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

  • Submission to Productivity Commission - Draft report: Introducing Competition and Informed User Choice into Human Services 14 July 2017 | CIS Submission
    The Productivity Commission (PC) released a draft report proposing reforms to increased competition, contestability and informed user choice to human services. CIS responded to the PC’s report with a submission covering two issues raised in the draft report: social housing…...
    The Productivity Commission (PC) released a draft report proposing reforms to increased competition, contestability and informed user choice to human services. CIS responded to the PC’s report with a submission covering two issues raised in the draft report: social housing…
    READ MORE

Media & Commentary

  • Make NAIDOC money count 07 July 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre
    This year’s NAIDOC week saw Australia celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. And in light of recent news about the appalling suicide rate of Indigenous Australians, with children as young as 7 showing…
    This year’s NAIDOC week saw Australia celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. And in light of recent news about the appalling suicide rate of Indigenous Australians, with children as young as 7 showing…
    read more
  • Co-accountability in Indigenous program evaluation and service delivery 09 June 2017 | Croakey
    Earlier this year, in response to damning reports about the evaluation and funding of Indigenous programs, the federal government announced $40 million over four years to improve the evaluation process. However, as Fred Chaney, said at a Productivity Commission roundtable…
    Earlier this year, in response to damning reports about the evaluation and funding of Indigenous programs, the federal government announced $40 million over four years to improve the evaluation process. However, as Fred Chaney, said at a Productivity Commission roundtable…
    read more
  • Strengthening Indigenous evaluation 09 June 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre
    Our research identified a plethora of small programs (particularly health and well-being programs) currently being delivered by Aboriginal organisations that are not being evaluated. Out of 1082 Indigenous programs just under half (490) were delivered by Aboriginal organisations; of these,…
    Our research identified a plethora of small programs (particularly health and well-being programs) currently being delivered by Aboriginal organisations that are not being evaluated. Out of 1082 Indigenous programs just under half (490) were delivered by Aboriginal organisations; of these,…
    read more
  • Report finds only 6% of Indigenous evaluations use robust methodology 04 June 2017 | MEDIA RELEASE
    Indigenous program evaluations are marred by a lack of rigour, with only three of 49 evaluations analysed using robust methodology, according to a new research report, Evaluating Indigenous programs: a toolkit for change, published by the Centre for Independent Studies…
    Indigenous program evaluations are marred by a lack of rigour, with only three of 49 evaluations analysed using robust methodology, according to a new research report, Evaluating Indigenous programs: a toolkit for change, published by the Centre for Independent Studies…
    read more
  • CIS wrap: Budget 2017 10 May 2017
    Budget 2017 entrenches big government Simon Cowan  In this budget the government has surrendered to the special interest groups and revenue-istas. Having maintained for years that the problem was excessive spending, the government has not only abandoned attempts to find…
    Budget 2017 entrenches big government Simon Cowan  In this budget the government has surrendered to the special interest groups and revenue-istas. Having maintained for years that the problem was excessive spending, the government has not only abandoned attempts to find…
    read more

Publications

  • Evaluating Indigenous programs: a toolkit for change 04 June 2017 | RR28
    The federal government recently announced it will allocate $10 million a year over four years to strengthen the evaluation of Indigenous programs. However, given that the average cost of an evaluation is $382,000, the extra $10 million a year for Indigenous program evaluations will not go far. To make the…...
    The federal government recently announced it will allocate $10 million a year over four years to strengthen the evaluation of Indigenous programs. However, given that the average cost of an evaluation is $382,000, the extra $10 million a year for Indigenous program evaluations will not go far. To make the…
    READ MORE
  • Submission to the Queensland Productivity Commission on: Service Delivery in remote and discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities 02 June 2017 | CIS Submission
    The Inquiry into service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders closely aligns with the CIS’s focus on Indigenous service delivery and achieving better outcomes for Indigenous peoples as part of our Prosperity Project. The Prosperity Project is a program of research focused on the practical measures that will enable…...
    The Inquiry into service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders closely aligns with the CIS’s focus on Indigenous service delivery and achieving better outcomes for Indigenous peoples as part of our Prosperity Project. The Prosperity Project is a program of research focused on the practical measures that will enable…
    READ MORE
  • Submission to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet – Consultation Paper: Indigenous Business Sector Strategy 26 May 2017 | CIS Submission
    We believe supporting Indigenous businesses contributes to Indigenous empowerment. Unlike program delivery, which tends to be a more passive form of support, supporting Indigenous businesses is an active form of assistance. A multiplier effect occurs when people own a business that goes beyond the financial benefits to the local economy....
    We believe supporting Indigenous businesses contributes to Indigenous empowerment. Unlike program delivery, which tends to be a more passive form of support, supporting Indigenous businesses is an active form of assistance. A multiplier effect occurs when people own a business that goes beyond the financial benefits to the local economy.
    READ MORE
  • Submission to the Productivity Commission on the Preliminary Findings Report: Introducing Competition and Informed User Choice into Human Services: Identifying Sectors for Reform 27 October 2016 | CIS Submission
    To improve Indigenous outcomes, there needs to be better management of overall funding and a strategy to coordinate how programs are delivered.
    To improve Indigenous outcomes, there needs to be better management of overall funding and a strategy to coordinate how programs are delivered.
    READ MORE
  • 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