Who We Are

ASPA attracts members from a diverse range of backgrounds and have a wide range of affiliations. Consistent with our commitment to represent this diversity eligibility requirements are kept to a minimum.


The need for a national or regional representative body has long been recognised by many in the Australian social policy community. The earlier establishment of the Australasian Social Policy and Administration Association (ASPAA) has been considered a milestone in efforts to institutionalise social policy as a discipline in Australia.* Launched in May 1982 at the Social Welfare Research Centre (SWRC) annual conference, the association subsequently published several newsletters and hosted a successful national conference with the theme, “Community Welfare Services in the Australian States” in 1985. However, difficulties common to maintaining non-profit organisations meant ASPAA was wound up after a few years. At the 2007 Australian Social Policy Conference Professor Ilan Katz, Director of the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC), convened a meeting of delegates in order to revisit the idea of a national representative body for the social policy community, and as a means to promote social policy as a discipline in Australia and the surrounding region. As a result a group of colleagues, led by Professor Katz, formed a Steering Committee with the undertaking to establish the Australian Social Policy Association (ASPA), their efforts culminating in the association’s launch at the ASPC in July 2009.


ASPA is subject to the Associations Incorporation Legislation. Incorporated in New South Wales, ASPA has adopted the NSW Office of Fair Trading’s Model Rules as its constitution. Tracy Deasey is ASPA’s Public Officer.

Management Committee

The Management Committee is a seven-member body responsible for the affairs of the association. The current committee was sworn in at ASPA’s Annual General Meeting held in September 2017.

Office Bearers

President – Professor Matthew Gray, Director, ANU Centre for Social Research Methods, the Australian National University

Vice-President – Associate Professor kylie valentine, Research Director Social Policy Research Centre, The University of NSW

Treasurer – Kelly Hand, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Secretary – Associate Professor Gaby Ramia, Associate Dean, Postgraduate Coursework, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Ordinary Members

Associate Professor Ian Goodwin-Smith, Director Australian Centre for Community Services Research, Flinders University

Associate Professor Boyd Hunter, Senior Fellow, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, the Australian National University

Professor Alison McClelland, independent consultant specialising in social policy and facilitation.



*Lawrence, John (2006) Social Policy Research: 25 Years of a National Research Centre, The Social Policy Research Centre, The University of New South Wales: Sydney.