Our People

Dr Hazel Blunden

Research Fellow


Social Policy Research Centre


201 Goodsell Building
Kensington Campus
Fields: Social Change, Social and Cultural Geography, Urban Sociology and Community Studies, Urban and Regional Studies, Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social I, Human Geography not elsewhere classified, Economic Geography
Tags: Community Service (excl. Work), Government and Politics

Hazel is currently a Research Associate at the Social Policy Research Centre where she is working on a variety of housing-related and other research projects. Hazel Blunden is a project manager and social policy specialist with more than 15 years’ experience working on commissioned research projects for NGOs, local and state government, managing projects from inception to conclusion.

Hazel has a particular interest in housing policy issues. She is an AHURI author and has a published a range of book chapters and articles on housing and homelessness issues.

In addition to research work, Hazel also lectures and tutors across a range of social sciences and economics courses at UNSW and UTS.

Prior to joining UNSW, Hazel was Senior Research Assistant at the Urban Research Centre at Western Sydney University where she worked on a variety of research projects for the NSW Government, local Governments, and NGOs. Earlier in her career, Hazel was an advisor to two NSW Parliamentarians in the Housing, Fair Trading and other portfolio areas. Prior to this, Hazel was Policy Officer at housing peak body Shelter NSW, and a Tenant's Advocate in community legal centres.

Hazel is adept at designing qualitative and quantitative tools, organising and undertaking fieldwork. She has extensive experience in working with vulnerable people of diverse backgrounds and ensuring the active involvement of participants in research.

Hazel currently sits on the Inner West Council Affordable Housing Strategic Reference Committee in a voluntary capacity.


Ph.D. (Human Geography), Macquarie University, 2002

Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Sociology, La Trobe University, 1994


    Book Chapters

    • Blunden H;Drake G, 2015, 'Homelessness, the ‘housing first’ approach and the creation of ‘home’', in Housing in 21st-Century Australia: People, Practices and Policies, pp. 205 - 220
    • Blunden H, 2012, 'The Olympic Games and housing', in The Palgrave Handbook of Olympic Studies, pp. 520 - 532, http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9780230367463

    Journal articles

    Conference Papers

    • Blunden HM;Darcy M;Perry J;Stubbs J, 2004, 'Housing Costs and Work Location in Sydney', in Carlson E (ed.), A Future That Works, centre for Full Employment and Equity, University of Newcastle, Newcastle University, presented at A Future That Works, Newcastle University, 01 - 01 January 2004


    • Skattebol J;Blunden H, 2019, Evaluation of the Youth Advocate Program, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, Sydney
    • Purcal C;O'Shea P;Blunden H;Zmudzki F;Giuntoli G;Fisher KR, 2019, Evaluation of Housing & Accommodation Support Initiative Plus (HASI Plus) – Report 1, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, SPRC Report 13/19, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/5d1aa73b5c6e7
    • Blunden H;Katz I, 2019, Establishing a Child Development Fund in Australia: A review of international models, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, SPRC Report 09/19, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/5ccbd05add7a7
    • Blunden H, 2019, Evaluation of Housing & Accommodation Support Initiative Plus (HASI Plus) – Literature Review, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, Sydney
    • Walsh P;McHugh M;Blunden H;Katz I, 2018, Literature Review: Factors Influencing the Outcomes of Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care, NSW Family and Community Services, Sydney, Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study, Report Number 6
    • Zmudzki F;Muir S;Blunden H;Bates S;Katz I;valentine K;Harvey J, 2018, Evaluation Report: DVA Coordinated Client Support Program, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney
    • Blunden H;Liu EY;valentine K, 2017, Evaluation of the Better Places Stronger Communities Project: Final Report, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, SPRC Report 19/17, http://dx.doi.org/10.4225/53/5a29d589a582c
    • Bullen JE;Liu E;Pawson H;valentine K, 2017, Evaluation of the Better Places Stronger Communities Project: Baseline report, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, SPRC Report 04/17, http://dx.doi.org/10.4225/53/59b88e27d7e6f
    • Fernandez EA;Lee J-S;Blunden H;McNamara P;Kovacs S;Cornefert P, 2016, No Child Should Grow Up Like This: Identifying long term outcomes of Forgotten Australians, Child Migrants and the Stolen Generations, University of New South Wales, Kensington Sydney, http://www.forgottenaustralians.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/uploads/UNSW_ForgottenAustralians_Report_Nov16.pdf
    • Crabtree L;Moore N;Phibbs P;Blunden H;Sappideen C, 2015, Community Land Trusts and Indigenous communities: From strategies to outcomes
    • Blunden HM;Feder K;Darcy M, 2015, Work Fast Greater Sydney Employment Integration Model Evaluation of Pilot Program, Urban Research Centre, Western Sydney University and Neami National, Sydney
    • Darcy M;Piracha A;Blunden HM;Hall N, 2014, Unintended Consequences: Homelessness Service Delivery in the Nepean/Blacktown Region, Western Sydney University Urban Research Centre, Sydney, http://www.uws.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/777888/Unintended_Consequences.pdf
    • Blunden HM;Darcy M, 2014, Determining the Financial Barriers moving from Welfare to Work, Urban Research Centre, Western Sydney University, Penrith, Sydney
    • Drake G;Darcy M;Blunden HM;Steinwede J, 2014, Rough Sleepers in Parramatta: From Street to Home: Final Report, Urban Research Centre, Western Sydney University, Penrith, Sydney
    • Blunden HM;Drake G;Newton K;Darcy M, 2013, Boarding Houses Review, Parramatta, Parramatta City Council
    • Crabtree L;Blunden H;Milligan V;Phibbs P;Sappideen C;Moore N;Australian Housing ;UNSW-UWS Research Centre, 2012, Community land trusts and indigenous housing options
    • Crabtree L;Phibbs P;Milligan V;Blunden HM;Moore N;Sappideen C, 2012, Community Land Trusts and Indigenous Housing Options, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, Melbourne, 185, http://www.ahuri.edu.au/research/final-reports/185
    • Phibbs P;Milligan V;Blunden HM, 2012, Post Implementation Review of the ACT Land Rent Scheme, Treasury, Australian Capital territory Government., http://apps.treasury.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/417959/PI_ReviewEPICdotgov.pdf
    • Crabtree L;Phibbs P;Milligan V;Blunden H, 2012, Principles and practices of an affordable housing community land trust model, Research Paper, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, Melbourne
    • Blunden HM, 2007, The Impact of the Sydney Olympic Games on Housing Rights, Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, Geneva, Switzerland, http://www.ruig-gian.org/ressources/Sydney_background_paper.pdf
    • Blunden HM, 2005, Public housing and nonhousing outcomes, Shelter NSW, Sydney, Shelter Policy Briefs, 25, https://shelternsw.org.au/sites/shelternsw.org.au/files/public/documents/rpt05nonhousingoutcomes-sb25.pdf
    • Bannister D;Blunden HM;Fromader C;Ogden S;Porteous P;Simon K, 2004, Report to the UN Special Rapporteur on Housing: Women and the Right to Adequate Housing in Australia, Sydney, http://wwda.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/AustWomHousing04.pdf
    • National Shelter ;ACOSS ;Blunden HM;Wilson I, 2003, Rent Assistance: Does it Deliver Affordability?, Australian Council of Social Services, Sydney, 348, https://www.aspc.unsw.edu.au/sites/www.aspc.unsw.edu.au/files/uploads/aspc_historical_conferences/2003/paper65.pdf

    Conference Presentations

    • Liu EY;Blunden H, 2018, 'Cultural diversity and sensitivity in public estate renewals: Evidence from a longitudinal study', presented at European Network for Housing Research Conference, Uppsala, 26 - 29 June 2018

Teaching and Supervision

Hazel is an experienced tutor and lecturer and has convened and co-convened courses. She has taught across a range of social sciences, economics and urban studies courses at UNSW, UTS and WSU. Hazel manages blended learning content and course administraiton as well as doing face to face classes.


Tutor, Economics, Society and Globalism, UTS
Tutor, Self and Society, UTS
Lecturer (sessional) and co-convenor Research Methods, UNSW
Co-course convenor, Theory, Ethics and Research Impact


Lecturer (sessional) and co-convenor, Research Methods, UNSW
Social Research and Society, UNSW


Social Research and Society, UNSW


Geographies of Social Difference, WSU
Social Research Methods, WSU
Economis and Cities and Regions, WSU
Applied Social Research, WSU

Honours and prizes

Vice Chancellors Excellence In Engaged Research Award, Western Sydney University, 2014.

Engagement and Professional contributions

Inner West Council Council Affordable Housing Strategic Reference Committee