Research Fellow and Manager of the Indigenous Research Program
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 reinvestment, Aboriginal Health Worker training, alcohol 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:
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 SubmissionTo improve Indigenous outcomes, there needs to be better management of overall funding and a strategy to coordinate how programs are delivered.READ MORE
Media & Commentary
Low expectations unhealthy 19 April 2017 | Koori MailTen years have passed since the federal government launched the Closing the Gap campaign. But despite spending billions of taxpayer dollars, the relative life expectancy of Indigenous Australians hasn’t improved a jot. The failure has prompted the government to review…read more
Justice targets won’t help Indigenous incarceration rates 07 April 2017 | Ideas@TheCentrePressure is mounting for the Prime Minister to introduce Indigenous justice targets. But having targets for other social indicators hasn’t helped improve them. Ten years have passed since the Closing the Gap campaign was launched and only one of the…read more
Know goal before setting Indigenous procurement targets 03 March 2017 | Ideas@TheCentreThe furore that erupted in the past week over the federal government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) could have been prevented if the government had been clearer about the objectives they were hoping to achieve. Is the policy designed to support majority Indigenous…read more
New Indigenous Commissioner is sole good news in PM’s Closing the Gap Speech 14 February 2017 | MEDIA RELEASEAs 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
Mapping the Indigenous Program and Funding Maze 23 August 2016 | Research Report 18There 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 SubmissionIn 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 2013To 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 | PM134High 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 | OP127Social 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