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Tim Soutphommasane

Acting Director, Sydney Policy Lab & Professor of Practice (Sociology and Political Theory), University of Sydney

Tim Soutphommasane is Acting Director of the Sydney Policy Lab and Professor of Practice (Sociology and Political Theory) at the University of Sydney. He is also Director, Culture Strategy at the University and in that role helps lead the University’s efforts to build a culture that supports its teaching, research and service to society.

A political theorist and human rights advocate, from 2013 to 2018 Tim was Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner. His thinking on patriotism, multiculturalism and national identity has been influential in debates in Australia and Britain.

He is the author of five books: On Hate (2019), I’m Not Racist But … (2015), Don’t Go Back To Where You Came From (2012), The Virtuous Citizen (2012), and Reclaiming Patriotism (2009). He is also the co-editor (with Nick Dyrenfurth) of All That’s Left (2010).

He has been a regular columnist with the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Weekend Australian and his writing has also appeared in the Financial Times, The Guardian, New Statesman, Spectator and the Monthly. He wrote and presented the award-winning Mongrel Nation (2013), a six-part documentary series on Australian multiculturalism, on ABC’s Radio National. He was the founding chair of the Leadership Council on Cultural Diversity, the co-chair of the Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network, and has served on the boards of the National Australia Day Council and the Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership.

Tim completed a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Philosophy (with Distinction) at the University of Oxford. He holds a first class honours degree from the University of Sydney, and honorary doctorates from Deakin University and Western Sydney University.


  • –present
    Professor of Practice (Sociology and Political Theory) Director, Culture Strategy, University of Sydney