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The Australian National University

Dr Kirrily Jordan

PhD Economics UTS, BEc(Soc Sci) (Hons) USyd, Dip Aboriginal Studies UWS
Research Fellow
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: +61 2 6125 4912

Areas of expertise

  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Policy 160501
  • Studies Of Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Society 169902
  • Race And Ethnic Relations 160803
  • Visual Cultures 190104
  • Art Theory 190103
  • Sociological Methodology And Research Methods 160807
  • Comparative Economic Systems 149901
  • Heterodox Economics 149903
  • Labour Economics 140211
  • Welfare Economics 140219


Dr Kirrily Jordan is a political economist and Research Fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR).

Kirrily's research focuses on structural inequalities in the relationship between First Nations and other Australians, as well as the ways in which those disparities can be challenged. A key focus is the incidence of institutional racism towards First Nations peoples, including in the absence of appropriate consultation and engagement in policy-making.

This interest emerges from Kirrily’s longstanding examination of the Australian Government’s approach to ‘work,’ ‘welfare’ and 'development' policy for Australia’s First Nations. Her research shows that rather than 'Closing the Gap' in economic outcomes between First Nations and other Australians, policies that are framed by non-Indigenous assumptions have left many people worse off. Key research has focused on:

  • The CDEP and CDP schemes
  • New forms of welfare conditionality 
  • The Australian Government's approach to consultation and engagement with First Nations peoples
  • The role of racism in limiting First Nations employment and economic development outcomes

Kirrily's research suggests, in line with international evidence, that significantly improving outcomes on these measures requires institutional support for First Nations autonomy. This informs her second area of study, examining the ways in which First Nations people are working towards social, political and economic change, and how universities and university researchers can support these processes. She is committed to research methodologies that emphasise collaboration with First Nations peoples, including Participatory Action Research and Art as Social Practice. She is particularly interested in the potential of visual, participatory and community arts to challenge racism, draw attention to current challenges and point the way to a more just future.   

Before joining CAEPR Kirrily worked at The University of Sydney examining economic inequality, and with researchers at the University of Technology Sydney and Charles Sturt University studying racism, inter-ethnic interaction, and the socio-economic position of migrants in Australia.


Available student projects

What is international 'best practice' in consultation and engagement processes as these relate to economic development and public policy-making for First Nations peoples?

How are First Nations peoples using visual, participatory and community arts to press for social, political and economic change?

Current student projects

Lisa Fowkes, PhD Scholar, 'Implementing the Remote Jobs and Communities Program: How is policy working in Indigenous communities?'


Past student projects

Charlee-Sue Frail, ‘Our voice, Our future: Youth representation in the Murdi Paaki region’, Tjabal Centre Enrichment Program (ARTS3050), 2012.

Samantha Keane, Master of Applied Anthroplogy and Participatory Development (MAAPD) Supervised Special Project 'Learning from Community: Understanding Child Rearing and Wellbeing in Cultural Context', 2011. 



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  25 September 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers