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I am a political theorist interested in the interaction between public policy, freedom, inequality, and financial wellbeing in established democratic societies. My work examines the different barriers to freedom and financial wellbeing that people experience, and I use a systems approach to understand what produces those barriers for people. I work on a range of different issues associated with these topics, and I also work on issues related to the measurement of complex concepts. 

In January 2023 I joined the University of Melbourne School of Social and Political Sciences as a Lecturer in Public Policy, where I teach the subjects Governance and Public Policy Analysis. 

Previously I was at the Public Service Research Group in the UNSW Canberra School of Business as a Lecturer in Public Policy. While at UNSW Canberra I worked on projects related to identifying and measuring the hidden value in complex systems, and I taught in the UNSW Canberra Business School at the postgraduate level, lecturing courses on people and systems, and driving organisational performance.

From 2020 to 2021 I was a Research Fellow in Social Policy at the Centre for Social Impact, UNSW, where I completed research on a range of different social and public policy issues. My major projects at CSI examined issues related to wealth inequality, ultra high net worth philanthropy, systemic underfunding across the not-for-profit sector, issues related to mental health stigma in the Australian social security system, and the structural barriers to good financial wellbeing for disadvantaged households.


From 2019-2020 I was the inaugural ANZ Tony Nicholson Research Fellow at the Brotherhood of St Laurence, where I worked on employing economic dignity as a concept for evaluating ideas, structures and policies related to financial wellbeing. My work draws heavily on Amartya Sen’s capability approach to understand how different kinds of disadvantage can constrain people’s freedom in established democratic societies. 


In 2018 I completed my PhD in Political Theory at the University of Melbourne, where I have taught political theory and research methods. My PhD thesis, 'Freedom as Capability: How the capability approach can improve our understanding of freedom in established democracies', examined the way that freedom is conceptualised in the measurement of democracy, and I developed a new measure of democracy drawing from the capability approach. The measure developed in the thesis has been used to compare different wellbeing outcomes across different welfare regimes, highlighting that different types of welfare state have different outcomes in the wellbeing that they produce for disadvantaged citizens. 

About Me



University of Melbourne


University of Melbourne

PhD in Political Theory, thesis title:

FREEDOM AS CAPABILITY: How the capability approach can improve our understanding of freedom in established democracies

My thesis evaluates how the concept of freedom is currently incorporated into the measurement of democracy. The thesis argues for the inclusion of more theoretically diverse approaches to understanding the quality of democracy, and presents a new measure of democracy which uses the novel definition of freedom as capability. The thesis presents a comparison of the new measure of democracy to existing measures, to demonstrate the utility of the new measure for understanding the impact of inequality and disadvantage in established democracies

B.A. (Honours) in Politics and International Studies,

thesis title:
Measuring Democracy and Positive Freedom: Towards a more inclusive understanding of what is required to measure freedom in democracy 


University of Melbourne

B.A. Political Science and Philosophy

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