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Professor Julie Dunn


Julie Dunn

School of Education and Professional Studies
+61 (0)7 3735 5720 (Work)
M09 2.107E, Mount Gravatt Campus

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Julie Dunn's research interests are diverse but connected - linked by a passion for the Arts, applied theatre, drama, play, and playfulness. Across these fields she has engaged with young children, secondary students, adult drama learners, young people from refugee backgrounds and people living with dementia. Within the context of early childhood education, Julie has investigated connections between child-structured dramatic play and adult-structured drama education, with a major component of this work being the possibilities these approaches offer for the development of children's language and literacy. Julie is particularly interested in the role of the adult in children's play, and in extending teacher and parent understanding of the vocabularies of play. Recent funded research in the early childhood field includes participation as a member of the Griffith team which developed the Age Appropriate Pedagogies Program for the Queensland Department of Education and as a researcher on the 200 Children's Voices Project. Government reports and publications relating to these studies are available. Within her Applied Theatre work, Julie has been a Chief Investigator on two research projects funded by the Australian Research Council. The first of these was entitled “The Arrivals Project” . It was designed to support the resettlement and language learning needs of students with refugee backgrounds. A co-authored book entitled “Applied Theatre: Resettlement” (Methuen, 2014) provides a detailed exploration of the results of this work. The second ARC funded project, which ran under the heading of “Playful Engagement” was led by Professor Michael Balfour. This project sought to explore the benefits of Applied Theatre practices when engaging with people living with dementia. This mixed methods project was developed in partnership with Wesley Mission Australia and focused on supporting individuals in the mid to advanced stages of dementia. Other members of the research team include Professors Moyle and Cooke from the Griffith School of Nursing. A range of publications associated with this project are available. Most recently, Julie led a team of Griffith colleagues on a large scale study entitled Y Connect. This project, which was completed across a four year period in partnership with Yeronga State High School, was funded by the Queensland Department of Education through its Collaboration and Innovation Fund. The work examined the impact on teaching and learning when arts-based pedagogies and artist/teacher partnerships are employed. The full report and the shorter Key Findings and Significance Report are both available for public access at


  • Member
    Griffith Institute for Educational Research2008
  • Member
    Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research2006 - 2012


  • PhD
    Griffith University, Australia
  • Master of Arts (Research)
    QUT, Australia
  • Bachelor of Education
    Mt Gravatt College of Advanced Education, Australia
  • Diploma of Teaching
    Mt Gravatt College of Advanced Education, Australia