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Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney

Helen's research interests are: Australian and comparative constitutional law, gender and constitutionalism, and constitutional history and theory. She has researched and written on the making of the Australian Constitution, comparative constitutional design and gender, the use of history in constitutional interpretation, and the ‘dialogue’ model of judicial review. Her current major research, supported by a four-year ARC Discovery Grant, is on the history of constitutional citizenship and gender.

She is a former director of the ‘1901 Centre’ at the University of Technology, Sydney, and former director of the Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence at Sydney Law School. She is a former member of the Advisory Council of the National Archives of Australia. She held the Harvard Chair of Australian Studies as a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, 2005-2006. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.


  • 2001–present
    Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney
  • 1988–2001
    Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Humanities, UTS


    Sydney University, LLB (Hons I)
    Sydney University, PhD
    Cambridge University, MPhil
    Melbourne University , BA (Hons I)


  • 2008
    Gender and the Constitution: Equity and Agency in Comparative Constitutional Design, Cambridge University Press
  • 2004
    Five Things to Know about the Australian Constitution, Cambridge University Press
  • 1999
    To Constitute a Nation: A Cultural History of Australia's Constitution, Cambridge University Press