Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

Skip to content
  • Image of Edwards, Meredith Ann
  • Click to view this Image

    Portrait of Meredith Edwards at the National Library of Australia, 5 August 2005, by Greg Power, courtesy of National Library of Australia, vn3663308. Used with permission..
    Details

Exhibitions

  • From Lady Denman to Katy Gallagher: A Century of Women's Contributions to Canberra

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Edwards, Meredith Ann (1941 - )

Professor, AM

Born
10 May 1941
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Lecturer, Public servant and Researcher

Summary

Professor Meredith Edwards AM has seen an extensive career as lecturer, researcher and policy analyst in economics. She is best known for developing policies around AUSTUDY, Child Support, HECS and long-term unemployment initiatives. She is currently Emeritus Professor, Australia and New Zealand School of Government ( ANZSOG) Institute for Governance at the University of Canberra.

Details

Born in Sydney and the eldest of three sisters, Meredith Edwards was educated at Canberra High School where she was Vice-Captain. She went on to complete a Bachelor of Commerce (Degree with Honours) at the University of Melbourne (1963) and later, in 1983, a PhD in Public Finance at the Australian National University.

Edwards began her academic career from 1963 with a post at the University of Malaya, followed by the Australian National University and the Canberra College of Advanced Education. She also served on government-appointed consultative committees and was seconded to the Office for the Status of Women in 1983. She went on to work in the Commonwealth Public Service until 1997.

Edwards worked in many departments: as Special Advisor on Youth Allowances in both the (then) Department of Education and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (1983-1985), focussing on rationalisation of Australia's youth allowances and the introduction of AUSTUDY; in the Department of Social Security (1986-1990) assisting a Cabinet Sub-Committee on Child Support Policy and as Head of the Social Policy Division; in the Department of Health, Housing and Community Services (1990-1992) as Director of the National Housing Strategy; and in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (1993-1997) as Head of a Taskforce on long term unemployment issues and later as Deputy Secretary of that Department. She was a member of the Women's Electoral Lobby, with particular focus on childcare and economic matters, and often acted as WEL's economic spokesperson.

In addition, Edwards was a member of the Wran Committee on Higher Education Funding (1988-1989). She is a member of the Australian Statistics Advisory Council, a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (FAIM), a Member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for International and Public Law at the Australian National University and was President of the Economic Society of Australia and New Zealand (ACT Branch) from 1994-1996.

She was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra in August 1997 -2002 when she also became Professor. In 1999 she became Director of the National Institute for Governance at the University of Canberra, a position she held until 2004.

In 2008 she was made a Member of the Board of the Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and since 2009 she has been Chair, Board of Closing the Gap Clearing House as well as Member, Committee Committee of Experts on Public Administration, United Nations.

Professor Edwards has published numerous articles and presented many papers in the area of policy development and analysis, particularly in the areas of economics and tax in the family, child support, housing, poverty, women in government, and governance. Her recent book Social Policy, Public Policy: From Problem to Practice is based on case studies taken from her time working with the Commonwealth Public Service.

Professor Edwards was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) in 1992.

Sources used to compile this entry: From Lady Denman to Katy Gallagher: A Century of Women's Contributions to Canberra, Australian Women's Archives Project, February 2013, http://www.womenaustralia.info/exhib/ldkg.

Related entries

Digital resources

Title
Portrait of Meredith Edwards at the National Library of Australia, 5 August 2005
Type
Image
Date
2005
Creator
Greg Power
Source
National Library of Australia, vn3663308. Used with permission.

Details

Clare Land

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

© Copyright in The Australian Women's Register is owned by the Australian Women's Archives Project
and vested in each of the authors in respect of their contributions from 2000

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE0118b.htm

The Australian Women's Register is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124