Frances Flanagan

Researcher, Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies, University of Sydney

Frances is an early career researcher with an interdisciplinary background in work studies and history. She holds a University of Sydney Fellowship based in the Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies and she is affiliated with two of the University’s interdisciplinary research hubs, the Sydney Policy Lab and the Sydney Environment Institute. Her research concerns the crucial and changing role that work has played as a source of social cohesion, identity and belonging in the context of ongoing changes to employment relationships, technology and the environment.

Between 2015 and 2018, Frances was the National Director of Research at United Voice, one of Australia’s largest unions, comprising cleaners, aged carers, early childhood educators and a range of other occupations. In this role, she wrote numerous reports and submissions to government on subjects including the future of work, gender segregation in Australian workplaces, and worker exploitation. Prior to her work at United Voice, Frances was a researcher and lecturer at the University of Birkbeck, a Marshall Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, and a Senior Scholar at Hertford College Oxford. Frances also worked as a lawyer for an Aboriginal Land Council in the Pilbara, Murchison and Gascoyne regions of Western Australia between 2001 and 2005.

Frances’ work has been published in leading industrial relations journals and history publications, including the Journal of Industrial Relations and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Her book, Remembering the Revolution was published by Oxford University Press and was short-listed for the Royal Historical Society Whitfield Prize for the best monograph on a subject of British or Irish history published within the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland in 2016.

Frances is a publicly-engaged researcher who has co-convened a number of Sydney-based public seminars that seek to link academic research with the public and communities of practice in civil society. She is also the author of a number of long-form essays that have been published in the Griffith Review, Arena and Inside Story. In February 2019, she was invited to deliver the inaugural Iain McCalman lecture on the environment and culture, on the subject ‘Climate Change and the New Work Order’.

Frances is a research associate of the Centre for Future Work (Australia Institute), as well as a member of the Australian Historical Society and the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand.


  • –present
    Researcher, Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies, University of Sydney