Professor Mark Western

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 Western is the Director of the Institute for Social Science Research at The University of Queensland. Mark leads the Disadvantage Systems Program and the Flagship Research Portfolio in 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.

Mark has worked with cross-sectional and longitudinal data including HILDA, the World Values Survey, the International Social Survey Program, and Australian and international election studies. He has also led research teams that have carried out a number of national and state-based surveys for federal government departments, or with funding from the ARC. In 2012, Mark chaired the Research and Evaluation Committee for Education and Human Society for the Excellence in Research for Australia initiative. He is an elected Fellow of The Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.


Former Chief Investigator


  • Social Science


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