Master of Public Administration

Professor Lain DareProfessor


Address: Building 23, Level B, Room 22 University of Canberra Phone: + 61 (0) 2 6201 5580


Centre for Change Governance


Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra

Research Interests

Natural resource management; environmental politics; community engagement


Dr Melanie (Lain) Dare is a social scientist with a strong background in commercial resource management (forestry). Lain’s PhD studies focused on improving community engagement practices in Australian commercial forestry, culminating in the development of a highly regarded community engagement handbook for forest managers. Lain was the Project Leader for the Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry (CRC for Forestry) Communities project (2011-2012), a multi-disciplined project that worked with industry partners to undertake a range of social research projects.

Lain has undertaken a range of research projects across forest management and agricultural sectors. Work with the CRC for Forestry included socio-economic impact analyses, community wellbeing and resilience studies, and in collaboration with colleagues the development of recommendations for the effective design and implementation of structural adjustment packages (report available online). Lain was the chief investigator for the Tasmanian Drought Evaluation Project (2011) which reviewed the effectiveness of State government drought initiatives in providing adequate assistance and relief of prevailing cost of living pressures (available online). More recently Lain undertook a community wellbeing and needs analysis for the not-for-profit health service Rural Alive and Well (RAW). This study reviewed the social and health impacts of the downturn in the forestry industry on two regional areas in Tasmania, providing recommendations regarding effective provision of social support services to affected community members.

Lain’s work to date highlights her commitment to rural and regional communities. Lain is passionate about research that works with communities to collaboratively develop knowledge, skills and long-term capacity – research that makes a positive contribution to our communities.


Selected Publications

  • Tanton, R., Dare, M., Brinkman, S., Corti, B.-G., Katz, I., Woolcock, G. and Goldfeld, S. (forthcoming), “Identifying Off-Diagonal Communities Using the Australian Early Development Census Results”, Social Indicators Research

  • Schirmer, J. and Dare, L., and Ercan, S. A. (2016). Deliberative democracy and the Tasmanian Forest Peace Process. Australian Journal of Political Science, 51, 2, pp. 288-307

    Schirmer, J., Dare, M. and Ercan, S.A. (2016) "Deliberative democracy and the Tasmanian forest peace process", Australian Journal of Political Science, 51, 2, pp. 288-307

  • Dare, L. (2014), “Forms of Political Participation Used within Forest Certification”, Democratic Theory, 1, 2, pp. 131-141. [Read Here]
  • Dare, L., Schirmer, J. and Vanclay, F. (2014), “Community engagement and social license to operate”, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 32, 3, pp. 188-197. [Read Here]
  • Dare, M., Vanclay, F., and Schirmer, J. (2011), “Understanding community engagement in plantation forest management: Insights from practitioner and community narratives”. Journal of Environment Management and Planning, 54, 9, pp. 1149-1168. [Read Here]
  • Dare, M., Schirmer, J., and Vanclay, F. (2011), “Does forest certification enhance community engagement in Australian plantation management?” Forest Policy and Economics, 13, 5, pp. 328-337. [Read Here]
  • Dare, M., Vanclay, F., and Schirmer, J (2012) “Public participation in commercial environments: Critical reflections on community engagement methods used in the Australian plantation forestry industry”. Australian Forestry 75, 3, pp. 180-191. [Read Online]
  • Dare, M., Schirmer, J., and Vanclay, F (in review). “Can community engagement help the forest industry achieve a social license to operate? Findings from case studies of the forest industry in Australia and Canada”. Journal of Forestry (resubmitted September 2011).
  • Dare, M., Schirmer, J., and Vanclay, F. (2008), “A brief guide to effective community engagement in the Australian plantation sector”. Tech.Rep 181, Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry, Hobart, Tasmania. [Read Here]  
  • Loxton, E., Schirmer, J., and Dare, M. (2011), “Structural adjustment assistance in the Australian forest industry: A review of recent experience and recommendations for best practice design of future structural adjustment packages”. Tech.Rep 208, Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry, Hobart, Tasmania. [Read here
  • Dare, M., Schirmer, J., and Vanclay, F. (2011), “Handbook for Operational Community Engagement within Australian Plantation Forest Management”. Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry, Hobart, Tasmania. [Read Here]
  • Schirmer J, Dunn C, Loxton E and Dare M. (2011), “Socio-economic impacts of forest industry change: a baseline study”. Tech.Rep 214: INTERIM REPORT, Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. [Read Here
  • Dare, M., Schirmer, J. Kimber, J. (2011). “Tasmanian drought evaluation project”. Report to the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, and the Social Inclusion Unit (Department Premier and Cabinet). Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Science, Burnie Tasmania.
Research Project & Grants
PhD Supervision

Area of Supervision:

  • Natural resource management
  • Environmental politics
  • Community engagement

Involvement in PHD supervisory panels:

  • Clare O'Neill, "Junior military commanders' thinking for the human domain" (Secondary Supervisor)
  • Katie Singleton, "Money Matters: Measuring the Effectiveness of Pluralism- A Case Study of Power in the Huner Valley Region" (Secondary Supervisor)
  • Lyndal Hasselman, "Adaptation and accountability in multilevel natural resource governance: a case study in environmental water planning" (Primary Supervisor)
  • Alex Sherrard, "Overcoming the Barriers to Safety In Design Implementation: Understanding Designers Motivation" (Secondary Supervisor)
  • Sajeda Tuli, "Migration and the Knowledge City: A Case Study of Global Melbourne" (Secondary Supervisor)
  •  Roger Davis, "How can deliberative democracy improve indigenous engagement in Australia?" (Primary Supervisor)
  • Helen Sellers, "Neglected Horizons: Indian Rim Security Challenges and the Implications for Australia" (Primary Supervisor)
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