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

An eminent scholar, political historian and biographer, Professor Jenny Hocking has been researching and publishing in Australia and internationally for some twenty five years. Her work focuses on two key areas: counter-terrorism and Australian political biography. The overarching themes, crossing both these areas, remain consistent: Australian democratic practice, the relationship between the arms of government, and aspects of Australian political history.

Professor Hocking is best known to the wider community for her acclaimed biographies of Attorney-General in the Whitlam government and High Court justice Lionel Murphy, Australian communist author Frank Hardy and most recently her two-volume biography of Gough Whitlam: A Moment in History, and His Time.

This honorary appointment is in recognition of Professor Hocking's substantial and ongoing scholarly contribution to Australian history and the political sciences. The appointment formalises the close collaboration that already exists between Professor Hocking and the Institute.

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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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.