Teaching and Research Staff

Dr Merrilyn Crichton

Lecturer in Sociology
Wagga Wagga
Bldg 26


Dr Merrilyn Crichton completed her Bachelor of Social Science (Sociology), Honours in Sociology and PhD at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She held sessional teaching positions at QUT, the University of Queensland and Australian Catholic University (Brisbane), as well as conducting research for QUT and the Griffith University Abilities Research Program before relocating to CSU Wagga. Dr Crichton has conducted research into rural and regional eMental Health, rural and regional disability mobility and has more recently begun to conduct research into the links between rural and regional well being and the environment (especially drought and water governance). Her teaching and research focus is broadly located in the areas of social inequality and rural community sustainability/development. Dr Crichton supervises postgraduate theses in which sociology and rural and regional social issues feature. Recently these have included volunteering amongst retirees, symbolic ethnicity, and Ugandan rural and regional HIV/AIDS. Her external professional activities have included a term as co-chair of the rural social issues thematic group of The Australian Sociological Association, board member of Wagga Wagga's Disability Advocacy Network, and membership of CSU Green's campus environmental committee.


Current teaching responsibilities are in:

  • community analysis,
  • introductory sociology, and
  • social inequality.

Research interests

  • Rural social issues – mental health, marginality and social exclusion/inclusion;
  • role of civil society in service provision for traditionally excluded/isolated/vulnerable people;
  • social impact of water resourcing (policy and practice) in regional Australia.


Dr Crichton's PhD (completed in 2008) asked what 'service' is in the context of volunteer groups whose members are professional men and women.

Other publications include:

  • Crichton, M. (2016). "Endurance: Stories of Drought." Rural Society 25(3), pp.268-270.
  • Burmeister, O.K., Islam, Md Zahidul, Dayhew, M. and Crichton, M. (2015). "Enhancing client welfare through better communication of private mental health data between rural service providers." Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 19, pp.1-15.
  • Gray, I and Crichton, M. (2014). "Replacing Trains with Coaches: Implications for Social Inclusion in Rural New South Wales." Journal of Social Inclusion 5(2), pp.89-113.
  • Crichton, M. and L. Chenoweth. 2010. "Drought, intellectual disability and resilience in rural Australia."  Coping, Resilience and Hope Building, Asia Pacific Regional Conference.  Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice.  (July 9-11).
  • Crichton, M. 2011. "The logic of 'service': conceptualising service as a discourse rather than an act." Third Sector Review, 17(2), 153-174.
  • Crichton, M. 2011. "Symbolic power in the Murray Darling Basin Water Allocation debate: the symbolic struggle over water."  The Australian Sociological Association Annual Conference (November/December), (working paper)
  • Crichton, M. And C. Strong. 2011.  "Energy and Rurality (Editorial)." Rural Society, 20(3), 232-236.
  • Crichton, M. and L. Thompson. 2012. "Rural Sociology: introducing the TASA rural issues thematic group."  NEXUS: Newsletter of the Australian Sociological Association, 24(2), front cover, 4-5.
  • Crichton, M. 2012.  "Neoliberal paternalism and the free market in managing Australia's Murray Darling Basin: a critique of an apparent dichotomy."  International Sociology Association World Congress, Lisbon Portugal (August).
  • Crichton, M. 2012.  "Water Discourse." The Australian Sociological Association Annual Conference.  (November). (working paper).
  • Burmeister, O., Muenstermann, I. & Crichton, M. (2012) Comorbidity and Suicide related e-Mental Health Services in the Riverina. Merging Minds 2012. Where Drugs, Alcohol, and Mental Health Meet.  Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga.

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