Outgoing BOCSAR Director appointed to Sydney Law School role

Dr Don Weatherburn.

Dr Don Weatherburn.

This week, Dr Weatherburn announced his resignation as Executive Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), a position he has held since 1988.

His appointment as Adjunct Professor builds on his longstanding role as advisor and contributor to the Sydney Institute of Criminology. In this new role, he will continue to work closely with the Institute.

"We are delighted to have Dr Weatherburn join us at the University of Sydney Law School. I am confident he will contribute enormously to our ongoing vision to deliver innovative research and education in an evolving legal landscape," said Acting Dean of the University of Sydney Law School Professor Cameron Stewart.

"Dr Weatherburn brings with him a depth of knowledge and experience, particularly when it comes to applying data and research findings to contemporary issues in the criminal justice system. The Institute is very much looking forward to working with Don on challenging research issues and seeing that research benefit the community," added Professor Rita Shackel , Co-Director of the Sydney Institute of Criminology.

Dr Weatherburn said he was looking forward to contributing to academic and student debate and research at Sydney Law School.

"In terms of research, I would really like to get a better understanding of the impact of methamphetamine on regional communities, and I think a lot of work remains to be done on policing and crime," he said.

"I’d also really like to show students how to apply their skills to critically evaluate government policy. It can be great fun."

Dr Weatherburn commenced at BOCSAR in 1983 and was appointed Executive Director in 1988.

This week, the NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman paid tribute to Dr Weatherburn’s contribution to the justice system in a statement : "Dr Weatherburn has provided successive governments with well-researched and fearlessly frank advice that has helped shape justice reforms on a range of issues including early intervention, rehabilitation, liquor licensing and court efficiency. His studies have helped governments identify crime problems and deliver evidence-based solutions."

Dr Weatherburn was awarded a Public Service Medal in January 1998, an Alumni Award for Community Service by the University of Sydney in 2000, and made a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2006.

He is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Social Science at the University of New South Wales, a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University and has published three books and more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, reports, and book chapters on crime and criminal justice.

Former Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane has been appointed the University of Sydney’s first Professor of Practice (Sociology and Political Theory).

Professor Jason Harris, Dr Derwent Coshott, Dr Joel Harrison and Dr Gemma Turton recently joined the Sydney Law School, bringing with them a wealth of knowledge and experience from careers in Australia and around the world.