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Sharon Bessell: Inspirational teacher, researcher, and Woman of Influence 2019

10 September 2019

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Professor Sharon Bessell is Director of Gender Equity and Diversity and heads the Children’s Policy Centre and the Poverty and Inequality Research Centre at the Crawford School of Public Policy. Her research focuses on social policy for children and she currently teaches Global Social Policy (POGO8044) and Development Theories and Themes (POGO8072).

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Inspirational teacher, researcher, and podcast host Professor Sharon Bessell has been named as one of the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence 2019.

Sharon leads the ANU Individual Deprivation Measure based at Crawford, and also heads up the Children’s Policy Centre. She teaches the courses Development theories and themes, and Global social policy.

Sharon’s research interests revolve around issues of social justice and human rights, and focus on two broad areas: social policy, social justice and the human rights of children, particularly children’s participation and citizenship, quality education, child labour, child protection, and support for children without parental care; and the gendered and generational dimensions of poverty. Sharon has a keen interest in research methodology, and has published widely on undertaking research with children.

Her work is incredibly influential. She was instrumental in designing the Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM) Program at ANU – a multi-million-dollar worldwide initiative. The IDM is a new way of measuring poverty that has ending gender-based disadvantage at its core.

She has a significant record of research and advocacy leading to better policy. Her work with children in out-of-home care was the foundation for the ACT’s Charter of Rights for Children. Her research on the physical and emotional punishment of children contributed to global efforts to end violence against girls and boys, while her research on education in Fiji contributed to rethinking corporal punishment in schools and revealed the gendered nature of school violence.

In addition to her research and teaching, Sharon is a frequent media commentator, presents the podcast Policy Forum Pod, and is Editor of the Poverty: In Focus section on the Policy Forum site.

At Crawford School she is also the Chair of the Gender Committee where she passionately advocates for better opportunities, recognition, and support for women.

The Australian Financial Review’s Women of Influence awards – announced today – recognise the country’s most influential, inspirational, and visionary women. See the full list here:

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Updated:  18 September 2020/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team