Statement in support of the Voice referendum, #SSW2023, policy updates, opportunities, and more
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President's Message

For the first time ever the entire education system—from early childhood right through K-12 and tertiary—is under review by the government. This has the potential to lead to important changes for the education community and the research ecosystem.

I’m pleased to say that a number of our Fellows are playing leading roles in these reviews—and that the Academy is deeply involved in these and other review processes. For example, Deborah Brennan is co-leading the inquiry on early childhood education and care, Larissa Behrendt is a member of the Universities Accord Panel, and Martin Parkinson is co-leading the government’s review of the Australian migration system. 

I would also like to congratulate Marian Baird for her appointment to the Fair Work Commission Expert Panel—a role of significant national importance.

As part of the Academy’s engagement with policy, I was delighted to be part of a very successful joint Academy-Treasury-Prime Minister and Cabinet Roundtable in Canberra on March 23 on the topic of measuring wellbeing and the implications of this for budgeting.  

You will also see later in this newsletter some of the exciting developments that are afoot for Social Sciences Week (SWW) 2023. I’m thrilled to see SSW grow and highlight the enormous contribution of the social sciences and social scientists to our community—and especially to engage school students. They are the social scientists of the future.

Finally, as the Voice Referendum draws closer, I would like to point you to the Academy’s statement on this critical topic. We have also made some changes to our website’s landing page to emphasise work across the fellowship and within the national office on ‘First Nations Business’. I encourage you to explore the links and learn more.

Richard Holden, President

Time for Voice

This week the Academy released a statement in support of the referendum proposal to alter the Constitution. You can find the full statement here and the media release here. You can also explore more about the Academy’s reconciliation activities or find resources and materials produced by Fellows of the Academy and other social scientists on reconciliation, the Uluru Statement From the Heart and the Academy’s Reconciliation Action Plan along with details of the recently established Rechnitz Fund to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait scholars and social science research, at this link.

Something to share?

We love to learn about our Fellows’ work. We invite you to tag us (@AcadSocSci) and use the hashtag #socialsciences when you are sharing new research or achievements. This will help us find and promote your wonderful work and demonstrate the value of the fellowship.  

And remember, you may prefer to read the Newsletter online where you can adjust your computer settings e.g. choose ‘zoom in’ or ‘reader’ view for an easy-to-read version.

Get going for SSW2023: 4-10 Sept

A big thank you to silver sponsor RMIT University for their early support of Social Sciences Week 2023, we are delighted to have them on board again and look forward to promoting their involvement in the week.

An exciting program is taking shape this year and you can be part of it. Explore opportunities to partner with the Academy or sponsor SSW2023 by emailing us at Or simply sign up to our SSW2023 newsletter to take advantage of the many opportunities around the country to participate. You can also register your own event on the SSW website. WA Academy Fellows are organising a live event at the State Library in Perth, the social sciences will meet improv comedy in Melbourne—more on that and other exciting Academy events soon. What will you be doing for SSW2023?

The Great Debate

We are excited to announce the Academy’s inaugural SSW Great Debate at the National Library of Australia featuring Fellows Andrew Leigh and David Rowe on Tuesday 5 September. It will be a lively, fun night debating whether sport unites or divides us with special guests, celebrity judges and hosted by our Seriously Social podcast host Ginger Gorman. Sign up for SSW2023 here.

Academy's policy reach

On 23 March, an Academy Policy Roundtable on Development in work and wellbeing for contemporary Australia, brought together a multidisciplinary group of Academy Fellows, social scientists and officials from the Treasury, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and other Commonwealth agencies to consider sessions on ‘Measuring what matters’, the care and support economy and the non-financial benefits of work. Find more details here.

Earlier this week Academy Policy Manager, Andi Verdich, was an invited observer at Treasury’s inaugural policy research conference, along with several Academy Fellows, other academics, policymakers and economic practitioners whose task was to help shape the future of Australia’s labour market. Read more about the Government’s Employment White Paper here.


Meanwhile, a working group to guide the Academy’s submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry on early childhood education and care met this week. This multi-disciplinary group is chaired by Fellow Susan Danby. Find more at the inquiry page here.


The Academy is delighted to recognise Fellow Marian Baird on her appointment as a Fair Work Commission Expert Panel Member, one of three new Commission panel members appointed by the government, who will bring her considerable expertise in gender pay equity. You can hear Marian’s Seriously Social podcast on paid parental leave here.

Justice for women who kill

Feminist research has long detailed problems with justice for women who use fatal force against their abusers. The Academy is proud to contribute to growing understanding and reforms in this area through our support for the workshop, Successful Strategies for Improving Access to Justice for Women Who Kill Their Abusers held at Deakin University on 13-14 February 2023. Convenors include Fellow Heather Douglas AM, Danielle Tyson and Bronwyn Naylor OAM.

Read more about our Workshops Program here.

Grants and funding opportunities

The ABC of media skills + research

Top 5 is an ABC media residency program for early career researchers that will have you working alongside experienced ABC journalists and producers learning the ins and outs of radio, TV and digital platforms. Applications close 14 May 2023. Find more about ABC TOP 5 here.

National Library Fellowships

One of our SSW2023 partners, The National Library of Australia, is offering a 12-week residency to researchers in any field or discipline where the Library's collections have appropriate depth and breadth to support the desired outcomes. Applications close 26 April. Learn ­­more here.

Rechnitz Fund for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social science researchers

Applications for the Academy’s inaugural Wilhelm, Martha and Otto Rechnitz Memorial Fund grants for early- and mid-career social science researchers from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds close on 15 May. Grants of up to $20,000 are available to PhD or Masters by Research students, early- or mid-career academics and professional researchers working in any field of the social sciences. This fund is generously supported by the estate of Rev Dr Wilhelm Rechnitz. Find out more here.

EMCR opportunities further afield

Several opportunities for early- and mid-career (EMCR) scientists are available through our friends at the Academy of Science including the 2024 Honorific award nominations closing

1 May 2023, while research, travel and conference funding opportunities close 1 June 2023. The second event in the Academy of Science Public Speaker Series on Indigenous Knowledges will be held 11 April focused on rivers, groundwater and oceans.

Read, Watch, Listen

Is the internet made of cats? Academy Fellow Deborah Lupton explores how digital technologies are changing our relationships with other animals in The internet of animals. Fellows Kate Darian-Smith and David Lowe (Eds) bring together oral history, memoir and archive to shed light on diplomacy, soft power and high-level negotiations in The Australian Embassy in Tokyo and Australia-Japan relationsFind these and other featured books by Academy Fellows at this link

If you missed Australia’s China Knowledge Capability report, launched by the Australian Academy of Humanities, catch up here. The report is a great resource for those with a stake in the China relationship across university, government, corporate, and community sectors.

A beautiful tribute to Yunupingu whose death this week brought leaders, Academy Fellows and ordinary Australians together in expressions of grief and recognition of his singular contribution to this nation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples and his Gumatj clan and family.


At a time when ‘cost of living’, food banks and interest rates are on everyone’s lips, Seriously Social’s latest podcast—No one plans to be poor—takes a moving and informative look at how we measure and live poverty in Australia. Fellow Roger Wilkins and demographer Liz Allen talk with host Ginger Gorman. Listen here

Find more fascinating podcasts at

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 and Ngambri peoples, and

to their elders past, present and future.

Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
ABN: 59 957 839 703
26 Balmain Crescent, Acton, ACT 2601
Postal: GPO Box 1956, Canberra, ACT 2601
Tel: (02) 6249 1788

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