|Carroll is a descendant of the Dyirrbal people of the upper Tully and upper Herbert Rivers in far north Queensland, where she was raised by her maternal grandmother, a traditional Dyirrbalgn woman of the gumbilbarra people. Carroll maintains connections and interests in the Atherton Tableland region. Completing her Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1997, she was the first female Indigenous graduate in architecture, out of a total of six graduates to date throughout Australia.
Carroll's undergraduate study focused on the issues of environmental and cultural implications of housing design in Indigenous communities, culminating in a final year thesis entitled "The Mutitjulu Experiment: A Study of Decentralised Houses" which was awarded the thesis prize. It examined the design process and cultural beliefs impacting on a range of decentralised houses constructed at Mutitjulu, a Yankantjatjara-Pitjantjatjara community located near Uluru, Northern Territory. The decentralised house model is a concept not peculiar to Indigenous Australia, but its application and emergence in both self-built and designed houses in the Indigenous context attempts to address culturally unique lifestyles.
Research work for past 18 years is largely achieved through the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre, led by Associate Professor Paul Memmott which has examined the adequacy and appropriateness of Indigenous housing, although an issue much debated, but little understood in terms of its cross cultural complexity. There are negligible researchers or practitioners of Indigenous background contributing to this vital field. Carroll has worked at the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre AERC at the University of Qld, St Lucia Campus both as practitioner, researcher and part-time lecturer/tutor and is a Director of PMA (Paul Memmott & Associates) based in Brisbane.
PMA is a consultancy and research based practice specialising in Indigenous projects in architecture and anthropology. Carroll attempts to contribute a unique Indigenous perspective to research, architectural practice and teaching undertaken over the years. Specific project work has extended to architectural design, Indigenous housing and family violence research.
Much of Carroll's project experience since 1984 to the present, has pursued an interest and focus on Indigenous projects and research. She has worked for Aboriginal community organisations such as Kambu Progress Association and Kambu Construction P/L (1984-1987) and Tangentyere Council (1991-2). Some notable examples are the remote Bidungu Housing Project, Gregory Crossing, North Queensland of which she was a graduate design team member.
Her work has extended to include a number of small practices in Brisbane involved in residential and commercial projects. Recent design project work has extended to work collaboratively with a Brisbane based practice - 'Phorm Architecture + Design'. A discrete number of Indigenous projects have been completed to date ranging from an Aged Hostel, Keeping Place, Remote Research Field Station to the Oorala Centre (Aboriginal teaching and support centre) at the University of New England. Finally, Carroll completed her own residence, the 'Shroud House Project'; which incorporated a fusion between contemporary architecture and Dyirrbalgn symbols.
The project was highly commended in the awards programs of the RAIA 2006 and the DIA in 2005.
Other recent project work includes engagement as a design consultant by Musgrave Park Cultural Centre Inc. on their proposal for an Aboriginal Cultural Centre in inner city Brisbane, which has been developed as the subject of a lecture series examining Indigenous Cultural Themes & Imaging Identity in Public Museums and Cultural Centres in Australia . Indigenous identity and representation in museums, cultural centres and public buildings incorporating Indigenous cultural themes which represent both benign cultural elements, totemic imaginery and contested histories, figuratively memorialising significant events in past and present history.