Australian Social Policy Conference - 11 to 13 September 2023

 Australian Social Policy Conference - 11 to 13 September 2023

2023 Australian Social Policy Conference: Social Policy for Social Change

We are excited to announce that the 2023 Australian Social Policy Conference (ASPC) will be hosted by the Australian Social Policy Association and held at the Australian National University in Canberra.

When: Monday 11 September – Wednesday 13 September 2023

Where: The Australian National University

The conference will be an in-person event. The theme for ASPC 2023 is ‘Social Policy for Social Change’.

The Australian Social Policy Conference addresses the most pressing challenges facing Australian policy makers, practitioners and researchers. It provides a forum for leading national and international researchers and analysts from government and community social welfare sectors in Australia and internationally to present their research findings and debate their implications.

The Conference will feature keynote addresses from leading international and Australian scholars and a plenary panel of experts by experience. The program includes interactive discussions and plenty of opportunities to network. There will be a Conference Reception on the evening of Monday 11 September and a PhD Students Welcome Breakfast on Monday 11 September. The 2023 Annual General Meeting of the Australian Social Policy Association will be held during the conference.

Abstract submissions have now closed and all submitters have been notified of the outcome of their submission.

The program is now available - Program (

Registration will also include free membership to the Australian Social Policy Association for two years

Keynote Speakers Announced:

Professor Ray Lovett 

Professor Ray Lovett is an Aboriginal (Ngiyampaa/Wongaibon) Australian social epidemiologist with extensive experience in health services research, large scale data analysis for public health policy development and evaluation. Professor Lovett leads Mayi Kuwayu, the National Study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing and is an Executive member of the Maiam nayri Wingara Indigenous Data Sovereignty Collective in Australia and an Executive member of the Global Indigenous Data Alliance who created the Care principles in response to FAIR.  

The new mission manager: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social policy since 2000. 

During the ‘protection era’ (1860’s-1970’s) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander missions and reserves were managed by officials appointed by the government or churches. The mission managers tightly controlled all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lives including education, rations, housing, and who could, and could not, live there. The mission managers had total control over Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lives including legal guardianship of their children. 

Today the term mission manager is used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to reflect a modern form of mission manager. The modern mission manager is the state and state institutions who have taken control of Indigenous lives primarily through social policy. This keynote will argue that while the overt control of the protection era is gone, it has morphed into a covert control era primarily enacted and maintained by social policy.  Case studies will be presented of current social policy that highlight this phenomenon.

Professor Lisa Scullion

Lisa is Professor of Social Policy and Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Inclusive Society at the University of Salford, UK. Lisa has delivered over 60 research projects, with a commitment to the importance of qualitative inquiry for shaping policy and practice. Lisa’s work focuses specifically on understanding the impact of UK welfare reforms. This includes leading a ground-breaking five-year study called Sanctions, Support & Service Leavers. This is the first in depth UK research to explore veterans’ experiences of the social security system and has been supporting the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in developing their work related to the Armed Forces community. Lisa is a member of the Ministry of Defence Recovery Expert Advisory Board and the Office for Veterans Affairs Academic Advisory Board, and the FiMT Research Centre Advisory Board. From December 2021 to May 2023, Lisa undertook a part-time academic secondment to the DWP, where she supported capacity building of government social researchers within the DWP In House Research Unit. In recognition of her contribution to research and impact, she was conferred as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in March 2022. 

Navigating the minefield: Veterans, trauma, and financial support systems in the UK  

 In recent years, there has been an increasing focus in the UK on the support provided to those who have served in the Armed Forces, with the publication of the Armed Forces Covenant (2011), the ten-year Strategy for our Veterans (2018) and the creation of the first ever Office for Veterans’ Affairs (2019). At the same time, the UK has witnessed a period of unprecedented welfare reform, with adequacy of payment levels, modes of implementation, and increased and intensified conditionality impacting on some of the most vulnerable in society. However, the significant changes in both ‘veterans support’ and ‘welfare reform’ have developed in parallel. This presentation reflects on experiences of leading a five-year research project that has helped to bridge these two parallel policy worlds, leading to significant policy and practice impact. The presentation will discuss how the project’s call for a trauma lens has influenced the integration of trauma-informed principles within government departments. Lisa will also reflect on her experiences as an academic working both with, and within, government to support evidence-based policy making in this area.

To register click here

Looking forward to seeing everyone in Canberra.

Kind regards

Dr Katie Curchin

Chair of Program Committee ASPC2023


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Updated:  18 August 2023/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications