Whitlam Institute

Our People

Meet Our Team

A diverse team, working towards the contemporary relevance of the Whitlam Program.




Professor Jenny Hocking

Whitlam INstitute Distinguished Fellow

Professor Jenny Hocking is an award-winning biographer, scholar and political commentator. She is the inaugural Distinguished Whitlam Fellow with the Whitlam Institute and Emeritus Professor at Monash University. Jenny is the author of the acclaimed two-volume biography of Gough Whitlam, Gough Whitlam: A Moment in History (2008) and Gough Whitlam: His Time (2012), winner of the Fellowship of Australian Writers’ Barbara Ramsden Award and shortlisted for several major literary awards including the Prime Minister's Literary Awards, the National Biography Award, The Age Book of the Year and the Magarey Medal for Biography and long-listed for the Walkley Non-fiction Book Award.

Jenny has also written biographies of High Court justice Lionel Murphy and the Australian communist author Frank Hardy. Her work has appeared in a range of media and journals including The Guardian, Huffington Post, Crikey, Independent Australia, The Age, Meanjin, Overland, Griffith Review, Arena and Australian Review of Books.

Jenny’s latest book is The Dismissal Dossier: Everything you were Never Meant to Know about November 1975 – the Palace Connection (2017) and her essay ‘Relics of colonialism: The Whitlam dismissal and the Palace letters’ appeared in February 2018 in Griffith Review.

Jenny Hocking is currently running a crowd-funded court action against the National Archives of Australia, seeking the release of the secret ‘Palace letters’ between the Queen and the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, at the time of the 1975 Whitlam dismissal which are embargoed by the Queen.

Dr Stephen FitzGerald

Dr Stephen FitzGerald AO

Whitlam INstitute Distinguished Fellow

Dr Stephen FitzGerald was Australia’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and is one of Australia’s foremost China specialists. He began his professional career as a diplomat, studied Chinese and was China adviser to Gough Whitlam. He established the first private consultancy for Australians dealing with China, which he continues to run.

Dr FitzGerald founded and until 2005 chaired the UNSW’s Asia-Australia Institute, which is dedicated to building Australia’s role in Asia. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and a Honorary Fellow at the China Studies Centre at Sydney University. He has also been awarded two Honorary Doctorates from Macquarie University and the University of Tasmania.

Dr FitzGerald has consulted to the Australian government, various state and territory governments, the governments of Britain, Denmark and others, and to universities around Australia, on subjects including the teaching of Asian languages, university programs on Asia studies and governance-related aid in China and Southeast Asia.

His current research is on changes in Australia’s policies and attitudes towards Asia from the 1960s to the present. Stephen is currently a Board Member of China Matters, which seeks to facilitate constructive dialogue about Australia’s relations with China.


Professor Margaret Wilson


Professor Margaret Wilson is not only an acclaimed legal academic but is also one of New Zealand’s most respected public figures.

Professor Wilson has had an extensive career in politics and public service including roles as Vice President of Auckland Women Lawyers’ Association, Director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and New Zealand Law Commissioner. She has been President of New Zealand Labour Party, and Chief Adviser and Head of Prime Minister’s Office.

From 1999 to 2005 she was Minister of the Crown with positions including Attorney-General, Minister of Labour, Minister Responsible for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Minister of Commerce, Minister for Courts and Associate Minister of Justice. From 2005 to 2008 she was Speaker of Parliament.

Professor Wilson was the founding Dean of Waikato Law School and returned to University of Waikato Te Piringa - Faculty of Law as a Professor in 2009.


The Hon Susan Ryan AO


Susan Ryan is an advocate for the rights of older people especially their right to affordable and secure housing.

Susan Ryan has previously served as Australia’s first Age Discrimination Commissioner (2011-2016) and as Disability Discrimination Commissioner (2014-2016). As Age Discrimination Commissioner she was highly effective in drawing the attention of policy makers and the public to the extent of discrimination against older people.

She commissioned pioneering research into age stereotyping, and economic and social impacts of ageism and disability discrimination. She conducted the first national enquiry into workplace discrimination against older Australians and Australians with disability. The landmark report from this enquiry Willing to Work sets out national strategies for all sectors to improve the economic participation of Australians as they age and of people with disability.

Up until her appointment as Commissioner, Susan was the Independent Chair of the IAG and NRMA Superannuation Plan; pro chancellor and Council member at UNSW from 1999 to 2011; and chair of the Australian Human Rights Group 2008-2011.

She was CEO of ASFA, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia from 1993-1998, and President of AIST, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees from 2000 to 2007. She was a founding member of Australian Council for Superannuation Investors and of the ASX Corporate Governance Council.

From 1975 to 1988, Susan was Senator for the ACT, becoming the first woman to hold a Cabinet post in a federal Labor Government. In the Hawke Government she served as Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women and Special Minister of State.  As Education Minister, she achieved a doubling of school retention rates while universities and TAFE enrolments grew to historic rates without the imposition of tuition fees. She pioneered extensive anti-discrimination and equal opportunity legislation, including the landmark Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and the Affirmative Action Act 1986.

She was awarded an AO for services to the Australian parliament in 1990. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from Macquarie University, University of Canberra, University of South Australia, the University of New South Wales and the ANU.



Edward Nik-Khan

Ass. Professor Edward Nik-Khah


Dr Edward Nik-Khah is an Associate Professor of Economics at Roanoke College. He has previously completed research on the historical development of neoliberal pharmaceutical science, the role of George Stigler as architect of Chicago neoliberalism, economics imperialism, and the political economy of market design, for which he won the K. William Kapp Prize from the European Association of Evolutionary Political Economy. Current research of his (with Philip Mirowski) examines the history of the economics of information and market design in twentieth century economics.



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Dr Louise St Guillaume


Dr Louise St Guillaume is Discipline Coordinator and Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA) (Sydney). In 2016 she completed her PhD at UNDA. Her PhD examined how people with disability - specifically people categorised as with a “partial capacity to work” in the Australian social security system - are constructed and governed through welfare reforms and changes to the disability care and support system.

Since then, her research has focused on how groups of people are governed at policy intersections. She has published on the regulation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with a “partial capacity to work” to income management as well as how impairment is produced through the offshore detention system for those seeking asylum. In sum, her work is focused upon the intersection of race and disability as social categories shaping the lives of those at policy intersections in Australian social policy.

Winner of a Federal Parliamentary Library Summer Scholarship in 2014, her project at the Whitlam Institute continues her research investigating the “partial capacity to work” category. Exploring the lived experience of those categorised with a “partial capacity to work” in the Western Sydney region and whether they are eligible for the information, linking and capacity building tier of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Drawing on Whitlam’s legacy in social security and disability policy, she hopes to contribute to discussions on how people with disability are governed in contemporary Australian society.


Professor Hilary du Cros


Professor Hilary du Cros is currently Honorary Research Fellow of the University of New Brunswick, Canada, and concurrently Visiting Research Fellow, Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham. She has researched and taught in the Asia Pacific region for over 30 years (including projects for the United Nations World Tourism Organization or UNESCO). These projects include a number in China (Yunnan, Guangdong and Guizhou), India, Mongolia, Myanmar, Australia, Hong Kong and Macao.

Prof du Cros has published over 130 works, including books, journal articles, conference papers, monographs and book chapters, and written over 250 consulting reports.  Books include one with Yok-shiu F. Lee on “Cultural Heritage Management in China” (2007); the popular textbook with Bob McKercher on “Cultural Tourism: The Partnership between Tourism and Cultural Heritage Management”(2002) (second edition under the title “Cultural Tourism” 2015); and “The Arts and Events” with Lee Jolliffe (2014). She has an interdisciplinary perspective on cultural heritage management and sustainable tourism development. 

Prof du Cros will be conducting research on how to improve current national policy making for endangered Indigenous places, in the context of the cumulative impact of development. The key question is whether the dismantling of Whitlam initiatives, such as the Australian Heritage Commission and its National Estate Grants Programme, have made it more difficult to understand the nature and extent of these pressures and therefore generate appropriate public policy.

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Dr Adam Hughes Henry


Dr. Adam Hughes Henry is an historian with a broad range of research interests. His primary areas of research have been diplomatic history and human rights.

Dr Henry is currently a Visitor with the Australian National University, School of Culture History and Language (CHL); teaches at the University of Canberra; and is a Visiting Fellow, Centre for Critical Cultural Research (CCCR) at the University of Canberra. In recent years, he has been a Visiting Fellow in Human Rights at the University of London and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University. 

Awarded his Doctorate in 2012, Dr Henry’s PhD thesis with Australian National University –Manufacturing Australian Foreign Policy from 1950-1960 – examined Australian history, Cold War history and diplomatic history from a range of perspectives, including political, social, academic and diplomatic. Central to his approach to diplomatic history was an integration of its policy and political dimensions, including the cultures of bureaucracy and professionalism, and an assessment of the ideological premises of international history against the documentary record.

Doctor Henry will be conducting research into the Whitlam Government and the United Nations. He will assess the consistency of foreign policy under Whitlam, in terms of its commitments to international law and human rights across various areas (primarily within the United Nations).


Associate Professor Heidi Norman

E.G. Whitlam Research FELLOW

Heidi Norman is an Associate Professor in Social and Political Sciences in the School of Communication at the University of Technology, Sydney.  She researchers and publishes in the areas of NSW Aboriginal history and politics with a particular focus on land and its management and the Aboriginal administrative domain.  Her most recent work is a study of Aboriginal Land rights in NSW (published in 2015).

This work is a critical account of the interface between the Government’s construction of Aboriginal interests in land and the emerging governance of those land and interests by Aboriginal citizens through their land councils.  Her new area of research is focused on Aboriginal people’s interests in pursuing land management and cultural aspirations on their land, alongside imperatives to pursue economic development.