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Personal profile

Personal profile

Social Scientist Dr Helen Masterman-Smith is a sociologist primarily researching questions of social, labour and ecological justice, and their interconnectedness. This work is based in the sociology of work and environmental sociology/political economy fields. Much of her career has concentrated on the former, culminating in the coordination of an ARC Linkage Grant on low pay and working poverty in Australia. From 2006, Helen's research activities have increasingly centred on the nexus between labour and environmental issues, from a social science perspective. Her most recent research has explored labour dimensions of climate change including 'just transition' practices, labour market inequalities in the green economy, and metabolic rift analysis as it pertains to the animal industrial-complex. Currently, she is leading a DEWHA project investigating the sustainability education needs of healthcare workers.

Research Interests

  • Environmental justice
  • Sustainable community development
  • Human-animal relations
  • Sustainable livelihoods
  • Community-embedded research

Professional Information

Professional Memberships: 

  • Australian Environmental Justice Research Network (founding member)
  • Regional Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Development (Murray-Darling), (founding member)
  • The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)
  • International Sociological Association (ISA)
  • National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU)


  • SOC212 Class: Images and Reality
  • SOC102 Social Inequalities
  • SOC108 Sociology of Health

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 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (Political Science/Sociology), University of Western Sydney


Award Date: 01 Jan 2006

Bachelor of Arts (Labour History) (Hons), University of Western Sydney


Award Date: 30 Nov 1997


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