I joined sociology at ANU in January 1995. Prior to that, I held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Urban Research Program in the Research School of Social Sciences, ANU. I undertook Honours in history and sociology in the School of General Studies, ANU (1983), and obtained my PhD in sociology through the Faculty of Arts, ANU (1989). My dissertation was entitled ‘States, Parties and Socialist Revolution’.
My doctoral interests in development sociology led me in my postdoctoral work to examine global commodity chains in the clothing industry, as well as the role of outwork in the Australian clothing industry. This interest in changing patterns of work then led me to study the building industry and the relationship between social change, housing formation and the urban built environment. I have always been driven by macro-sociological concerns relating to social inequalities, and have reflected on changing patterns of local inequality (Inequality in Australia, Cambridge UP, 2003, with F. Lewins and K. White) and international inequalities (Challenging Global Inequalities, Palgrave, 2007, with D, Hulme and M. Turner). From 2002 onwards I began co-teaching the Fenner School introductory year environmental course and subsequently Environmental Sociology.
I was awarded the inaugural National Award for University Teaching in Social Sciences (1997) and the Team-Taught Large First Year Award in 2003. I was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching in 1997 and 2003.
I was Head of School of Social Sciences between 2005 and 2008. In 2010 I received the CASS Award for Excellence in Supervision along with the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Supervision, and in 2014 I was awarded the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Service to the Campus Community. I was elected onto the Academic Board of the ANU for the term 2012-2014.
At the end of 2015 I retired and became an Emeritus Fellow.