Our aims:

AILASA was established in 1993 with several aims, including:

To promote research into and the teaching of Iberian and Latin American Studies in Australasia;

  • to promote the professional development of its members;

  • to promote public awareness of and interest in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America;

  • to stimulate and encourage interchange between Australasia and the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America; and

  • to coordinate and rationalise available resources among member institutions through the interchange of students, teachers and resources.

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Robert Mason is a Senior Lecturer at Griffith University. His research explores intercultural memory and heritage in the entangled Spanish, Portuguese, and British histories of Australia, Asia and North America.

Robert is the author of more than 30 journal articles and book chapters, four edited collections and a monograph with University of Wales Press. Robert has supervised more than 15 HDR candidates to completion. Most recently, he was the 2019 Mendel Fellow in Latin American History at the University of Indiana Bloomington. He is Co-Chair of the Australian chapter of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies. 


Helen Berents is Senior Research Fellow (Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow) at Queensland University of Technology. Helen’s research is interested in children and youth, peace and conflict, and local responses to violence and insecurity. Helen’s work draws on feminist theories, international relations, critical security studies, and sociology to explore these issues.  Helen has been a visiting researcher at the Universidad de las Andes (Bogotá), and undertaken research with violence-affected children and youth in Colombia and Guatemala. Her work with internally displaced youth in Colombia was published as Young People and Everyday Peace: Exclusion, Insecurity and Peacebuilding in Colombia (Routledge, 2018). 


Sally Babidge is an anthropologist and Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Science at the University of Queensland. Her research on the social and environmental effects of the extraction industries (copper and lithium mining) and Indigenous Peoples' engagement with the industry over water extraction in Chile has been published in a range of international journals in anthropology and the humanities. She is active among networks of Latin American scholars in her discipline and regularly reviews for Chilean anthropology journals. Sally supervises a number of current HDR students from Latin America or working in the continent. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Intercultural and Indigenous Research, at the Pontífica Universidad Católica de Chile (Santiago) and at the Universidad Catolica del Norte. 

Membership Secretary 

Laura Rodriguez Castro is a Resident Adjunct Research Fellow at the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Griffith University. Her research focuses on the intersections of decoloniality, feminisms and rurality especially from Latin American epistemologies. In 2019 she was awarded the Australian Academy of the Humanities Travelling Fellowship for a project entitled ‘Advancing Peace and Conflict Studies from The Ground: Women’s Oral Testimonies and Historical Memory in Colombia’. Laura’s recent publications include a journal article entitled ‘We are not poor things’: territorio cuerpo-tierra and Colombian women’s organised struggles’ in Feminist Theory and a co-authored book chapter in the Routledge Handbook of Gender and Feminist Geographies (2020).


Communication Officers:

Stephanie Natolo is a researcher and sessional lecturer in Spanish at Griffith University, and a consultant at Claremont Graduate University, California. Her doctoral research examined the Argentinean community in Australia, with focus on the intergenerational maintenance and transmission of Rioplatense Spanish and Argentinean identity. Her research interests include Spanish language maintenance, and Argentinean identity. 


Bronte Alexander is a PhD candidate at Griffith University. Her thesis draws on social and cultural geography to investigate the human experience of mobility through the intersection of refugee and disability studies. Bronte’s research is particularly interested in the current movement of migrants from Venezuela through the urban spaces of northern Brazil, and she recently participated in a by-invitation panel on the subject at the Society for Latin American Studies, UK. Bronte works closely with not-for-profit and NGO organisations in Brazil and Australia. 


HDR Representatives: 

Madeleine Belfrage is a PhD candidate at the School of Social Science, at the University of Queensland. She has a Masters in Development Practice and has worked in women’s rights organisations in Mexico for the past five years. She is currently carrying out a feminist activist ethnography on abortion rights activism in Mexico as part of her PhD dissertation. Her research interests include, self-managed abortion, stigma, Latin American decolonial feminisms, reproductive governance and neoliberalism. 


Gisella Lopes Gomes Pinto Ferreira is a qualified lawyer in Brasil and is a commencing PhD candidate at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Her thesis explores the prevention of gendered violence in youth cohorts in Brasil, adopting a southern criminology lens and critical feminist perspective. Gisella has taught at universities in Australia and Brasil. She is also engaged with the IPV sector in both countries, working on a policy exchange program between Australia and Brasil. Gisella’s most recent work is forthcoming with the Journal for Crime Justice and Social Democracy and the Revista Contribuciones a las Ciencias Sociales. She is engaged with the Latin American community in Australia, and is a co-founder of the bookclub Latinas Feministas in Brisbane (2018- present). 

How AILASA is governed

AILASA holds a Biennial General Meeting at which members participate in setting policy and regulations. In between meetings, the organization is run by the Executive Committee (the President, Secretary and Treasurer), elected by full members of AILASA for a two-year term. See also the AILASA Constitution as amended on 12 August 1999).