2022 Paul Bourke Award winners, #DemocracySymposium, EMCR network update, mentoring opportunities, and more.
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Two weeks ago, we saw the first Budget from the new Federal government. The Budget was overall a cautious one, which contained few surprises. My general take, written from the Budget lockup appeared in the Australian Financial Review.

As the Academy’s Budget update highlighted, there was an expansion of paid parental leave—the importance of which was discussed in our recent podcast. There were also welcome increases to child-care support, ambitious goals for housing supply, and programs addressing gendered violence.

For the higher education sector, the Budget confirmed 20,000 additional Commonwealth supported university places over the next two years. There were also inflation-indexed increases to higher-degree research training and research support programs, support for national research infrastructure, and in Australian Research Council programs.

Our annual symposium—Democracy: Risk | Relevance | Revival—takes place at the end of this month and will explore developments and challenges to democracy in Australia and abroad. It will also explore the ways in which new thinking, social trends, geopolitics and technology are changing how society engages with its leadership and its future.

It will be an exciting event—held in hybrid mode. I look forward to seeing many of you in person in Melbourne.

And a reminder to Fellows that the Annual General Meeting will be held online from 9:30–11am on Wednesday 23 November 2022. More information and links to register for the AGM and Panel meetings can be found here.

It’s not too late to register for the Annual Symposium. Whether you’re joining us in Melbourne or online, come together to share ideas, discussion and networking with some of the social sciences’ best thinkers. Explore the program here and share in your networks. If you haven’t registered, book your place now.

Register Now!

At a glance

Plan your attendance across events with this handy summary schedule of 2022 Annual Academy events, showing what is taking place, where and when alongside the Annual Symposium.

Breaking news

We are delighted to announce today the four early career researchers who received the Academy’s prestigious Paul Bourke Award.

Congratulations to Dr Gemma Sharp, Dr Harry Hobbs, Dr Felix Septianto and Dr Sophie Webber. Watch a short video on the ground-breaking work of each Award winner on the Academy YouTube channel.

Find more on the award and its origins here and see the Academy’s media release here

Social sciences are everywhere

Have you seen our new social science promotional campaign? Social sciences are everywhere aims to raise public awareness of the social sciences, their impact and potential career paths. The second video in the series—Politics and International Relations are everywhere—was developed in partnership with the Australian Political Studies Association, and more will be coming soon. Meanwhile get involved with just a few clicks: share and like both videos on your social channels and through your networks.

Academy calls for clarity on corrupt conduct

The Academy’s submission to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Bills 2022 Inquiry strongly supports creation of the NACC and calls for a clear definition of corrupt conduct that makes the distinction between ethical and criminal breaches and an increased focus on corruption prevention. You can find a summary or download the Academy’s full submission here.

Early and mid-career researchers—this is for you!

The Academy has been proud to work with the Australian Academy of the Humanities to establish the EMCR SHAPE Futures Network. The new website has just launched and a national survey is underway. Sign-up to the network and find out more at

Doubly honoured

The Academy is thrilled that Fellows Ian Freckelton AO, Sharon Friel, Anne Kavanagh and Emma Kowal have been elected to the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, celebrated at a gala dinner in October. Congratulations on your election. Learn more about AAHMS 2022 new Fellows here.

Shaking the gender tree

Congratulations also to Fellow Marilyn Fleer who joined more than 700 illustrious women on the Victoria Honour Roll of Women. Created by Joan Kirner, first female Premier of Victoria, the Honour Roll ensures women in the state are recognised for a wide range of achievements. See who else was inducted in 2022 here.

In another glass ceiling moment, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) announced last month new special measures under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to address systemic disadvantage faced by female and non-binary applicants to its Investigator Grant scheme. Read more here.

Speaking of NHMRC funding...

Seven Academy Fellows were awarded National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding in the latest round.

They include Professors Ian Hickie, Alison Ritter, Louisa Degenhardt, Michael Berk, George Paxinos and Jennie Hudson. Find more details here.

More congratulations

The Academy congratulates Fellow Christina Twomey appointed to the Australia Research Council (ARC) as Executive Director for Humanities and Creative Arts, in a step by the ARC to increase expert advice and guidance across its programs, policies and peer review processes. And we also congratulate Fellow David Hensher, who topped the international research rankings in the 2022 Elsevier database in the field of Transport & Logistics.

Historic gathering in Victoria

For the first time in nearly three years Victorian-based Fellows had the opportunity to meet in person at an Academy function. It was a chance to welcome newer Fellows and greet old hands. Janet McCalman stepped in to provide an incisive analysis of the recent Jobs Summit when National President Richard Holden was unable to address the gathering as planned. Victoria co-convenor Beth Webster chaired the lively commentary and debate that followed, including contributions from former Presidents Leon Mann, Barry McGaw and Fellows ‘from the floor’. Co-convenors Dennis Trewin, Greg Bamber and Beth Webster ensured a warm reception for all comers and expressed the hope that 2023 will see more of these gatherings. Victoria is back!

Members of the Academy met in Melbourne in October. Front row, left to right: Dennis Trewin, Greg Bamber, Beth Webster, Mark Wooden, Jill Blackmore, Janet McCalman, Kate Burridge, Gilah Leder Peter Dixon, John Benson. Second row L to R: Peter McDonald, Stephen Wheatcroft, James Walter, Barry McGaw, Julie McLeod, Lyn Yates, Nirvan Erkal, Alan Fels, Sarah Pink, guest John Langmore.

Academies work together for disability inclusion

The Academy, as part of the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA), has lent its expertise to an initiative that puts four professions under the microscope—education, healthcare, justice and social services—in a government-supported study to bring much-needed action on disability inclusiveness. Click here to learn more.


The Association of Asian Social Science Research Councils (AASSREC) seeks social scientists in Australia as mentors in a new pilot program to support EMC researchers in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in the most under-resourced, least advantaged areas. Mentors and mentees can nominate by 30 November 2022. Click here for details.

Experts wanted

Our national broadcaster is looking for Australians from diverse communities with expertise in any subject matter to join a national database that is accessible to journalists across the ABC network. Find out more and add your details here.

Read, Listen, Watch

Dreamers and Schemers is the latest book from Fellow Frank Bongiorno, shedding fresh light on our democratic life with a parade of Australian political characters from local pubs and meeting halls to parliament. Or tuck into Fellow Ian Hickie and James O'Loghlin’s Minding Your Mind, based on the popular podcast, offering compassion, curiosity and practical strategies on the mind and how it works. Find more featured books by Academy Fellows.

The 50th episode of our Seriously Social podcast is out, featuring Fellow Elizabeth Reid AO in conversation with host Ginger Gorman reflecting on her time as the world’s first advisor on women to a head of government and how to create change. Catch up on previous episodes here and keep listening for next month’s podcast on sport with Fellow David Rowe.

Or listen to Paul Bourke Award winner Harry Hobbs and Fellow George Williams discuss micronations on ABC Radio National Breakfast.

Another podcast to check out is 'What happens next?'. Produced by Monash University and hosted by Dr Susan Carland, episodes step through the sliding doors with global experts and thought leaders to find out what could happen if we don’t change, and what the world could look like if we do. A recent episode, ‘Is our attention slipping?’ featured Fellow Mark Bellgrove.

Share the latest in our Social sciences are everywhere series and catch the extended video of Seriously Social’s interview with Elizabeth Reid filmed in the very office where she worked.


So many in-person events are coming back. Here’s another to attend featuring a great line-up of thinkers including Academy President Richard Holden. Reckoning with Power and Privilege, live event 6:30pm 17 November in Sydney NSW, convened by The Conversation’s Sunanda Creagh. Find details and register here.

The Academy is proud to be a supporter of the International Congress on Evidence-based Parenting Support (I-CEPS), to be held online in June 2023. More details here.

Hear it first on our socials

Keen to stay in the loop? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for the latest Academy updates. (You can also follow our Seriously Social stories, videos and podcast episodes on social media—find all those links here).

Events schedule
View and register for upcoming events.

Policy and publications
Read recent submissions and other publications.

Listen to the latest Seriously Social episodes.

The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia.

We acknowledge and pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which our national office is located, the Ngunnawal people, and

to their elders past, present and future.

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