Pg 1 – Bio

Dr Indigo Willing is skateboarding a ledge doing a trick called a nose slappy

Dr Indigo Willing OAM is a sociologist, skateboarder and has over ten years teaching and research experience and over twenty years community work experience.

Dr Indigo Willing – OAM – is a sociologist whose theoretical and empirical work examines issues of social inclusion, diversity and equity 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 adoptees in the worldwide Vietnamese community and war refugee generation. She is also the co-founder of an Asian Australian community forum and several related film festivals and youth workshops. Breaking boundaries and stereotypes, Indigo is also a dedicated skateboarder, and is a co-founder of a skateboarding network (We Skate QLD) and an international campaign promoting cultures of consent (Consent is Rad).

Indigo has an established profile in transnational adoption studies and also writes about broader issues of migration, adoption, multi-racial families and transnationalism. She also publishes on the topics of the sociology of youth and subcultures, ageing in youth cultures, gender and lifestyle sports, skateboarding studies and cultural, film and visual research. As a lecturer, she teaches in the areas of sociology, criminology, creative industries and qualitative research methods.

Fellowships and Awards

  • Adjunct Research Fellow at The Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research (GCSCR), Griffith University, 2016 – Current
  • Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project Research Fellow at The Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research (GCSCR), Griffith University, 2013 – 2015
  • 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 Studies, Lifestyle Sports, Subcultures and Social Inclusion – focusing on youth cultures, lifestyle sports, skateboarding and the participation of minority populations. She also studies themes of gender and consent.

2. Migration, Multiculturalism and Transnationalism – including research on Vietnamese, Asian and African diasporas, theories of transnationalism and cosmopolitanism, transnational adoption from various nations, ‘celebrity’ adoptions, adoptive parents and sociological frameworks for the study of forced migrations, typically to ‘Western’ countries with recognition many are on unceded First Nations Land.

3. The Vietnam War – including war orphans, Vietnamese adoption, and in upcoming research, how music, films and documentaries associated with conflicts like the Vietnam War has an impact on people’s attitudes and emotional responses towards ‘sending troops overseas’ in both past and contemporary times.

NOTE: Some of my intended research has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic placing people into lock down from March – July 2020 in Australia and with ongoing limited social distancing/gatherings 


Recent teaching includes:

Lecturer and Convener: Qualitative Social Research Methods (Honours Research Degree level students) in T1 at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJ). Griffith University. Since 2016 – current.

Lecturer, Graduate Research 1 and Concept Design, S1, Master of Creative Industries Course, JMC Academy. Since 2020.

Lecturer: Introduction to Social Problems (First year course) at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJ). Griffith University. 2018 – 2019.

Tutor and Instructor: The Sociology of Youth (Second year course) at the School of Languages, Humanities and Social Science (LHS). Griffith University.  On campus in T2 and online in T1 and T3. Since 2018 – Current.

Prior roles include various lecturing positions (First year to Post-Graduate courses) in Sociology and tutoring in The Sociology of Sport at The University of Queensland during my PhD and Post-Doctoral Fellowship years.

Community Engagement

Volunteer work and community engagement includes being a co-founder and researcher in residence at We Skate QLD (formerly Girls Skate Brisbane 2016 to April 2020), co-founder and facilitator of Consent is Rad International Campaign, co-founder and facilitator of the Asian Australian Films, Forum and Network, and founder and convener of 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 is sitting in formal suit by some flowers.

Dr Indigo Willing OAM