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Executive Committee 2019 - 2020

TASA’s Executive Committee (EC) governs the Association and manages its daily business as outlined in the Constitution and by established policies. A copy of TASA’s Organisational Chart can be viewed here. A call for nominations for the 2021 – 2022 Executive term will be disseminated on July 1, 2020. If you are interested in a particular Executive position, and you would like more information, we encourage you to contact the member currently in that role, see below, for a confidential chat. Note, you can view the position descriptions for each role here.  

President: Dan Woodman
Associate Professor Dan Woodman is in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. As well as President of TASA he is Vice President for Australia, New Zealand and Oceania of the Research Committee for the Sociology of Youth within the International Sociological Association. His work focuses on the sociology of generations, social change, and the impact of insecure work and variable employment patterns on people’s relationships. His recent books include Youth and Generation (Sage) and the four volume collection Youth and Young Adulthood (Routledge).

Vice-President: Alphia Possamai-Inesedy
Alphia Possamai-Inesedy  is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the Western Sydney University.  She was the editor in chief of the Journal of Sociology (2013- end of 2016) as well as the co-creator of the Risk Societies Thematic Group within the Australian Sociological Association.  She has worked as an Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor of Academia and was responsible for the creation of the Master of Research at WSU (the first centralised degree of the University). Her recent work includes Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach (with Henslin and Possamai, 2014, Pearsons); as well as upcoming books on Digital Methods and examining religion through the digital (Sage and deGruyter).  Alphia is currently involved in ongoing research that focuses on risk society, religion, and methodologies.

Secretary: Ash Watson
Dr Ash Watson is a postdoctoral fellow with the Vitalities Lab, CSRH & SPRC, UNSW Sydney. Her research explores how people make sense and meaning with personal data technologies, using creative qualitative methods. She is the creator of So Fi Zine and the Fiction Editor of The Sociological Review. Ash is also the former elected TASA Postgraduate Portfolio Leader.

Treasurer: Peta Cook
Dr Peta Cook is a Senior Lecturer of Sociology at the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts. She is a sociologist of knowledge, with a specific focus on ageing, medical science, health and illness, and identity and embodiment. Her research is primarily concerned with what forms of knowledge count and why; how this knowledge is produced; and personal mean-making and experiences of ageing, and health and illness. She has wide expertise in qualitative research methods, including interviews, focus groups, observation, discourse analysis, and photography. Experienced at sole and collaborative research, Peta frequently works in disciplinary and cross-disciplinary teams.

Applied Sociology: Catherine Robinson
Catherine Robinson is a social researcher currently working in the NGO sector at the Social Action and Research Centre (SARC), Anglicare Tasmania.  Her current empirical research and advocacy focuses on the needs and experiences of highly vulnerable teens in Tasmania, including children who experience homelessness unaccompanied by a parent or guardian.  Her current theoretical work is engaged with the politics of vulnerability.

Catherine has committed her career to public sociology and to making concurrent contributions to academic, government and community sectors.  For Catherine, sociology is both a discipline and practice at the centre of which is research and community education.  To the TASA role of Applied Sociology, Catherine will bring current, multi-sector engagement and networks which intersect around the issues of social inequality and social justice.

Catherine returned to Tasmania and joined SARC after 13 years as an academic at University of Technology, Sydney.  Her key publications on homelessness include Beside One’s Self: Homelessness Felt and Lived (Syracuse University Press) and (with Chris Chamberlain and Guy Johnson) Homelessness in Australia (NewSouth Publishing).  She was Co-Editor of Emotion, Space and Society (2013-2015) and is also known for her collaboration with Blackfella Films on the SBS documentary series Filthy Rich and Homeless (2016-2018).  She is currently on the Editorial Board of AHURI and the Tasmania Convenor for ARACY.

Equity and Inclusion (new to this term): Meredith Nash
Meredith Nash is the Deputy Director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change (ISC) and Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Tasmania (UTAS). I am a nationally recognised ‘champion for change’ who will build capacity in the TASA Executive committee. Meredith’s feminist sociological work examines how gendered inequalities undermine women’s existing rights, pose difficulties in how women manage paid work and caring responsibilities, challenge their realistic portrayals in the media, and limit access to leisure time/spaces. A core research program explores leadership for women /gender equity in STEMM (e.g. I gathered the first comprehensive data on gender bias and sexual harassment in remote polar field environments). Meredith is the Immediate Past President of the Australian Women’s and Gender Studies Association and an Executive Board Member. Meredith has co-designed, planned, and delivered aspects of whole-of-institution comprehensive gender equity reform at UTAS, via its SAGE Athena SWAN pilot. At the ISC, Meredith designed and lead an Engagement Strategy that recognises the need for an inclusive culture that values its Research Associates and members of the broader community.  Meredith’s engagement and communication activities have promoted critical enquiry and public debate about gender equity and feminism in Tasmania, nationally, and internationally.

Public Engagement: Nicholas Hookway
Nicholas Hookway is a lecturer in sociology at the University of Tasmania. Nick was co-convenor of the TASA Cultural Sociology Thematic Group before becoming the Public Engagement Portfolio leader in 2017 and is an Associate Editorial Board member of theJournal of Sociology. Nick is passionate about developing a strong public sociology and makes regular contributions to local and national media, including a fortnightly spot on ABC Hobart radio and his own podcast ‘Eavesdrop: Stories of the Everyday’ on iTunes. His research focuses on how social bonds are changing in late-modern times through empirical case studies such as morality, loneliness and volunteering. His book ‘Everyday Morality: Doing it Ourselves in an Age of Uncertainty (Routledge) is due for publication in early 2019.

Postgraduate: Ben Lohmeyer
Ben Lohmeyer is a Youth Sociologist and Youth Worker. He is an Adjunct Research Fellow with Flinders University. Ben completed his PhD at Flinders focussing on youth and violence. Ben’s research interests include youth, governance, violence (personal, structural and neoliberal) and youth work practice. Before beginning his academic career, Ben worked across a range of youth work settings including alternative education, alternative accommodation and peacebuilding. He has experience in grant writing, program and policy design and implementation.

Thematic Groups: Sara James
Sara James is a Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies at La Trobe University in Melbourne. She is a cultural sociologist whose research focuses on the changing role of work in people’s lives in an era when work is increasingly characterized by flexibility, uncertainty and precariousness. Her recent book Making a living, making a life: Work, meaning and self-identity (Routledge 2017)  draws on in-depth interviews and cultural analysis to investigate the significance of work today, with a focus on vocation and the work ethic. Sara has been a TASA member since 2013. She was co-convener of the Cultural Sociology Thematic Group from 2014 to 2016. In this time, with Dr Nicholas Hookway, Sara organised and secured funding for two member events. One of these led to the publication of a special issue of M/C Journal, facilitating publication outcomes for a number of members. Sara is also a member of the Teaching Sociology Thematic Group and in 2016 she contributed to a session at the TASA Conference Postgraduate Day on engaging teaching practices. She has co-authored two text books: Key concepts in the Humanities and Social Sciences (2018) and Sociology in Today’s World, 3rd edition (2014).

JoS Editors in Chief: Kate Huppatz
Kate Huppatz is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Western Sydney University. Her research focuses on gender, social class, the family and the labour market. Her latest book, an edited collection titled Identity and Belonging (with Hawkins and Matthews), was published in 2016 and she is currently writing her second sole-authored monograph Gender, Work and Social Theory.

JoS Editors in Chief: Steve Mathewson
Steve Matthewman is Head of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. Teaching and research interests include the sociology of disasters, science and technology studies and social theory. His latest book, Disasters, Risks and Revelation: Making Sense of Our Times was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. His current research project is a topic in the sociology of infrastructure and energy, looking at the Canterbury rebuild following the earthquakes.

HSR Editors in Chief: Karen Willis
Karen Willis is Professor, Allied Health Research, La Trobe University and Melbourne Health. Her disciplinary background is in sociology and she has expertise in qualitative methodologies and methods. Her work examines the links between individual health behaviours and broader social and policy ideas. Karen has led, and been an investigator, on a range of competitive grants (See CV). She has published a textbook on Sociology for Nursing students (two editions); various book chapters and has consistently published in high quality peer reviewed journals across both health sciences and sociology (see CV). She is a regular contributor to The Conversation and is an active user of Twitter, to disseminate current research findings and contribute to contemporary debates.

Karen has been a member of TASA since 1993; has taken part in many Annual Conferences in the Health Section and delivered a keynote address at the Health Thematic Group meeting in June 2015. She has published three articles in Health Sociology Review, has contributed book reviews, and acted as a reviewer for the journal on several occasions. Karen has peer-reviewed for a range of health and social science journals, including Social Science and Medicine, Sociology of Health and Illness, Qualitative Health Research, and BMC Journals. She is a panel member for the Steve Crook Memorial Prize (2014 and 2018). Karen is an active member of the RC15 the Health Thematic Group at ISA, organising sessions on sociological approaches to health care systems at both Vienna (2016) and Toronto (2018) ISA meetings. She organised a session at the European Sociology of Health and Medicine Society (ESHMS) in Lisbon in 2018. She is a regular attender and presenter at the annual BSA Medical Sociology Conference. Her sociology networks include the UK (with UK collaborators on funded grants), US and Scandinavia (through the Bourdieu health capital research group).

Her previous appointments have included Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University (2015-2017); Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Health Sciences University of Sydney; Senior Lecturer, School of Sociology and Social Work, University of Tasmania (2006-2012).

HSR Editors in Chief: Sarah MacLean
Sarah MacLean is a health sociologist employed as Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Social Work and Social Policy (SWSP) at La Trobe University, Sarah is highly regarded for her work exploring various forms of substance use, and the development of appropriate policy responses to reduce associated harms. Her research identifies how experiences of marginality (Indigeneity, poverty, gender and sexuality) impacts on, and is in turn affected by, substance use. A further area of her academic expertise is in collaborative methods for community- based research. She has been awarded ARC, NHMRC and other funding and is currently a named investigator on two ARC Discovery projects. She held an ARC postdoctoral fellowship from 2010-2015. Prior to working at La Trobe University, Sarah was employed as a Senior Research Fellow at the Onemda Koori Health Unit at the University of Melbourne.

Sarah has been a member of TASA since 2000. She co-convened the TASA Youth Sociology thematic group from December 2011-January 2013. Sarah has served as an Associate Editor on Health Sociology Review since 2015. In this capacity she has managed book reviews and peer review for journal articles submitted to the journal and actively contributed to discussions on the future of Health Sociology Review. She has published in journals including Sociology, Journal of Youth Studies, Addiction and Critical Public Health (see attached CV). In addition, she has edited special editions of Substance Use & Misuse and the Australian Journal of Primary Health and is a regular reviewer of papers for a range of journals.  Sarah’s involvement will ensure continuity between the incoming and outcoming editorial teams.

Digital Publications Editor (new to this term): Roger Wilkinson
"I studied undergraduate and postgraduate Sociology at La Trobe University before moving to James Cook University in north Queensland. I taught many subjects and travelled between campuses until video-conferencing offered a weak alternative to face-to-face teaching. Dissatisfaction with this mode of teaching led me to consider and develop podcasting. The rise of the iPhone and a chance meeting with a student led me to search for ways of embedding video-podcasts on smart phones. I then used this method to digitally grade essays by making movies. While there was little interactivity, it solved some problems and, in consultation with students, created other possibilities.

Recently retrenched, I decided to become a student again, completing a postgraduate qualification in Human Resource Management. Subsequently, I commenced postgraduate study in Digital Communications but have paused that study because I was frustrated with the content, teaching methods and backwardness of the literature. I may never return to that formal study but it has provided me with invaluable negative lessons about the experience of being a student in the digital age.

These desire to keep learning, reading and developing my digital literacy attracted me to the position of digital publications editor at TASA."

Immediate Past President: Katie Hughes
B.A. (HONS) (Victoria University of Wellington) Dip.Ad.Ed (University of Nottingham) Cert TESL (Massey University), MA (University of Melbourne), PhD (La Trobe University).

Katie Hughes has published widely in the area of educational disadvantage and socially-inclusive pedagogy, and is currently engaged in research on the ways in which universities productively engage with first-in-family students to enhance their first year at university and overcome the transition from high school.

She is the co-author of a market-leading Sociology text: Australian Sociology: A Changing Society which is now in its 4th edition. Her latest book is Hughes, K. (2017) Encouraging Diversity in Higher Education: Supporting Student Success, London: Routledge.

Katie is a board member of the Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

Having worked at Victoria University and the Australian Catholic University, Katie is currently the Associate Director of Learning, Teaching and Innovation at Monash College, Melbourne.

Kate Huppatz (L) and Steve Matthewman (R) congratulating Michelle Peterie on being the 2018 JoS Best Paper Award winner for Docility and Desert: government discourses of compassion in Australia’s asylum seeker debate 

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