Amanda Mwenda

Dr, Ms

  • The University of Western Australia (M204), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth

    Australia

  • The University of Western Australia (M250), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth

    Australia

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile

Biography

I am a research fellow within the University of Western Australia’s School of Humanities, where I also completed my PhD in 2023. My science communication thesis contributed to the underrepresentation of African perspectives and narratives on AI by investigating the use of smartphone filmmaking, African science fiction storytelling and design fiction to explore the intended benefits, unintended possibilities, and risks of human interactions with artificial intelligence in mental health contexts. I arrived at my research interests through my academic background in Biomedical Sciences at the undergraduate level and Science Communication at the Masters and PhD levels.

Roles and responsibilities

CRC for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC TiME)

I am currently a research fellow for an interdisciplinary CRC TiME project exploring ‘Pit Lakes on Country’, led by Dr Chantal Bourgault du Coudray. The project focuses on the cultural, social, and interdisciplinary aspects of planning for the lakes that form in open pits after closure of mining operations. I investigate case studies on mine closure and rehabilitation to better understand the values and hopes for future pit lakes among First Nations peoples, community members and regulators. Additional expertise include designing communication materials that translate complex scientific and technological concepts for collaborative and multi-stakeholder activities aimed at stewarding mine closure and facilitating successful transition to sustainable regional communities and economies once mining operations cease.

Industrial relevance

As a significant contributor to the economies of Western Australia and broader Australia, the mining industry currently faces a critical point of reckoning with and addressing the environmental and social impacts of their operations. Simultaneously, mining industry estimations suggest half of Australia’s active mines will transition to the end of their operational life over the next 25 years. Whether planned or unplanned, mine closures can significantly impact the social and economic fabric, including the long-term resilience of the remote, regional, and First Nations communities where mining is the chief economic activity.

Consequently, sustainable planning that aims to facilitate social and economic transformation post-mining holds the potential for addressing some environmental and social challenges arising from mining operations entangled with colonial history and contemporary inequalities across Australia’s mining industry.

Specifically, pit lakes formed after mining closures could potentially provide valuable water resources for surrounding communities, but simultaneously pose safety and environmental hazards to those communities and their livelihoods. Understanding the possibilities and risks of reusing or repurposing open mine pits and pit lakes post-closure, including expectations, hopes, and values across stakeholders, will help support sustainable planning for mine closure and the successful transition to safe, thriving post-mining environments and communities.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Science Communication, Science Technology and Society Studies, Doctor of Philosophy, Using science fiction storytelling to decolonise representations of artificial intelligence: Exploring Zambian futures through smartphone filmmaking, The University of Western Australia

Award Date: 19 Dec 2023

Science Communication, Master of Science Communication, Science Communication, Master of Science Communication, How do Australian universities market STEM courses in YouTube videos?, The University of Western Australia

Award Date: 28 Jul 2018

Biomedical Sciences, Bachelor of Science, University of Southampton

Award Date: 26 Jun 2009

Industry keywords

  • Communications
  • Environmental
  • Mining and Resources

Research expertise keywords

  • Science, Technology and Society Studies
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Design Fiction
  • Interdisciplinary Practice
  • Action Research
  • Smartphone Filmmaking
  • Media Studies & Film
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Relational Praxis

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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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