Dr Lesley Friend

Research Fellow
ARC Future Fellowship: Sensory Orchestration for Multimodal Literacy Learning in Primary Education

Lesley Friend.

Areas of expertise: Globalisation, sociomateriality, place theory, cultural diversity and difference, sensory literacies 

Phone: +617 36237858

Email: Lesley.friend@acu.edu.au

Campus: ACU Brisbane Campus

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-4181-568X

Dr Lesley Friend is a research fellow and manager for an ARC Future Fellowship –Sensory Orchestration for Multimodal Literacy Learning in Primary Education, where she works with Professor Kathy Mills, ARC Future Fellow. The project utilises innovative sensorial education programs in primary schools, digital labs, and art museums in Australia and the US to develop a next-generation approach to multimodality.

Dr Friend was awarded her PhD in April 2020 which investigated cultural differences in the context of globalisation. Her research topic, Global trajectories: Power-geometries, cultural differences and sociomateriality in school practices in two nations, explores how cultural difference interplays with the concept of place, power and sociomateriality in two primary classrooms in Queensland and the United Arab Emirates.

The research contribution is to report on the ways in which increasing and dynamic cultural differences, a consequence of globalisation, interplay in classroom practice in classrooms in different nations. While her research adds to the growing body of literature about the influence of globalisation on education, its significance lies in its contribution to theoretical analysis that connects place, power and sociomateriality.

Currently, Dr Friend is publishing from her thesis and project work in peer review journals on a range of educational topics, including cultural difference, sociomateriality, multimodality and sensory literacies. As a researcher and writer, Dr Friend has held a variety of roles in government and higher education institutions where she has evaluated and contributed to education reform and literacy research and education.

Dr Friend is an experienced editor, and she has been the copy editor for the Australian Literacy Educator's Association journals, including Practical Literacy, Literacy Learning: the Middle Years and the Australian Journal of Language and Literacy. She regularly reviews journal articles for pre-submission to peer reviewed journals. She is also the co-convenor for Australian Association for Research in Education Global Contexts SIG.

Curriculum Vitae

Select publications

  • Mills, K., Stone, B., Unsworth, L., & Friend, L. (2020). Multimodal Language of Attitude in Digital Composition. Written Communication,37(2), 135-166.
  • Friend, L. (2017). IRE and content area literacies: A critical analysis of classroom discourse. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 40(2), 124–134


  • Sensory Orchestration for Multimodal Literacy Learning in Primary Education (Research Fellow working on ARC Future Fellowship)
    Project website: https://www.sensestogether.com/

Appointments and affiliations

  • Research Fellow,  Institute for Learning Sciences & Teacher Education, Australian Catholic University, 2020–
  • Lecturer, English, language, literacy and linguistic units, QUT and ACU Brisbane, 2014–2016
  • Teacher primary and secondary school, 2013–2014
  • Coordinator Kindergarten, Glenelg School of Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2010–2013
  • Principal Research and Project Officer (Queensland Education Review Project) QCT, 2009–2010

Editorial roles

  • Australian Literacy Educators Association: 2013–2019 copy editor for Practical Literacy, Literacy Learning: the middle years, Australian Journal of Language and Literacy.

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Level 4, 229 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, Qld, 4000
(GPO Box 2587, Brisbane, Qld, 4001)

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