Leading international development role for Murdoch academic

January 23, 2012

A senior lecturer in politics from Murdoch University is to take a leading role in international development organisation Oxfam Australia.

Dr Jane Hutchison, a Fellow in the university’s Asia Research Centre, has been elected Chair of the Oxfam Australia Board. She has served as a board member since 2004 and was previously Chair of the Governance Committee.

She said she was “excited by the opportunities and daunted by the responsibilities” that her new role involves.

“In addition to the normal responsibilities of a committee or board Chair, I become an ex-officio member of the Board of Oxfam International because Oxfam Australia – formerly Community Aid Abroad – is a confederation member,” she said.

“In both positions I will help to set the policy and strategic directions of Oxfam in Australia and internationally.”

Oxfam is a leading rights-based international development NGO with a vision of ‘a just world without poverty’.

Dr Hutchison said: “This influences the way we think about the causes and solutions to poverty, leading us to work through partnerships that give voice to poor and marginalised people living in poverty. It also means that we campaign hard to change the policies and practices that deny people their social rights.”

Associate Professor Caroline Hughes, Director of the Asia Research Centre, said: “The election of Jane to this position is a testament to the huge commitment and enormous amount of hard work that Jane devotes to community service, and consequently will come to no surprise at all to all her colleagues in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities and the Asia Research Centre.”

Dr Hutchison’s research focus is social and political change in the Philippines. At present she is researching the political economy of urban land reform in Manila, particularly the slum-eradication programs of multilateral agencies.

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