Law School scholar named nation's top criminologist

12 December 2019
The University of Sydney Law School's Professor of Criminology Gail Mason has been recognised for her lifetime achievements and contributions to criminology with the top national honour in the field.
Professor Gail Mason stands outside Sydney Law School.

Professor Gail Mason.

Professor Mason received the Distinguished Criminologist Award at the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC)’s annual dinner last night, held in Perth as part of the ANZOC 2019 conference.

The ANZSOC Distinguished Criminologist Award is the society’s highest honour and is presented each year to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding, significant and sustained contribution to criminology in areas including teaching and scholarship and involvement in criminology in public life.

Professor Mason’s research centres on crime, social justice and exclusion. She is co-ordinator of the Australian Hate Crime Network and was the Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council-funded Hate Crime Law and Justice Project.

Professor Mason has been responsible for a number of research firsts in Australian criminology, and most recently her work has provided the most comprehensive picture of the patterns of hate crime in Australia to date.

She has performed editorial roles for peer-reviewed journals including Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology and Current Issues in Criminal Justice.

Professor Mason has also performed leadership roles, including as the Director of the Sydney Institute of Criminology (2008-2012) and Vice-President of ANZSOC (2012-2013). She currently sits on the Corrective Services NSW Ethics Committee.

Professor Mason said receiving the award was a tremendous and unexpected honour.

“There is a remarkable cohort of criminologists in Australia and New Zealand producing world-class scholarship and doing much to lead and promote the discipline. I feel privileged to be a part of this community,” she said.  

“I’m delighted to receive the recognition that this award delivers. I hope I can build on this to enhance the impact of my work on hate crime and hate speech in Australia and beyond.”

Head of School and Dean of the University of Sydney Law School Professor Simon Bronitt congratulated Professor Mason on the award.

“This success reflects the high calibre of Professor Mason’s work and her commitment to finding real-world solutions to the problems faced by some of society’s most marginalised and vulnerable people,” Professor Bronitt said.

ANZSOC is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in Australia and New Zealand and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of those involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policymakers and students.

Professor Mason is the second University Sydney Law School scholar to be recognised with the Distinguished Criminologist Award. Honorary Professor Duncan Chappell was honoured with the award in 2016.

Sydney Law School's Dr Carolyn McKay was also recognised by ANZSOC this year, receiving an honourable mention in the Christine M Adler Book Award category for her book The Pixelated Prisoner

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