Professor Mark Western

Mark Western is an Associate Investigator and Emeritus Chief Investigator of the Life Course Centre.

As a sociologist, his research examines how systems of inequality and disadvantage arise and can be addressed, what matters for economic and social wellbeing, and how institutions such as schools, families, networks, and labour markets are involved in these processes.

The Life Course Centre gives us the opportunity to not only address profound problems of disadvantage, but to show how social scientists, policymakers and the community sector can work together to tackle the big questions – those issues that not only challenge our disciplines and our science, but also challenge our aspirations and vision for the kind of society we would like Australia to be.

Mark Western

Mark is Research Director, The Queensland Commitment, UQ, and Professor of Sociology in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and the Queensland Academy of the Arts and Sciences. From 2009 to March 2022 he was Founding Director of the Institute for Social Science Research, UQ’s university research institute for the social sciences. He has previously worked at the Australian National University and the University of Tasmania, and held visiting appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Manchester, and the Institute of Education, London. Mark is an International Fellow of the Centre for the Study of Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University, a former Chief Investigator on the ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families Over the Life course and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security.


Emeritus Chief Investigator


Associate Investigator


  • Social Science


Fellow, Academy Social Sciences in Australia
PhD, The University of Queensland
Bachelor of Art (Honours), The University of Queensland