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Our researchers

Meet the people shaping policy debates with our research partners
In close collaboration with policymakers, government, advocates and community groups, our research leads and affiliated researchers are developing solutions to critical policy challenges.

Meet our research leads

Associate Professor Anna Boucher is a researcher in the fields of immigration and public policy. She holds degrees in law and political science and is a University of Sydney SOAR Fellow. Prior to joining the University of Sydney, she was an Australian Commonwealth Scholar and Bucerius Scholar in Migration Studies at the London School of Economics. She has received an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant to investigate the workplace rights violations of migrant workers in Australia, Canada, England and California. She is the author of Crossroads: Comparative Immigration Regimes in a World of Demographic Change (2018) and Gender, migration and the global race for talent (2016). She is also writing a new book on the Holocaust and the creation of a global Jewish diaspora with Dr Joseph Toltz.

Dr Gareth Bryant is Economist-in-Residence at the Sydney Policy Lab. He works as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Economy.

Gareth researches how public policy and public finance can create more sustainable, equal and democratic economies. His research has focused on issues including climate change, higher education, housing, labour and Indigenous justice.

Gareth’s cross-disciplinary research has been published across a wide range of policy, geography and economics journals. He is the author of Carbon Markets in a Climate-Changing Capitalism (2019) published by Cambridge University Press. 

Gareth co-edits the Progress in Political Economy (PPE) blog and associated Manchester University Press book series.

Amy Conley Wright is Associate Professor of Social Work and Policy Studies and Director of the Research Centre for Children and Families. She leads applied research to build evidence about children and their best interests in child protection and out-of-home care systems, focused on active exchange of research findings into policy and practice through substantial engagement with the government and non-governmental sector. She has published numerous research reports and journal articles, as well as four books, including Six steps to successful child advocacy: Changing the world for children (2013) and Nonprofits in Policy Advocacy: Their Strategies and Stories (2020).

Associate Professor Anika Gauja's research is driven by a concern for the future of political parties as vehicles for citizen representation and participation. In the current global context of declining trust and increasing disaffection with parties and other representative institutions, her work investigates how political organisations can better adapt to social, technological and institutional change while increasing their capacity to respond to political and policy challenges. She is the author and editor of eight books, including Double Disillusion: The 2016 Australian Federal Election (2018), Party Reform (2017) and The Politics of Party Policy (2013).

Kurt Iveson is an Associate Professor of Urban Geography in the School of Geosciences. An active union and community organiser, his academic research focuses on the relationship between cities and citizenship. He is the co-author of the books Everyday Equality: Making Multicultures in Settler Colonial Cities (2019) and Planning and Diversity in the City: Redistribution, Recognition and Encounter (2008), and author of Publics and the City (2007). Kurt is also a regular media commentator on urban issues, and has a fortnightly radio show on Radio FBi about urban environmental politics. 

Dr Amanda Tattersall is a community organiser and social researcher. She co-founded the digital campaign group Get Up and founded Australia’s largest and broadest community coalition, the Sydney Alliance. She has participated in a variety of social movements, including as an elected official at Unions NSW, President of the National Union of Students and co-founder of Labor for Refugees. She also has a PhD in social change strategy and has written the first internationally recognised book on coalitions, Power in Coalition (2010) published by Cornell University Press. She is currently completing postdoctoral research on organising cities. She also hosts the ChangeMakers Podcast which tells stories of people who are trying to make the world a better place. 

Affiliated researchers

Beyond our research leads, more than 150 University researchers are members of the Lab, across many disciplines.

Our members contribute to our ongoing activities, participate in our training programs and build relationships and research projects with business, government and civil society partner institutions.

The New South Wales Government is undertaking significant reforms to ensure permanency for children in out-of-home care. These decisions reverberate across a child’s life. With the Sydney Policy Lab’s support, our project lays groundwork to examine long-term impacts, comparing experiences of children in different permanency pathways.
Amy Conley Wright, Sydney School of Education and Social Work