9th November 2021

Three leading QUT academics have been named Fellows of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) for their work in improving public health, education, and workplaces.

The three new Fellows are:

  • Professor Adrian Barnett, Professor of Statistics, Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation and Centre for Healthcare Transformation, School of Public Health and Social Work, QUT
  • Professor Susan Danby, Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child, QUT
  • Professor Paula McDonald, Associate Dean, Research, Faculty of Business and Law, QUT


Professor Susan Danby.

Professor Susan Danby is one of Australia’s leading experts in early years language and social interaction, childhood studies, and young children’s engagement with digital technologies.

As director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child, she leads a collective of national and international researchers and partners across government, business and the community to work towards the centre’s vision – ensuring young children are healthy, connected and educated in a rapidly changing digital age.

Professor Paula McDonald.

Professor Paula McDonald is a Professor of Work and Organisation and Associate Dean, Research, in the QUT Faculty of Business and Law and has partnered with organisations in the public, private and community sectors on research that advances social justice in and beyond the workplace.

She was an author of the first Australian prevalence study of unpaid work commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Employment and is one of Australia's foremost experts on workplace sexual harassment.

Professor Adrian Barnett is a statistician known for his work in health and medical research and on improving the application of statistical methods.

Prof Adrian Barnett
Professor Adrian Barnett.

His research has shaped national policy on health and medical funding, including a study that estimated Australian health and medical researchers collectively spent over 550 years applying for NHMRC Project Grants and was quoted by the Prime Minister in parliament. His statistical report on deaths during the Hazelwood mine fire disaster also prompted the Victorian Government to re-open a parliamentary enquiry.

The Academy announced 37 new Fellows across Australia for 2021, its 50th anniversary year, bringing the total number to 742.

ASSA president Professor Jane Hall congratulated the new Fellows on their election.

“These new Fellows are at the forefront of social research and policy, and they have made enormous contributions to our society as a whole,” she said.

“It is an honour to have these individuals as new Fellows of the Academy.”

The social sciences are concerned with the functioning and structure of society and include the disciplines of anthropology, demography, geography, linguistics, sociology, management, accounting, economics and economic history, marketing, statistics, history, law, philosophy, political science, education, psychology, and health sciences.

An online event featuring brief presentations from each of the new Fellows will be held on November 24, 4:30pm to 7pm (AEDT), and is open to the public.

QUT Media contacts:
- Mechelle McMahon, media@qut.edu.au
- Rod Chester, media@qut.edu.au or 0407 585 901

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