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E.G. Research Fellow Dr Louise St Guillaume makes submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Newstart Allowance


The Whitlam Institute has lodged a submission with the Senate Inquiry into the Newstart allowance. The Whitlam Institute submission makes an irresistible case on the grounds of fairness for an increase in the Newstart Allowance.

The submission was drafted by Dr. Louise St Guillaume. Louise Is the 2019 Whitlam Fellow. Louse’s project for the Institute deals with the highly topical policy notion of “partial capacity to work” and reviews the ways in which the Australian Social Security and Employment placement system deal often unfairly with disability and ability to work.

Obviously Louse’s research has gathered data about the sustainability of levels of payment of benefits in Australia particularly Newstart. Her review of the economic and social circumstances experienced by Newstart recipients forms the basis for this submission.

Read the submission >

The Whitlam Institute’s submission has now been publicly published by the Senate Inquiry.

View the submission on the Senate Inquiry Website >

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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.