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Hon. Principal Research Fellow, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University

Joan Staples is an academic and social commentator. Her areas of expertise include public advocacy, civil society and human rights. Her publications focus on the democratic role of non-government organisations (NGOs), their relationship with government, and what constitutes effective public advocacy for social change. Her writing is informed by her career in policy and advocacy across a range of NGO sectors – environment, Indigenous affairs, international development, consumers and social services. She was the environment movement lobbyist in Canberra during the Hawke Government. Based in Melbourne, she sat on decison-making panels of the Financial Ombudsman Service for 14 years until 2018, as a consumer expert. She has been at RMIT since 2015.


  • –present
    Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Law, UNSW


    UNSW, PhD