Dr Maria Platt is the Coordinator of the Australia-Indonesia Centre Infrastructure Cluster.
Maria has over a decade of experience in conducting research and managing projects in the Southeast Asian context, with a particular focus on Indonesia. After a trip across Indonesia in the mid-2000s Maria became interested in understanding more about the country and the people that lived there. In 2007-2008 Maria lived on the island of Lombok undertaking her PhD fieldwork which sought to understand women’s experiences of marriage and how women negotiate local forms of Islam when pursing their marital desires.
After completing her studies Maria returned to Southeast Asia to work at the National University of Singapore (NUS), where she was based until late 2016. At NUS Maria worked on a number of projects, including an international research consortium Migrating out of Poverty funded by the UK’s Department for International Development. In this role she managed a project examining the relationship between labour migration and poverty alleviation for Indonesian migrants and their families, working closely with migrants, partner organisations and universities in Indonesia. Maria’s other research interests lie in the areas of gender, changing ideas of family and marriage, and the politics of identity and citizenship, particularly in the Indonesian context.
Maria received her PhD in Anthropology from La Trobe University in 2011, and has a Bachelor in Applied Science (Health Promotion) (Hons) from Deakin University. She has recently published a book based on her PhD, Marriage, Gender and Islam in Indonesia: Women Negotiating Informal Marriage, Divorce and Desire (Routledge, 2017).