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In Conversation with Helen Sullivan and Sharon Friel: The Importance of Political Studies


Professor Helen Sullivan, Dean, College of Asia and the Pacific, Professor Sharon Friel, Director, Menzies Centre for Health Governance




Thursday, 18 November, 2021 - 16:00 to 17:00

Across our region and the world we are being increasingly challenged by the rise of populism, falling public trust in institutions as well as regulatory systems that are failing to keep up with a rapidly changing society. Behind these phenomena, lie distinct lived and perceived experiences amongst nations, groups and individuals. How can we seek to remedy these challenges while understanding the causes and the experiences behind them?

This in-conversation with Professor Helen Sullivan and Professor Sharon Friel explores why the study of politics is becoming ever more important in our current time, and how studies in this field can help us strive for a brighter future.


Professor Helen Sullivan

Professor Helen Sullivan is the Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific and a world renowned Political Scientist. Helen’s award winning work explores the changing nature of the relationships between the state and society, particularly in the theory and practice of governance and collaboration, innovative forms of democratic participation and new thinking about public policy and the practice of public service reform. Before becoming Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific this year, Helen was Director of the Crawford School of Public Policy and the founding director of the Melbourne School of Government at the University of Melbourne. Helen is also currently the President of the Australian Political Studies Association.

Professor Sharon Friel

Professor Sharon Friel is a recipient of the prestigious ARC Fellowship, and Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Governance at the School of Regulation and Global Governance. Sharon’s research interests are primarily in the political economy of health equity and the governance. Sharon’s work examines the social determinants of health inequalities; trade and investment, food systems, urbanisation and climate change. For her research in these areas, Sharon was voted by her international peers as one of the world’s most influential female leaders in global health, as well as winning this year’s Public Health Association Australia’s Public Health Mentor of the Year Award.

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