Dr Melissa E. Lovell

Ph.D.; B Arts (Hons); B Social Science
Convenor & Research Fellow, Herbert and Valmae Freilich Project
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Social Policy 160512
  • Citizenship 160602
  • Political Theory And Political Philosophy 160609
  • Australian Government And Politics 160601
  • Race And Ethnic Relations 160803

Research interests

Melissa Lovell employs critical and interpretive theoretical approaches to examine the assumptions that underpin social policy problems, especially in the field of Australian Indigenous Affairs. Her research has examined the intertwined and disempowering effects of colonial and neoliberal concepts of government and citizenship across a range of policy areas including social security legislation, criminal justice, education and health policy. Her current research project focuses on the politics of Indigenous childhood, and unpacks the assumptions of Indigenous deficit that underpin arguments about child welfare and risk. 


Dr Lovell has over 15 years of research experience in community, political advocacy and higher education.

She completed her PhD in political science in the School of Politics at ANU in 2012, and has taught courses in political ideas, social policy, political theory and introductory political science at the Australian National University and the University of Canberra.

She is currently employed as the Convenor of the Freilich Project at the Australian National University, which exists for the study of all kinds of bigotry and the promotion of diversity and inclusion.

Researcher's projects

Politics of Indigenous Childhood in Australia


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Updated:  20 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers