‘I research to make a difference.. I write for my life’ – a reminder of why we supervise

This post is by Associate Professor Evonne Miller, Interim Director of QUT Design Lab, Queensland University of Technology – and one half of the Supervision Whisperers editorial team. 


“I research to make a difference

in my own life

in the lives of those I research with


I write for my life

And of my life

And for and of the lives of other women

Postgraduate women yet to come

As well as those I share the journey with”

Coralie McCormack – pxx, 2001. 


Recently, I stumbled across this beautiful and inspiring 2001 PhD thesis when I was looking for a reference.

What a find –  Coralie McCormack (2001) researched leisure, time and postgraduate research in the lives of six women, exploring looking at their everyday lives ‘across time’ and ‘in time’ during their research journey. Additionally, as a narrative researcher, McCormick wrote some poems about her experience and why she was doing her PhD. I have reproduced one above, where she explains she is researcher to make a difference and she ‘writes for her life’. Beautiful – and I hope a motivational reminder of why we are academics and why we supervise students.

As we come to the end of another busy year,  I am going to leave that thought with you: we research (and supervise) to make a difference..  try to remember that, on the tough days! 


References: Coralie McCormack. 2001.  The times of our lives: Women, Leisure and postgraduate research.  Phd Thesis, University of Wollongong. 

FYI, I  tried to reach out to Coralie to let her know her 2001 PhD work  is still relevant now – but have been unable to locate an active email address. I believe she is/was Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Canberra in education /  learning and teaching.. if anyone knows her, please forward her this post and ask her to contact me so I can personally praise her work. 

The image is of a outdoor ‘yarn-bomb’, knitted flowers over a fire hydrant taken on the way to work one day by Evonne Miller.   







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