle Eastern and West and South East Asian communities. I am also interested in understanding how cultural practices such as arranged marraiges inform family dynamics and behaviour.
  • Health and mental health in migrant and refugee communities
    I am interested in projects that explore cultural perceptions of health, illness, disease and mental health and their impact on individual and group behaviour. My current research explores how cultural perception of blood inform group donation behaviour.
  • Multiculturalism, Diversity and Inclusion
    My research interests focus on structural and systemic contributors to inequality especially among multicultural groups. I welcome projects that explore specific issues among these groups such as leadership, advocacy, settlement, identity, as well as workplace diversity and inclusion initiatives.
  • Islam gender and agency
    Muslim women agency is an emerging area of research. I am interested in projects that explore leadership and advocacy among migrant Muslim women. I am also interested in projects that explore women's advocacy movements and feminism concepts using an Islamic lens.

Research Impacts

Faiza's has shown a commitment to policy reform, informing efforts to address the impact of gender and culture on social equality.

Faiza has made contributions to policy reform through her involvement in government advisory bodies and non-government organization boards. As a member of the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council since 2015, Faiza has worked to shape the development and implementation of the Queensland Not Now Not Ever policy. Recently, she has made submissions to proposed coercive control legislative reforms and has provided expert testimony during the government's public hearing for the Informed Consent and Criminalisation of Coercive Control Bill in 2023.

In addition, Faiza has contributed to submissions to the Queensland Human Rights Act legislative reform through her membership in the Queensland Multicultural Advisory Council that sought to alleviate the burden of evidence and reporting under the Act to a more a positive duty which has been recognised and included in the reform. Furthermore, she is facilitating reform initiatives promoting diversity representation on government boards.

Within the University of Queensland (UQ), Faiza has been involved in the development and initial implementation of the institution's Cultural Inclusion Plan 2022-2025 as Deputy Chair of the Cultural Inclusion Council.

Faiza's expertise in governance and strategic organizational development has made a notable impact on governance processes of not-for-profit organizations at local, national, and international levels. Currently serving as the national Advisory Council Chair of Welcoming Cities, a global initiative aimed at creating refugee-friendly cities, Faiza has contributed to the improvement of Australian city councils' accreditation standards through a comprehensive review process.

As the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Islamic Relief Australia, an international aid and development organization, Faiza has successfully overseen a review and reform of governance processes, ensuring the organization operates efficiently and effectively within Australia’s governance guidelines.

In her role as Chair of Ethnic Broadcasting Association Queensland Ltd which broadcasts in 46 languages through radio 4eb, Faiza has played a critical role informing the strategic direction of community broadcasting through the national Community Broadcasting Road Map 2033 process.

Additionally, Faiza has contributed important insights to the review and strategic planning process of the Queensland Council of Social Services (QCOSS), the state peak body that addresses social issues. Her input shaping the organization's understanding of cultural diversity as a contributor to social inequality.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Masters (Coursework) of Education (Leadership), Queensland University of Technology
  • Masters (Research), Queensland University of Technology
  • Postgraduate Diploma of Building Construction Management and Project Planning, Queensland University of Technology
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Architecture Studies, University of Khartoum


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Journal Article

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors: