Associate Professor Tess Lea is an anthropologist whose fundamental interest is with issues of (dys)function: how it occurs and to what, whom and how it is ascribed. Looking at extraction industries, everyday militarisation, houses, infrastructure (e.g. plumbing and roads), schools, and efforts to create culturally congruent forms of employment and enterprise from multiple perspectives, her work asks why the path to realising seemingly straightforward ambitions is so densely obstacled. She collaborates closely with Healthabitat and leads the Housing for Health Incubator at the University of Sydney. She is also exploring ways in which Aboriginal families might tell their stories and commandeer policy openings and closings for their own ends. For this pursuit she has worked closely with Professor Elizabeth Povinelli from Columbia University and the Karrabing Film Collective.