ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Dr Helen Masterman-Smith

Dr Helen Masterman-Smith

Social Scientist Dr Helen Masterman-Smith is a sociologist primarily researching questions of social, labour and ecological justice, and their interconnectedness. This work is based in the sociology of work and environmental sociology/political economy fields. Much of her career has concentrated on the former, culminating in the coordination of an ARC Linkage Grant on low pay and working poverty in Australia. From 2006, Helen's research activities have increasingly centred on the nexus between labour and environmental issues, from a social science perspective. Her most recent research has explored labour dimensions of climate change including 'just transition' practices, labour market inequalities in the green economy, and metabolic rift analysis as it pertains to the animal industrial-complex. Currently, she is leading a DEWHA project investigating the sustainability education needs of healthcare workers.

Research Interests

  • Environmental justice
  • Sustainable community development
  • Human-animal relations
  • Sustainable livelihoods
  • Community-embedded research

Bachelor of Arts (Hons) History/Politics, University of Western Sydney, 1997

PhD (Political Economy) University of Western Sydney, 2006


Membership of Advisory Boards and Panels

Australian Environmental Justice Research Network (founding member); Regional Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Development (Murray-Darling), (founding member)


Selected Publications

Peer reviewed Papers

Masterman-Smith, H., Rafferty, J., Dunphy, J., & Laird, S. G. (2016). The emerging field of rural environmental justice studies in Australia: Reflections from an environmental community engagement program. Journal of Rural Studies. doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2016.04.005

Masterman-Smith, H. (2013). Rural Workers and Environmentally Sustainable Livelihoods in Australia. Rural Society, 22(3), 196-207.

Book Chapters

Masterman-Smith, H. (2013.) Worker Citizens and the Environment. In H. Aslin and S. Lockie (eds). Engaged Environmental Citizenship. Charles Darwin University Press, Darwin, NT, pp. 35-52

Conference Papers

Masterman-Smith, H., Rafferty, J., Sheahan, M. & Ward, W. (2015). Beyond the usual suspects: justice, community and NRM. Presented at Australian Social Science Academy workshop on justice, fairness and equity in natural resource management (12-13 October). Canberra: Australian National University.


Current Projects

A Community Engagement Series: Regional Facilitator in the Albury LGA , Masterman-Smith, H., Rafferty, J., and Sheahan, M., (2016) NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, $32,000 Project details

Our Place-Corowa, Masterman-Smith, H.,Rafferty, J., Sheahan,M. (2015-2017) NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, NSW, $29,500 Project details

Completed Projects

Our Place- Riverina and Murray, in collaboration with the RCE-MD,OEH, Paroissien, K., Rafferty, J.,  Masterman-Smith, H., Mitchell, A.,  Laird, S., Dunphy, J. & Dunlop, O. (2013-14) $90,000 Project details

Learning Communities,  Masterman –Smith, H., Rafferty, J.,Sheahan, M and Scott,N. (2014-2015) Department of Education, $827,083 Project Details