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Professor of Public Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University

Sharon Bessell is Professor of Public Policy and Director of Gender Equity and Diversity at the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

Sharon's research is concerned with issues of equality, social justice and human rights, with a focus on the gendered and generational dimensions of poverty and social policy for children.

Sharon is Director of the Children’s Policy Centre, and Director of the Poverty and Inequality Research Centre at The ANU. She is editor of In Focus: Poverty, a special section of PolicyForum.Net and is a co-presenter of Policy Forum Pod. In 2019 she was named as one of the Australian Financial Review’s Women of Influence.

Sharon has undertaken research across a number of geographic regions, including Australia, Southeast Asia (particularly Indonesia and the Philippines), the Pacific (particularly Fiji) and Southern Africa. She has worked with government, non-government, and international agencies in Australia, Asia and the Pacific.


  • –present
    Professor, The Australian National University


  • 1999 
    Monash University, PhD, Political Science