Professor Sara Charlesworth



School /
Work Unit


Contact Details

+61 3 9925 1383


Building: 88
Level: 9
Room: 62

City Campus




"Sara Charlesworth"




GradDipGovtLaw Melbourne

PhD LaTrobe


Sara is a Principal Research Fellow at the Centre of Applied Social Research, RMIT University. She has a background in social work, industrial relations, anti-discrimination law and legal studies. Sara was a member of the Equal Opportunity Board (Victoria) from 1988 – 1994 and a member of Social Security Appeals Tribunal from 1995 – 2001. She has published and presented widely in a range of academic, policy and community forums. Sara has been involved in a number of key gender policy reviews and debates. She was a member of the Advisory Committee of the Review of Equal Opportunity Act 1995 (Vic) in 2007/08 and a member of the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner’s Expert Panel on Sexual Harassment in 2008. Sara is an inaugural member of the Victorian Government’s Working Families Council, a foundation member of the Work+Family Policy Roundtable, a member of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand, and a member of the International Industrial Relations Association and its Regulating for Decent Work Study Group.

Sara’s research interests centre on gender equality in employment at both the labour market and organisational levels. She has worked on many government and industry-funded research projects around pay equity, work & family balance, organisational change, discrimination and industrial relations. Sara has undertaken a number of ARC-funded projects, including a post-doctoral fellowship on discourses of discrimination in the workplace as well as ARC projects on the quality of part-time work including in policing and in legal firms, on the links between job quality and the mental health and well-being of working parents and their children, and on gender equitable organisational change. Sara is currently working on a number of major research projects including with:

      • Iain Campbell from CASR and Marian Baird from the University of Sydney on an ARC Linkage project exploring the impact of changing employment regulation on work/family/community balance through a regional perspective.
      • Donna Baines from McMaster University and Ian Cunningham from the University of Strathclyde on a Canadian Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council-funded project on international comparisons of the non-profit community services sector.
      • Paula McDonald from Queensland University of Technology on a 3 year ARC Discovery Project entitled ‘Sexual harassment in Australia: Contexts, outcomes and prevention’ .
      • Michael Bittman from the University of New England and other colleagues from a range of universities on an ARC Linkage Learned Academies project, entitled ‘Children of the Recession: The social consequences of an economic downturn’.

Areas of Expertise and Research Interests

Gender equality in employment

Industrial and anti-discrimination law and practice

Quality part-time work

The intersection of work & family

Organisational change and innovation

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