Pg 1 – Bio

Dr Indigo Willing

Dr Indigo Willing is a sociologist, skateboarder and community volunteer

Dr Indigo Willing – OAM – is a sociologist whose theoretical and empirical work examines issues of social inclusion, diversity and equality as well as pathways of representation for women and minority groups. With a strong focus on community engagement, she was awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia (OAM) for her work with the Vietnamese community and is currently researching the legacy of the Vietnam War in the lead up to its 50th anniversary in 2025. A Vietnamese migrant herself, she has an established profile in transnational adoption studies and also writes about broader issues of migration, diversity and cosmopolitanism. Breaking boundaries and stereotypes, Indigo is also a dedicated skateboarder, and is a co-founder and volunteer in a women’s skateboarding network. She publishes on the topics of migration, adoption, the sociology of youth and subcultures, including skateboarding. As a lecturer, she teaches in the areas of sociology, criminology and qualitative research methods.

Fellowships and Awards

  • Adjunct Research Fellow Residency 2016 – Current
  • Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project Research Fellow at The Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research (GCSCR), Griffith University
  • Traveling Fellowship Grant from The Australian Academy of the Humanities to do research in Sweden
  • GCSCR travel grant to do research with the Finnish Youth Research Network, Helskinki, Finland
  • Recipient of a Medal in the Order of Australia (OAM) for volunteer work with the Vietnamese community
  • Rockefeller Research Fellow in the Humanities at The William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences, UMASS, Boston, USA
  • Elizabeth Usher Memorial Grant from the University of Queensland Alumni to present research in Pittsburg, USA
  • Diversity Week Grant awarded by the University of Queensland (UQ) Equity Office to produce the Asian Australian Occasion Film Festival in partnership with the UQ Humanities and Social Sciences Library
  • Australian Post-Graduate Scholarship Award, Australian Federal Government, a highly competitive grant to conduct 3 years PhD research
  • Selected workshop participant, Harvard Project for Asia and International Relations (HPAIR)
  • International Travel Grant from Yale University to co-present research with Linh Song at the inaugural SEAS Conference, New Haven, USA.


Representative studies cover three main areas:-

1.Youth Cultures, Lifestyle Sport and Social Inclusion – focusing on youth cultures, lifestyle sports, skateboarding, identities and the participation of minority populations in various scenes and professions

2. Migration and Multiculturalism – including research on various diasporas, theories of transnationalism and cosmopolitanism, transnational adoption, celebrity adoptions, adoptive parents and sociological frameworks for the study of adoption

3. The Vietnam War – including war orphans, Vietnamese adoption, and most recently, how music connected with the conflict has an impact on people’s attitudes and emotional responses towards ‘sending troops overseas’ to wars and ‘tours of duty’ in contemporary times.


Current teaching includes as a Lecturer and Convener in T1 at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJ) teaching Qualitative Social Research Methods (Honours level students) and Introduction to Social Problems. Other teaching also includes as an Instructor at the School of Languages, Humanities and Social Science (LHS), teaching The Sociology of Youth in person in T2 and online in T1 and T3.

Community Engagement

Volunteer work and community engagement includes with Girls Skate Brisbane, Consent is Rad, the Asian Australian Film Forum and Network, and the Adopted Vietnamese International network as well as other community focused projects.

For links to publications, talks and more in each area visit the options in the menu.

Dr Indigo Willing OAM

Dr Indigo Willing OAM