Associate Professor Elizabeth Grant

Adjunct Associate Professor

School of Architecture
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology


Associate Professor Elizabeth Grant, CF is an architectural anthropologist, criminologist and academic with a distinguished record in the field of Indigenous architecture with specialist interests in the design of institutional environments and reform for Indigenous peoples. She is Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at RMIT University and operates a practice which consults to communities, industry and government on Indigenous architectural projects. Dr Grant holds an adjunct Associate Professorship at the University of Queensland and an adjunct Professorship at the University of Canberra.

Associate Professor Grant is an elected member of Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), a member of the International Association for People-Environment Studies (IAPS), the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), the Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA), the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA), the Australian New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC), the Australia and New Zealand Chapter of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies and the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA).

Associate Professor Grant is a Churchill Fellow, has published four books and over 70 papers and serves as a peer reviewer and referee for more than 10 international journals. She is the lead editor of the International Handbook of Contemporary Indigenous Architecture (Springer 2018). In 2015, she was honoured with the International Prison and Correctional Association (ICPA) Excellence in Research Award for her work in this area. In 2017 she was invited to submit to three Government inquiries and appointed as an expert witness and participant for closed forums as part of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. In 2018 she has appeared before Ministerial and Senate inquiries into the housing needs of Indigenous peoples living with a disability.

Research Interests

  • Human rights and architecture
  • Indigenous architecture
  • Aboriginal housing
  • Prison design
  • Human Rights and Prisoners
  • Disability and Indigenous Housing

Research Impacts

Associate Professor Grant is an international expert on the design of Indigenous custodial environments. Her doctoral research examined Aboriginal people's preference for prison environments and was the first empirical study of its type and examines preference and congruence as a mechanism to negative behaviours in prison environments. This work has had a major impact on the way prisons and prison housing for Indigenous prisoners are designed both in Australia and internationally. The application of her evidence-based research has led to greater understandings of the needs of Indigenous prisoners by correctional agencies, architects and others and the development and adoption of documents such as the Minimum Standards and the design of the award winning, West Kimberley Regional Prison Project. Dr Grant has spent over a decade conducting cutting-edge evidence based research. She has published extensively on the topic of prison environments, while tackling issues confronting correctional agencies such as overcrowding, temperature control, ligature points, conditions for women and children, human rights and other factors affecting the prison experience.


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