Dr Brenton Prosser

Adjunct Fellow
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Research interests

Brenton Prosser's research and teaching interests include:

  • political sociology, governance and public policy
  • the sociology of identity (including ADHD) 
  • the sociology of ageing, mental health, education and emotion

Brenton has published four books, with his socio-political analysis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) selling over 7,000 copies internationally. He is recognised as an international expert on the sociology and medicalisation of ADHD.

In 2016, he published Minority Policy: rethinking governance when parliament matters. This book explores minority government, minor parties, independent and backbench MPs, as well as their impact on contemporary Australian policy-making and the broader future of Westminster.

Brenton's other research experience includes project leadership of a large national evaluations of policy and social service delivery in aged care, disability, home care and mental health, as well as an ARC funded project on student retention in some of Australia's poorest socioeconomic regions. 


Brenton is Director of Research for Catholic Social Services Australia. Previously, he was Director of Public Policy at Nous Group.

Prior to that, he was Senior Fellow at the Crick Centre for Understanding Politics at the University of Sheffield Education. Here, he was part of a team of academics that brings together citizens and politicians in a ground-breaking project to debate Britain’s constitutional future. Issues such as local devolution, decentralisation and new ‘City Regions’ are expected to be discussed with a view to making proposals as to where Britain goes from here - and where power lies in the UK. With the government’s flagship Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill currently making its way through Westminster, this project is expected to be a crucial and rare opportunity for citizens to engage with the detail of ‘legislation in the making’.

He has also been a Senior Research Fellow to a joint ANU-UC health policy research project, as well as Senior Lecturer in Sociology at ANU and Education at UniSA.

Brenton's professional experience includes policy work at the highest levels of Australian Government. Between 2008 and 2010, he was Senior Adviser to a 'balance-of-power' Senator, while between 1998 and 2002 he was Senior Adviser to the state parliamentary leader of a crossbench minor party. While working for the Comonwealth Attorney-General's Department, he was Director to a Research and Innovation Section and led the National Triple Zero Emergency Call Service Taskforce.

Brenton's work experience emerges from a unique mix of the academic, political and public sectors, which vitally inform his teaching and research with pre-service and in-service policy makers.

Brenton's past research work in ADHD saw him awarded Queen's Trust Award and Young Australian of the Year Award for community service.


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Updated:  11 December 2019 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers