Sara Hudson

Research Fellow and Manager of the Indigenous Research Program

Sara Hudson

Expertise: Indigenous programs and funding, economic development, health, housing, alcohol restrictions and criminal justice.

Sara Hudson has published widely on Indigenous policy for the CIS, with a particular focus on Indigenous programs, economic development, health and criminal justice.  Her ground-breaking research report, Mapping the Indigenous program and funding maze received nation-wide coverage when it was released in August 2016.

She is the author of a chapter in a book ‘In Black & White: Australians All at the Crossroads’, and research papers on Justice reinvestmentAboriginal Health Worker trainingalcohol restrictions in Indigenous communities and Indigenous health among others.   Sara has had over 70 opinion editorials published in newspapers across Australia, including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Age, The Australian Financial Review, The Western Australian, The Advertiser and the Northern Territory News, as well as numerous appearances on radio and television.

The impact of Sara’s work has been publically recognised by policy makers and Indigenous leaders and she is regularly invited to discuss her research and to present at conferences. Her work has also been cited in a number of government reports and peer-reviewed journals.

Sara’s future work at the CIS will focus on growing the evidence base for more effective Indigenous programs and improved service delivery, as well as Indigenous economic development, with a particular focus on Indigenous and non-Indigenous business partnerships.

See the Indigenous Affairs webpage to learn more about our research program – The Prosperity Project. An exciting initiative which aims to bring likeminded individuals together to drive the agenda for change.

Prior to working at the CIS, Sara worked as a senior consultant with a professional social research consultancy firm and as a policy advisor and evaluator for the New Zealand government. She has a Bachelor of Arts with first-class honours in criminology and anthropology from Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand.

As a consultant Sara wrote/contributed to the following publicly released reports:

Enabling Prosperity: Success Factors for Indigenous Economic Development  (Westpac)

Evaluation of the National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development (Australian Government)

Descriptive Analysis of the Strong Fathers Strong Families Programme (Australian Government)


Featured Publication

Media & Commentary

  • Closing the Gap Report -- F for failure 17 February 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre
    If the Closing the Gap Report was a school report, the government would get an F. Of the seven targets, only one is on track to be met — year 12 attainment. And this is primarily because the rates for…
    If the Closing the Gap Report was a school report, the government would get an F. Of the seven targets, only one is on track to be met — year 12 attainment. And this is primarily because the rates for…
    read more
  • New Indigenous Commissioner is sole good news in PM’s Closing the Gap Speech 14 February 2017 | MEDIA RELEASE
    As expected, the Prime Minister’s Closing the Gap report findings were bleak, Centre for Independent Studies Indigenous Research Manager Sara Hudson said. “Only one of seven Closing the Gap targets on track was reported to be met: high school attendance,”…
    As expected, the Prime Minister’s Closing the Gap report findings were bleak, Centre for Independent Studies Indigenous Research Manager Sara Hudson said. “Only one of seven Closing the Gap targets on track was reported to be met: high school attendance,”…
    read more
  • Moving Australia Day won’t stop protestors 03 February 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre
    Predictably, Australia Day saw protest marches held around the country with people proclaiming ‘Invasion Day’ was nothing to celebrate. Every year it is the same scenario. So much so, that these protest marches are as much a part of the…
    Predictably, Australia Day saw protest marches held around the country with people proclaiming ‘Invasion Day’ was nothing to celebrate. Every year it is the same scenario. So much so, that these protest marches are as much a part of the…
    read more
  • Damming report card on the Indigenous Advancement Strategy by ANAO 03 February 2017
    “The Australian National Audit Office’s report on the Indigenous Advancement Strategy proves that the Strategy was deeply flawed from the very beginning, Centre for Independent Studies Indigenous Research Program Manager Sara Hudson said. The Audit Office’s finding that the department’s…
    “The Australian National Audit Office’s report on the Indigenous Advancement Strategy proves that the Strategy was deeply flawed from the very beginning, Centre for Independent Studies Indigenous Research Program Manager Sara Hudson said. The Audit Office’s finding that the department’s…
    read more
  • Federal government’s $40 million for evaluation a ‘mea culpa’ 03 February 2017
    “The Federal government’s announcement today of $10 million a year over four years to strengthen the evaluation of Indigenous programs is an acknowlegment that the current method of delivering programs is not working,” Centre for Independent Studies Indigenous Research Program…
    “The Federal government’s announcement today of $10 million a year over four years to strengthen the evaluation of Indigenous programs is an acknowlegment that the current method of delivering programs is not working,” Centre for Independent Studies Indigenous Research Program…
    read more

Publications

  • Mapping the Indigenous Program and Funding Maze 23 August 2016 | Research Report 18
    There is much goodwill in Australia to improve Indigenous outcomes. However, too many programs are implemented because of their perceived benefit, rather than a rigorous assessment of what works. This research report maps the number of government and non-government Indigenous programs and potential level of duplication among different program providers…...
    There is much goodwill in Australia to improve Indigenous outcomes. However, too many programs are implemented because of their perceived benefit, rather than a rigorous assessment of what works. This research report maps the number of government and non-government Indigenous programs and potential level of duplication among different program providers…
    READ MORE
  • Submission to the Parliament of NSW Standing Committee on State Development: Inquiry into economic development in Aboriginal communities 12 February 2016 | CIS Submission
    In seeking to improve Indigenous economic development outcomes it is important to recognise that high levels of Indigenous disadvantage are not related to Indigeneity but are the result of ineffective policies and lack of opportunity — specifically in relation to education, employment and private enterprise. It is also important to…...
    In seeking to improve Indigenous economic development outcomes it is important to recognise that high levels of Indigenous disadvantage are not related to Indigeneity but are the result of ineffective policies and lack of opportunity — specifically in relation to education, employment and private enterprise. It is also important to…
    READ MORE
  • Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the value of a justice reinvestment approach to criminal justice in Australia 17 November 2013
    To address the underlying causes of Indigenous offending, we need to focus on education and employment—not be waylaid into thinking the answer lies with yet more ‘culturally appropriate’ or ‘Indigenous distinct’ programs. Education and employment may not sound as novel or exciting as Justice Reinvestment, but evidence shows both play…...
    To address the underlying causes of Indigenous offending, we need to focus on education and employment—not be waylaid into thinking the answer lies with yet more ‘culturally appropriate’ or ‘Indigenous distinct’ programs. Education and employment may not sound as novel or exciting as Justice Reinvestment, but evidence shows both play…
    READ MORE
  • Panacea to Prison? Justice Reinvestment in Indigenous Communities 31 January 2013 | PM134
    High Indigenous incarceration rates have elicited a long list of so-called solutions over the years. Since the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC), countless reports and programs have aimed to reduce the Indigenous incarceration rate. Yet the percentage of Aboriginal people in custody has continued to rise,…...
    High Indigenous incarceration rates have elicited a long list of so-called solutions over the years. Since the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC), countless reports and programs have aimed to reduce the Indigenous incarceration rate. Yet the percentage of Aboriginal people in custody has continued to rise,…
    READ MORE
  • Sustainability of Indigenous Communities 20 December 2012 | OP127
    Social indicators of Indigenous disadvantage prove that the orthodox methods of delivering services to Indigenous people have not worked. The failure of these methods is also indicated by the proliferation of approaches trying to work around established orthodoxies. This paper sets out an alternative process, based on successful developmental methodologies…...
    Social indicators of Indigenous disadvantage prove that the orthodox methods of delivering services to Indigenous people have not worked. The failure of these methods is also indicated by the proliferation of approaches trying to work around established orthodoxies. This paper sets out an alternative process, based on successful developmental methodologies…
    READ MORE