Current (2023-2024): Tom Barnes
is an economic sociologist and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, Australian Catholic University (ACU), in Sydney. His research primarily focuses on insecure, precarious and informal work. He is currently researching global warehouse logistics and automotive manufacturing. His recent Australian Research Council (ARC) DECRA project (2017-2019) focused on the demise of Australian automotive manufacturing and the impact on workers and communities in closure-affected regions in Victoria. He completed his PhD in political economy at the University of Sydney in 2011 and has expertise on work and economic development in India. He has written two books in this area: Informal Labour in Urban India: Three Cities, Three Journeys (Routledge, 2015) and Making Cars in the New India: Industry, Precarity and Informality (Cambridge University Press, 2018). His articles have appeared in several journals, including Journal of Sociology, Journal of Development Studies and Critical Sociology. His new project focuses on the intersection of surveillance technology, worker agency and rights in warehouse logistics.
2021-2022: Ramon Menendez Domingo
Ramon received his PhD in Sociology from La Trobe University in 2017; He has been a TASA member since 2013. His research interests look at authenticity and identity from a sociological perspective. Ramon has a number of open-access publications, and he has assisted other researchers with their academic publications, on this topic. He has also published interdisciplinary research on the impact of social stigma on knowledge production among sheep producers in Australia, collaborating with researchers from the fields of Microbiology and Veterinary Science. Ramon often uses mixed-methods in his research, as has is familiar with both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. In 2018, he joined the Department of Management, Sport and Tourism at La Trobe University (La Trobe Business School) as a casual academic, both in teaching and research assistant roles. He is currently teaching Strategic Management at this department.
2018 - 2020: Sara James
is a Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies at La Trobe University in Melbourne. She is a cultural sociologist whose research focuses on the changing role of work in people’s lives in an era when work is increasingly characterized by flexibility, uncertainty and precariousness. Her recent book Making a living, making a life: Work, meaning and self-identity
(Routledge 2017) draws on in-depth interviews and cultural analysis to investigate the significance of work today, with a focus on vocation and the work ethic. Sara has been a TASA member since 2013. She was co-convener of the Cultural Sociology Thematic Group from 2014 to 2016. In this time, with Dr Nicholas Hookway, Sara organised and secured funding for two member events. One of these led to the publication of a special issue of M/C Journal
, facilitating publication outcomes for a number of members. Sara is also a member of the Teaching Sociology Thematic Group and in 2016 she contributed to a session at the TASA Conference Postgraduate Day on engaging teaching practices. She has co-authored two text books: Key concepts in the Humanities and Social Sciences
(2018) and Sociology in Today’s World
, 3rd edition (2014).
2017/2018: Peta Cook
is a Senior Lecturer of Sociology at the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts. She is a sociologist of knowledge, with a specific focus on ageing, medical science, health and illness, and identity and embodiment. Her research is primarily concerned with what forms of knowledge count and why; how this knowledge is produced; and personal mean-making and experiences of ageing, and health and illness. She has wide expertise in qualitative research methods, including interviews, focus groups, observation, discourse analysis, and photography. Experienced at sole and collaborative research, Peta frequently works in disciplinary and cross-disciplinary teams.
2015-2016: Karen Soldatic
is the National Director of Teaching for the Centre for Social Impact
based at the UNSW Australia, Kensington Campus. Karen’s research interests consolidate around the issue of disability. How is disability defined and valued in social policy? Who decides who gets what resources and how they should be distributed? And how do differing civil society actors advocate for policy change? In considering these questions, Karen’s research traverses critical issues of social categorization and practices of value-oriented identity formation, attempting to capture their ambiguity, fragility and opacity.
2013-2014: Grazyna Zajdow
is Associate Professor of Sociology at Deakin University. She teaches at all levels of sociology from first year to honours. Her research interests include the experience of living with drug and alcohol affected people and public policy related to drugs and alcohol. She also researches the experiences of older women and the paid workforce. Grazyna is also a co-editor of Arena Magazine.
Grazyna has been a TASA member for over 25 years and has previously been an executive member as well as Treasurer.
2011-2012: Julie Matthews
has a background in sociology, anthropology, education, and cultural studies. Her research addresses issues of sustainability and education; cultural diversity; the education of minority, refugee and international students; diaspora, globalisation and transnationalism; critical pedagogy and postcolonial, Foucaldian and feminist theory. She is involved in the South East Queensland Climate Adaptation Research Initiative (SEQ CARI) and ARC-funded projects include studies of Indigenous governance, refugee education, and reconciliation and education. She is currently Director of Research in the Faculty of Social Sciences, and teaches honours and masters research methods. She is also Associate Director of the Sustainability Research Centre. Prior to entering the university sector she was a high school teacher of Sociology, Integrated Humanities, English as a Second Language and World Studies