Committed to creating lasting change

As an ARC Centre of Excellence, the Life Course Centre coordinates people and resources from across organisations and disciplines towards a common research goal.

The Life Course Centre is administered by the Institute for Social Science Research at The University of Queensland (lead node) and has nodes at the University of Western Australia, the University of Melbourne, and the University of Sydney.

Our organisational structure manages the wide-ranging functions of the Centre, which include:

  • setting the Centre’s strategic direction
  • overseeing research programs and reporting
  • delivering training for research higher degree students and industry
  • developing and maintaining data-management processes
  • arranging research visits between national and international collaborators
  • promoting knowledge transfer activities to ensure our findings are easily accessible.

Advisory Committee

The Centre’s Advisory Committee provides strategic guidance and advocacy for the Centre to ensure its work is grounded in political reality and has a public voice. It has an independent Chair, and includes representation from government and non-government organisations.

The Advisory Committee ensures that the Centre’s research is aligned with its core mission and stakeholder needs and expectations. It has a critical role in keeping the Centre Director informed about current trends and perceived future developments from a range of national and international perspectives. A primary role for the Advisory Committee is oversight of the Life Course Futures vision, a ten-year vision for the development of the life course approach to address deep and persistent disadvantage in Australia. In addition, the Committee will assess the Centre’s success in translating its research, both through knowledge transfer materials and events, and into programs of significant practical benefit.

Prof Peter Saunders Chair University of New South Wales
Ms Marilyn Chilvers Executive Director, Strategy
Customer, Delivery and Transformation
NSW Government Department of Customer Service
Prof Greg Duncan Distinguished Professor University of California, Irvine
Dr Shae Garwood Manager, Research, Advocacy & Prevention, Innovation & Strategy Anglicare WA
Ms Elizabeth Hefren-Webb Deputy Secretary Australian Government Department of Social Services
Prof Shelley Mallet General Manager, Research and Policy Centre Brotherhood of St Laurence
Prof Janeen Baxter Centre Director ARC Centre of Excellence for Families and Children over the Life Course


Executive Committee

The role of the Executive Committee is to oversee the strategic direction of the Centre, oversee the Centre’s performance against the objectives of the Centre of Excellence scheme and agreed performance targets, and ensure that the Centre’s resources are allocated effectively to achieve these aims. In addition, the Executive Committee acts as the formal authorising committee for the Centre budget, strategic plan, research projects, project and other partnership agreements, and applications for affiliate status. The membership of the committee is:

  • Centre Director (Chair)
  • Deputy Director
  • Node Directors
  • Portfolio Leaders
  • Chief Operating Officer

Research Committee

The role of the Research Committee is to review the progress of the Centre’s research, and take initiatives to ensure that the Centre’s research is multidisciplinary and cross-nodal, strongly aligned with the Centre’s research programs, and responsive to the needs of partners and opportunities for co-design of new projects with partners. The Research Committee recommends projects for Executive approval, and advises the Executive where projects are not progressing. The membership of the committee is:

  • Deputy Director (Chair)
  • Centre Director
  • Program Leaders
  • Representatives from the Chief Investigators, Associate Investigators and Partner Investigators – appointed annually
  • Representatives from the Research Fellows – appointed annually


The Executive Committee can appoint sub-committees to deal with strategic and targeted areas. This can include:

  • Portfolio Committees
  • Ethics Committee
  • Intellectual Property Committee
  • Conference and Research Retreat Organising Committees

Organisational chart

Organisational Structure