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Nicola St John is communication design lecturer and early career development fellow at RMIT. Her thesis, completed at Swinburne University focused on developing locally informed approaches to design education and exploring Western Arrarnta perceptions of design practice and process. Nicola’s research explores how Indigenous young people are imagining design from their own perspectives, and the value design education can have within intercultural contexts, building pride and fostering sustainable local employment opportunities. She is concerned with the role and value of communication design within Aboriginal communities and the promotion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander voices within the design industry.

Before joining RMIT, Nicola has worked in professional practice for a range of INGO’s, non-profits and community organisations. Focusing on understanding how to communicate and translate values within culturally interconnected settings. Communication design has the ability to reinforce our perceptions around identity, representation and value. By incorporating cultural awareness within communication design practice, we are able to improve our ability to influence attitudes, change behaviour, inspire debate and challenge understandings. By understanding and respecting diverse cultures, the role of designer becomes more meaningful, ethical and more inclusive.

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