Sam, who lives on the family farm at Ruffy, near Seymour in Victoria, began her PhD in February 2013 by Distance Education. Her principal supervisor is Dr Catherine Allan and co-supervisor A/Prof Ian Lunt.
Her Masters project, under the supervision of Dr Catherine Allan was a discourse analysis of public responses (as expressed in the newspapers of the time) to three major bushfires in Victoria- 1851, 1939 and 1983.
After Victoria's 2009 bushfires, Sam worked with Parks Victoria's Fire Recovery Program in a community engagement role. In 2012 she worked as a statewide program coordinator for a community education program "Fishcare".
Her PhD is exploring a range of paradoxes, or perverse ironies and contradictions, associated with complex native vegetation management issues following bushfires in Victoria, and the ACT.