Talking and acting differently about inequality

Image: Tatiana from Pexels

Event details


Date & time

Thursday 22 October 2020


Online Event


Professor Sharon Bessell, Anne Hampshire, Professor Sharon Friel


School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet)

Drought, fire, storms, and a global pandemic have mobilised governments, industry and the community in ways that would not have been imagined previously. But how will the deep, persisting ‘public bads’ of poor health, inequality and climate change fare as the pandemic continues and our economy enters what could be the worst depression in living memory.

This raises the question of how to encourage, steer, and shape disruptions and transitions within public policy, business and civil society as we emerge from COVID-19, so as to achieve a short, medium and long term future that ensures positive health, social, and environmental outcomes.

In this Menzies Centre for Health Governance webinar series ‘Governing Disruptions for Health Equity’ we ask policymakers, practitioners, and researchers this question. We discuss the complexity of interests, ideas and institutions, and how they can support or undermine health equity.

Event 2 - Talking and acting differently about inequality

Date: Thursday 22 October | 12:30pm - 1:30pm

RSVP to this event here

COVID-19 has exposed deep structural inequities, which unless redressed will undermine society, health and the economy now and into the future. In the second webinar of the Governing Disruptions for Health Equity series we focus on the institutions, discourses and measurement of poverty and inequality.

The webinar will feature two experts - Professor Sharon Bessell from the Crawford School of Public Policy, and Anne Hampshire from The Smith Family. What we measure affects how we act, and Professor Bessell will discuss her ground breaking research in multidimensional poverty. How we talk about poverty and inequality also affects the types of actions taken to redress it, and Anne Hampshire will share work from The Smith Family highlighting the importance of focusing not just on material inequities, but also the essentials of life.

About the speakers

Anne Hampshire is head of research and advocacy at The Smith Family. Anne has a background in education, research, social policy, service innovation and advocacy. She has over 25 years’ experience working across the community and government sectors, including at national, state, regional and local levels. Anne has researched and written in a range of areas, including young people, children and families, mental health, unemployment, social capital and rural and regional communities. She has contributed to the development of a range of initiatives aimed at addressing disadvantage including for young people and families, homeless people and for communities experiencing long term disadvantage.

Sharon Bessell is Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, where she is Director of Gender Equity and Diversity and heads the Poverty and Inequality Research Centre and the Children’s Policy Centre. She also leads the Individual Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty program. Sharon’s research interests revolve around issues of social justice and human rights focused on two broad areas: the rights of children, and the gendered and generational dimensions of poverty. In 2019 she was named as one of the Australian Financial Review’s Women of Influence.

Sharon Friel is Professor of Health Equity and Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Governance in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at the Australian National University. Sharon was Director of RegNet from 2014-2019. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia and co-Director of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity. Her book, Climate Change and the People’s Health was published by OUP in Jan 2019.

Event 3 - Structurally weak actors? The positive impact of not-for-profits

Date: Thursday 3 December 2020 | Time: 12.30-1.30pm

More information and register here

Event 4- Exiting the consumptagenic system: action on the common drivers of climate change and health inequity

Date: Feb 2021

(Details coming soon)

Event 5- Rebalancing power for health equity

Date: March 2021

(Details coming soon)

Past events in the series:

Event 1 - COVID-19 multisectoral policy responses and the implications for health equity

Date: Thursday 27 August | Time: 12.30-1.30pm

In this webinar, Professor Sharon Friel, Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Governance, RegNet ANU was joined by Dr Sandro Demaio (VicHealth) and Professor Emily Lancsar (Research School of Population Health, ANU). The speakers reflected on the Menzies Centre report ‘Australian COVID-19 policy responses: Good for health equity or a missed opportunity?’ published on 27 August 2020, which examines the Australian Federal and State/Territory policy responses to COVID 19 and their implications for health equity.

Listen to the audio recording here

Image: by Tatianavia Pexels

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet