Dr Marisa Paterson

PhD (Anthropology) – Charles Darwin University, MAAPD - Australian National University, BA (Anthropology and Psychology) - Monash University
Research Fellow
College Arts & Social Sciences
T: 02 6125 1964

Areas of expertise

  • Anthropology 1601
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Policy 160501
  • Social Policy 160512
  • Psychology 1701
  • Public Health And Health Services 1117
  • Mental Health 111714

Research interests

- Indigenous gambling issues

- Gambling policy and service delivery

- Australian anthropology

- Qualitative research methods

- Health promotion and public health approaches



Dr Marisa Paterson is the Director of the Centre for Gambling Research (CSRM). She holds a PhD in Anthropology, a Masters of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Anthropology). Marisa specialises in qualitative research methods, with a particular research focus on gambling policy and regulation, social and Indigenous issues, social service delivery and program development.

Dr Paterson leads a broad range of projects relating to many different aspects of gambling.  For example, prevalence studies, evaluations, in-depth qualitative studies, RCT's.   

However, Marisa is an applied anthropologist with extensive experience conducting participatory research with Indigenous people and communities in Australia around the impacts of gambling. Marisa has focused significant research attention to models of gambling service delivery and program development, particularly in remote Indigenous communities.

Researcher's projects

2019 ACT Gambling Survey

The ACT Gambling prevalence survey is run every 5 years to assist the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission's monitoring of the social and economic impacts of gambling in the ACT. 

For detailed project information see: https://srcentre.com.au/our-research/act-gambling-prevalence-survey-2019

The project is funded by the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission.


Trajectories of social and economic outcomes and problem gambling risk in Australia: HILDA analysis

See http://csrm.cass.anu.edu.au/centres/cgr


Using technology to reduce gambling harm in NSW communities: An ICT health promotion randomized control trial 2019- 2021

This project is a partnership between the Australian National University, ThinkPlace, Menzies School of Health Research and the NSW Aboriginal Safe Gambling Service.  The project is funded by the NSW Department of Industry, Office of Responsible Gambling.

This project involves the design and evaluation of a digital platform addressing gambling harm in NSW Indigenous communities.


Reveiw of the Northern Territory Code of Practice for Responsible Gambling 2018-2019

This project is funded by the Northern Territory Government.


Gambling and the Australian Defence Force: Understanding history, culture and gambling harm

Currently there is no research evidence of the level of gambling harm amongst Australian Defence Force personnel. There are two main parts to this project: a) to conduct an extensive literature review and Australian and International literature; b) to develop an animation based on the review to highlight evidence gaps.

This reserach is funded by the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences.


ACT Justice Reinvestment Trial evaluation (secondary investigator) -2018

This project is funded by the ACT Department of Justice and Community Safety.


Gambling in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory: Development and pilot of a health promotion initiative - 2016- 2020

See also recent publication:

Fogarty, M., Coalter, N., Gordon, A. & Breen, H. (2016) Proposing a health promotion framework to address gambling problems in Australian Indigenous communities. Health Promotion International

Targeting interventions for problem gambling in the ACT

See report at : http://csrm.cass.anu.edu.au/centres/cgr

Centre for Gambling Research webpage. Project funded by the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission.


Evaluation of Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in schools and early learning

This project is an evaluation of a major program developed by Reconcilation Australia designed to support early learning services, primary and secondary schools in Australia to develop enviroments that foster a higher level of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories,cultures and contributions.

The evaluation will involve both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, including surveys, interviews and administrative data analysis.



Understanding Self-Exclusion in the ACT

Venue-based self-exclusion is a process whereby people who wish to limit or stop gambling voluntarily enter an agreement to exclude themselves from gaming venues.

This research explored the self-exclusion process from the experience of key stakeholders including venues, people who have self-excluded or considered self-exclusion and gambling help service proviers in the ACT.  The objective of the research was to gain an in-depth understanding of the strengths and limitations of self-exclusion in order to improve the experience of all stakesholders.


Adopting a health promotion framework to address gambling impacts in Aboriginal communities in Australia.

Gambling impacts on Australian Indigenous families and communties in diverse and complex ways. To date there has been a lack of coordinated research, service delivey or policy focus in this area. This work explores the relevance of applying a health promotion framework to address the impacts of gambling in the Australian Indigenous context.

See link for information:



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Updated:  28 September 2020 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers