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People_

Our people

Experts from around the world and across diverse disciplines
Meet the scholars and practitioners who make up our centre.

Professor Alex Broom is Director of the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies and established the Centre in 2020.

He is a Professor of sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney.

 His approach to research is very much articulated by the principles of the Centre – that in order to solve our most challenging problems of today and tomorrow, we must think in genuinely multidimensional ways. For example, through connecting what is happening at the smallest of scales (i.e. the microbe) to what is happening at the largest (i.e. planetary).

Alex’s ambition is to challenge the very nature of ‘illness’ and ‘wellness’ as they are currently understood – often disease-centred or individually-focused – and to mobilise such insights to foster opportunities for health and wellbeing across people, place and context.

In addition to directing the Centre, Alex co-leads the Politics and Economies of Health and Wellbeing’ and ‘Human-Microbial and Multispecies Relations’ Centre research themes.

Dr Katherine Kenny is Deputy-Director of the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, and co-leads the ‘Human-Microbial and Multispecies Relations’ research theme alongside Professor Alex Broom, Professor Danielle Celemajer and Professor Assa Doron

She is also a Research Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney.

In her research, Katherine brings together cutting-edge social theory and innovative qualitative methods to develop new ways of understanding, and addressing, some of the key health challenges that we face as individuals, societies, and as a global community.

From how we understand emerging global health threats, to what we go through when we receive a diagnosis of a life-threatening illness, Katherine pays careful attention to people’s day-to-day subjective and socially situated experiences of health, illness and care.

Her aim is to develop empirically grounded and forward-thinking implications for how we can do better for our collective and societal health, now and into the future.

Dr Nadine Ehlers is Deputy-Director of the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies and co-leads the ‘Race, Ethnicity, and Biohumanities’ research theme.

She teaches in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney.

Nadine's research is centrally concerned with exploring how biomedicine can operate as a form of governance—of populations and individuals—along racial, gendered, and class lines.

In her collaborative work with geographers, anthropologists, and global health and health policy scholars, she is particularly interested in examining race-based biomedical targeting technologies and various ways that biomedical ideas of race are mobilised both within and beyond the lab or clinic.

Her research is underscored by a commitment to the pursuit of health justice and equitable biofutures.

Stephanie Raymond is Centre Manager of the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, and a Research Officer in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney.

She oversees the operations of the Centre, and liaises with our members and key partners to administer the strategic direction of the Centre. 

Stephanie has a diverse professional background spanning the health sector (dental and oral surgery), public relations, and the social sciences, and has served in both professional and academic roles across several tertiary institutions. 

Stephanie is also undertaking her PhD, and serves her community as a Justice of the Peace. Stephanie is the point of contact for all Centre enquires.

Professor Lisa Adkins is Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences (SSPS) at the University of Sydney.

Her innovative sociological approach to restructuring labour, class, money and time, aims to advance new understandings of the employment crisis, and articulate the interconnections between work, unemployment, under-employment and inequality, including health inequalities.

She co-leads the ‘Politics and Economies of Health and Wellbeing’ theme at the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies alongside Director Alex Broom.

Lisa's research portfolio spans economic sociology, social and cultural theory and feminist theory, with her recent research into the ‘assetisation’ of work revealing the ways in which employment status operates as a key decider and distributor of life chances, including those related to health and wellbeing.

Lisa's latest book, The Asset Economy (co-authored with Melinda Cooper and Martijn Konings), was published by Polity Press in 2020.

Dr Alex Page is Postdoctoral Research Associate in the School of Social and Political Sciences and the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies at the University of Sydney.

Alex is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate on an Australian Research Council Discovery Project that seeks to understand the ways in which people living with cancer, their families, and medical professionals themselves have experienced the latest molecular innovations in cancer care.

This includes questions of value in precision medicine; pathways (and barriers) to accessing cancer care across public and private healthcare systems; and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people living with cancer in Australia (and the US).

Dr Leah Williams Veazey is a Postdoctoral Research Officer in the School of Social and Political Sciences and the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies at the University of Sydney.

Her research focuses on health, migration and care, and how these are negotiated and articulated in contemporary Australia.

Leah is a qualitative sociologist and is currently working on an NHMRC funded collaborative research project, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), investigating healthcare workers’ experiences of infection control and prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research theme leaders

Professor Barbara Prainsack is a Professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna, where she also directs the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Solidarity (CeSCoS), and the newly founded Research Platform “Governance of Digital Practices". She is also Honorary Professor at the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies and School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Sydney.

Her work explores the social, regulatory and ethical dimensions of biomedicine and bioscience, with current research projects focusing on personalised and “precision” medicine, on citizen participation in science and medicine, and the role of solidarity in medicine and healthcare.

Barbara co-leads the ‘Political Economies of Health and Wellbeing’ research theme at the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies alongside Director Alex Broom, and SSPS Head of School, Lisa Adkins.

Professor Danielle Celermajer is a Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney and lead of the Multispecies Justice project.

Her background is in human rights theory and practice, but in recent years here work has moved to the interface of human, animal and environmental justice. Through the experience of living through the black summer bushfires with a multispecies community, she began writing about a new crime of our age, Omnicide.

Recognising the critical urgency of conveying the complex conceptual recognition of the multispecies harms of the climate catastrophe in ways that can provoke affect and hence action.

Danielle leads the Centre’s research theme on ‘Human-Microbial and Multispecies Relations’ alongside Alex Broom, Katherine Kenny, and Assa Doron.

Professor Assa Doron is a Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies at the School of Culture, History and Language at the Australian National University; and Honorary Professor at the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies and School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Sydney.

His studies of Indian society and culture have fostered a collaborative approach, working with historians, sociologists, linguists and literary scholars, among others.

He co-leads the ‘Human-Microbial and Multispecies Relations’ research theme at the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies alongside Director Alex Broom, Katherine Kenny and Danielle Celemajer.

Assa’s commitment to anthropology and ethnography has been the key driver of his work. Originally carrying out long-term ethnographic fieldwork in the city of Varanasi amongst the boatmen on the sacred river Ganga, Assa developed a keen interest in questions surrounding environmental pollution and waste, along with the ways in which culture and meaning shape experiences of health, illness and care.

His most recent work on waste, human-animal relations and the rise of AMR in India examines the pitfalls and opportunities facing contemporary Indian society. He is especially interested in the ecologies of everyday life, and questions of gender, class, caste and ethnicity therein.

Professor Gaby Ramia is a Professor of Policy and Society in the Department of Government and International Relations, School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney.

His research is in public and social policy and governance, relating primarily to work, employment, education, (precarious) housing, and welfare.

Gaby’s current work on governance and social networks, and the employability and wellbeing of long-term unemployed people provide keen insights into the ways in which health and wellbeing are affected by and through structures beyond the health system itself. Gaby is also researching the wellbeing of international students before and during the COVID-19 crisis.

He leads the Centre’s research theme on ‘Work, Education and Welfare’ alongside Myra Hamilton and Michelle Peterie.

Associate Professor Myra Hamilton is an Associate Professor of Work and Organisational Studies and Principal Research Fellow at the University of Sydney Business School’s ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research.

Her sociology and social policy research extends across 3 continents and focuses on the intersections of gender, ageing and care in informing wellbeing, and roles that social policies and services play in affecting this.

Of particular interest to Myra are the lived experiences of chronic illness across the lifecourse; the relational aspects and management of work and (paid/unpaid) care; and welfare policy evaluation and reform.

She leads the Centre’s research theme on ‘Work, Education and Welfare’ alongside Gaby Ramia and Michelle Peterie.

Dr Michelle Peterie is a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow in The University of Wollongong’s School of Humanities and Social Inquiry.

Her research sits at the intersection of sociology and social policy, largely focusing on the socio-emotional impacts of Australia’s social security and immigration policies.

Michelle has published widely on lived experiences of un(der)employment and social security receipt. Her current work on welfare conditionality explores the impacts of welfare bureaucracy – including technologies like the Cashless Debit Card – on the physical and ontological security of those affected.

Her research on immigration detention pays similar heed to the reverberating effects of government policy on the health of individuals, communities and societies.

Michelle has given expert testimony to the Australian Senate and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and her research has received national media attention.

She leads the Centre’s research theme on ‘Work, Education and Welfare’ alongside Gaby Ramia and Myra Hamilton.

Professor Amade M'charek is a Professor of Anthropology of Science in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam and currently the director of the program group Health, Care and the Body at her department.

She leads the RaceFaceID project, an ERC-consolidator project on forensic identification and the making of face and race.

The focus of her research has been on genetic diversity, population genetics and forensic DNA practices. Her interest is in the relevance of race in such practice and the ways in which race is done in them, and in the relation between the individual and the collective

Amade co-leads the Centre’s ‘Race, Ethnicity and Biohumanities’ theme alongside Nadine Ehlers, Anne Pollock and Tony Hatch.

Professor Anne Pollock is Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London. 

Her interdisciplinary research explores feminist, antiracist, and decolonial engagements with science, technology, and medicine. She is particularly interested how racism becomes embodied in health disparities, and how medical technologies such as pharmaceuticals are mobilised in demands for social justice. 

She is the author of three books: Medicating Race: Heart Disease and Durable Preoccupations with Difference (Duke 2012), Synthesizing Hope: Matter, Knowledge, and Place in South African Drug Discovery (Chicago 2019), and Sickening: Racism, Health Disparities, and Biopolitics in the 21st Century (Minnesota, forthcoming 2021).

Anne co-leads the Centre’s ‘Race, Ethnicity and Biohumanities’ theme alongside Nadine Ehlers, Amade M’charek and Tony Hatch.

Associate Professor Anthony Ryan Hatch is an Associate Professor and Chair of Science in Society at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, USA.

Ryan is an expert in health systems, medical technology, and social inequalities and is the author of Blood Sugar: Racial Pharmacology and Food Justice in Black America (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and Silent Cells: The Secret Drugging of Captive America (University of Minnesota Press, 2019).

Ryan leads the Centre’s ‘Race, Ethnicity and the Biohumanities’ theme with Nadine Ehlers, Amade M’charek, and Anne Pollock.

University of Sydney Members

Professor Warwick Anderson
Professor of History
Department of History, The University of Sydney

Associate Professor Anna Boucher
SOAR Fellow, Department of Government and International Relations, The University of Sydney

Dr Gareth Bryant
Senior Political Economy Lecturer
Department of Political Economy, The University of Sydney

Dr Sarah Bernays
Senior Lecturer in Global Health
School of Public Health, The University of Sydney
Associate Professor in Global Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dr Sophie Chao
Postdoctoral Research Associate in History
Department of History, The University of Sydney

Professor Angus Dawson
Professor of Bioethics
Department of Sydney Health Ethics (Director), The University of Sydney

Dr James Dunk
Research Fellow
Department of History, The University of Sydney

Professor Jim Elliot
Conjoint Professor of Allied Health (NSLHD), Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney

Professor Kalervo Gulson
Professor of Education
School of Education and Social Work, The University of Sydney

Dr Mandy Henningham
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Sociology and Social Policy, The University of Sydney

Professor Ian Hickie
Professor of Psychiatry and NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow, Brain and Mind Centre, The University of Sydney

Professor Yun-Hee Jeon
Isaac Wakil Professor of Healthy Ageing, Sydney Nursing School, The University of Sydney

Professor Martijn Konings
Professor of Political Economy and Social Theory; Associate Dean (International)
Department of Political Economy, The University of Sydney

Professor Tess Lea
Professor of Anthropology and Cultural Studies, School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, The University of Sydney

Professor Kane Race
Professor of Gender and Cultural Studies
Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, The University of Sydney

Dr Tim Soutphommasane
Professor of Practice (Sociology and Political Theory)
Director, Culture Strategy, The University of Sydney

Professor Cameron Stewart
Professor of Health, Law and Ethics
School of Law, The University of Sydney

Associate Professor Greg Sutherland
Associate Professor of Pathology
School of Medical Sciences, The University of Sydney 

Associate Professor Tom van Laer
Narratology, Business Schoool, The University of Sydney

Associate Professor Jennifer Smith-Merry, Sydney School of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney

Associate Professor Sonja van Wichelen
Associate Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology and Social Policy, The University of Sydne

Dr Dinesh Wadiwel
Senior Sociology Lecturer and Chair of Department
Department of Sociology and Social Policy, The University of Sydney

Dr Leigh Wilson
Senior Lecturer and Program Director, Behavioural Health Sciences, The University of Sydney

Affiliated student researchers

  • David Primrose, Department of Political Economy, School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Sydney

International partners

  • Professor Barbara Prainsack, University of Vienna
  • Professor Clare Chandler, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Professor Mustafa Khasraw, Duke University
  • Dr Claas Kirchhelle, University College Dublin
  • Dr Nicolas Fortané, Paris-Dauphine University
  • Associate Professor Mahati Chittem, IIT Hyderabad, India
  • Associate Professor Nelson Filice de Barros, University of Campinas, Brazil
  • Dr Nazrul Islam, Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College, China
  • Professor John Oliffe, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Professor Damien Ridge, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Westminster, UK
  • Professor Ayo Wahlberg, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Professor Shiloh Krupar, Provost's Distinguished Assosicate of Geography, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, DC, USA

Translation and implementation partners

  • Associate Professor Jennifer Broom (Clinical Implementation lead), Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service
  • Dr Keat Choong, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service
  • Dr Kristen Overton, Prince of Wales Hospital
  • Associate Professor Zarnie Lwin, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
  • Associate Professor David Wyld, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
  • Dr Malinda Itchins, Royal North Shore Hospital
  • Associate Professor Jeffrey Post, Prince of Wales Hospital
  • Professor Jan-Willem Alffenaar, Chair of Clinical Pharmacy (Westmead Hospital), The University of Sydney
  • Dr David Ng, Director of Pharmacy for Western Sydney Local Health District, Westmead Hospital
  • Professor Kathryn Refshauge, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor of Physiotherapy and Allied Health, The University of Sydney