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Personal profile

Profile photo courtesy of the Wagga Daily Advertiser, Photographer Ash Smith

Dr Emma Rush brings ethical knowledge, and the clarity and rigour that are characteristic philosophical skills, to areas outside philosophy. Emma holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Philosophy and French and a PhD in Philosophy, both from the University of Melbourne.

Emma is a member of the International Network of Co-operative Inquirers and a member of the Environmental and Social Justice research group at Charles Sturt University.

As the lead author of two papers on the sexualisation of children released by the Australia Institute in 2006 (, Emma prompted considerable public debate, ultimately leading to a Senate Inquiry into the issue. Emma continues to work in areas related to the issue of the sexualisation of children, producing pieces variously addressed to academic, professional and general audiences.

In 2013, Emma received a Charles Sturt University Faculty of Arts Teaching Award (Individual).

Emma (she/her) lives and works on Wiradjuri Country, in Wagga Wagga.

Research Interests

Emma was a member of the former Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. Her 

research in the areas of philosophy and ethics encompasses three main areas:

  • professional ethics, with a particular strength in social work and human services ethics and a developing project on resilience;
  • applied ethics, including her nationally significant work on the sexualisation of children, and a developing project on ethics in the creative industries; and
  • environmental ethics.

Professional Information


  • National Tertiary Education Union
  • Australasian Association of Philosophy
  • Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics


As a lecturer in philosophy and ethics, Emma teaches professional ethics for human services, health, and creative industries students, as well as history of philosophy subjects.

Emma has taught the following subjects at Charles Sturt University.

Philosophy Subjects:

  • Applied Ethics (PHL101) 
  • Theories of Human Nature (PHL103)
  • Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics (PHL104)
  • Theories of Justice (PHL209)
  • Birth, Death, Love and Sex (PHL210) (module on love only)
  • Political Ideas (POL205)

Professional Ethics Subjects:


  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Health (LAW131)
  • Bioethics (ETH403)
  • Ethics, Law and Medical Science (SSC502)
  • Discipline of Nursing 2: Health, Law and Ethics (NRS295) (module on ethics only)
  • Professional Fundamentals (MRS100/MRS120) (module on ethics and law only)
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Complementary Medicine (LAW304)

Human Services:

  • Ethics and Social Work Practice (SWK423)
  • Ethics and Social Welfare (ETH401)
  • Vulnerability and the Ethics of Intervention (ETH402)

Creative Industries:

  • Ethics and Law for Creative Industries (ETH205)

During her doctoral studies and early in her academic career, Emma provided intellectual leadership and pastoral care as a residential academic staff member at Whitley College and later at Queen's College, both associated with the University of Melbourne. During this period, she also tutored across a range of disciplines (philosophy, politics, and sustainability) at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne


Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy and French) (Honours), University of Melbourne


External positions

Research Fellow, The Australia Institute


Research assistant, University of Melbourne

Oct 2004Dec 2004

Research assistant, University of Melbourne

Jul 2001Feb 2002


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