Our People

Dr Hazel Blunden

Research Associate
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


    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