The Project Team

Research Team

Professor Peter Saunders (Chief Investigator)
Professor, UNSW Social Policy Research Centre

Peter Saunders was the Director of the Social Policy Research Centre from February 1987 until July 2007, and now holds a Research Chair in Social Policy within the Centre. His research interests include poverty and income distribution, household needs and living standards, social security reform, comparative social policy and ageing and social protection in China. His recent books include The Ends and Means of Welfare. Coping with Economic and Social Change in Australia (Cambridge University Press, 2002), The Poverty Wars, Reconnecting Research with Reality and (with James Walter) Ideas and Influence. Social Science and Public Policy in Australia (both published by UNSW Press in 2005). He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 1995, and is currently an Australian Professorial Fellow working on the concepts and measurement of poverty and inequality, and on deprivation and social exclusion in Australia. He has worked as a consultant for a range of national and international organisations, including the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the OECD, the IMF, the Asian Development Bank, the International Social Security Association, and the Royal Commission on Social Policy in New Zealand. He was appointed a Sciential Professor by UNSW in 2006, in recognition of his research contribution and eminence. He was elected President of the Foundation for international Studies on Social Security (FISS) in June 2009. Professor Saunders was elected as the inaugural President of the Australian Social Policy Association.

Megan Bedford
Senior Research Officer, UNSW Social Policy Research Centre

Megan is a Senior Research Officer at the Social Policy Research Centre. She has experience working on projects on poverty, deprivation and social exclusion. The most recently completed project involved developing a set of budget standards for low-paid and unemployed Australians and their families. She is also currently involved in a three-year, mixed method longitudinal study that will track the experiences and educational outcomes of a sample of educational scholarship recipients and their transition from school to further education and employment.

Elizabeth Adamson
Research Fellow, UNSW Social Policy Research Centre

Elizabeth is a Research Associate at the Social Policy Research Centre. She holds a PhD in Social Policy from UNSW. Her research interests cross broad comparative care and family policy including: early childhood education and care (ECEC), the social and political economy of formal and informal care, and gender, migration and care. She is also interested in research on and policy for disadvantaged and low-income children and young people. She has worked on two other ARC Linkage projects: one that looked at the experiences and needs of young carers, and one on the low-income families’ decisions about work and child care.

Yuvisthi Naidoo
Research Associate, UNSW Social Policy Research Centre

Yuvisthi Naidoo is an early career researcher who has recently completed her PhD from UNSW. Her thesis involved developing a set of metrics to measure the standard of living and well-being of individuals and applying the methodological framework to analysis of older Australians. She has experience working on Australian Research Council funded projects on poverty, deprivation and social exclusion in Australia, with the most research project involving cross-national comparison of deprivation amongst European countries. Before joining the SPRC, Yuvisthi worked for the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute on sustainable housing and support options for older homeless people and in research and marketing for the consumer goods conglomerate Unilever. Her broad research interest is Australian and comparative social disadvantage analysis including the concept and measurement of poverty, deprivation, living standards and wellbeing.

Jude Brown
Research Officer, UNSW Social Policy Research Centre

Jude Brown is a Research Officer at the Social Policy Research Centre. She has a Masters of Applied Statistics and over 20 year’s research experience with publications in the disciplines of sociology, children’s well-being, social policy, psycho-oncology and statistical methods. She has extensive experience in the analysis of large national surveys, in particular time-use surveys but has also analysed small scale surveys and administrative databases.

Partner Investigators

Gill Main
Postdoctoral Research Scholar, University of Leeds

Gill completed her PhD (co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and The Children’s Society) at the University of York in 2014. She developed an index of child deprivation based on children’s own perceptions of their needs, and its value in helping to explore links between child poverty and children’s subjective well-being. The approach used in her PhD is being replicated in an Australian context for the Living Standards of Young People in New South Wales study.

She continues to work with The Children’s Society on their Well-being Research Programme . She was also involved as a researcher in the 2012 UK Poverty and Social Exclusion Survey, focusing on child poverty and social exclusion.

Her work on the Children’s Worlds study is an international survey, which covers a diverse range of countries and seeks to investigate children’s subjective well-being based on children’s reports of what is important to them, and drawing on children as participants and reporters on their own lives.

Anne Hampshire
Head of Research and Advocacy, The Smith Family

Anne Hampshire is Head of Research and Advocacy at The Smith Family. She has a background in education, research, social policy, service innovation and advocacy. She has over 20 years' experience working across the community and government sectors, including at national, state, regional and local levels. Anne has researched and written in a range of areas, including young people, children and families, mental health, unemployment, social capital and rural and regional communities. She has contributed to the development of a range of initiatives aimed at addressing disadvantage including for young people and families, homeless people and for communities experiencing long term disadvantage.

Robyn Bale
Director Student Engagement and Interagency Partnerships

Robyn is a Senior Officer in the NSW Department for Education and Communities, which is responsible for state-wide policy development in a range of areas relevant to the project: including school counselling services, child protection, health and wellbeing and social inclusion

Andrew Johnson
NSW Advocate for Children and Young People

Andrew Johnson, appointed to his current role in January 2015, has more than 20 years of national and international experience working in senior leadership positions NGOs, and international intergovernmental organisations. His work has included management and oversight of large scale service delivery programming, policy development and advocacy campaigns. He has been requested to present to the UN Security Council, US Congress and the Australian Parliament on issues pertinent to children and young people He was an Adjunct Professor at NYU, developing and teaching courses on child and human rights.

In 2012 Andrew worked for the ChildFund Alliance in New York, culminating in his appointment as the Acting Secretary General. At ChildFund Alliance he conceived the international campaign ‘Free from Violence’ for the inclusion of violence and exploitation in the United Nations next set of global priorities. The campaign utilised innovative new technologies to increase participation in the campaign including involving over 10,000 children. The issue of violence has been included in the High Level Panel report and the most recent Secretary General synthesis report. His work as a children’s campaigner has included senior roles with, Plan International, Save the Children, ChildFund Alliance, UNICEF, UNCHR and the Australia Council of Social Service (ACOSS).

Project Reference Group

Gerry Redmond
Associate Professor, School of Social and Policy Studies, Flinders University

Jen Skattebol
Research Fellow, UNSW Social Policy Research Centre

Anne Graham
Professor and Director, Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University

Partner Organisations

The project is funded through an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project grant, with support from three Partner Organisations: The NSW Department of Education and Communities, The Smith Family and the NSW Advocate for Children and Young People.