Grants and Funded Projects

ADLEG members have been successful in applying for grants and funded research focused on equality and discrimination law. This funding allows ADLEG members to undertake long-term, in-depth research that greatly assists the development of equality and discrimination law in Australia. Much of this research is empirical and can only be completed with adequate funding support.

A selection of grants and funded research awarded to members of ADLEG are detailed below.

Addressing Age Discrimination in Employment

  • Funded by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Scheme (DECRA), DE170100228: Associate Professor Alysia Blackham (awarded in 2017)

This original, internationally significant research aims to address a critical gap in Australian discrimination and equality law scholarship. While demographic ageing necessitates extending working lives, few have questioned the effectiveness of Australian age discrimination laws in supporting this ambition. This project draws on mixed methods and comparative UK experiences to offer new empirical and theoretical insights into Australian age discrimination law. Intended outcomes include a comprehensive empirical dataset and a normative model for legal reform in Australia, to inform public policy and debate and improve our ability to respond to demographic ageing, thereby offering economic, health and social benefits. Further details at

EEO in a Culture of Uncertainty

  • Funded by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Professorial Fellowship, DP0664177: Professor Margaret Thornton ($575,638 awarded in 2006)

Laying the Foundation for Gender Equality in the Public Sector in Victoria

  • A/Prof Alysia Blackham, Prof Beth Gaze, A/Prof Leah Ruppanner and Prof Susan Ainsworth, University of Melbourne, funded by the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector Inaugural Research Grants Round 2021.

  • This project will critically map and evaluate the past and present conditions that ensured the successful passage of the Gender Equality Act 2020. It will identify risks and opportunities for the Act’s future development and implementation. It will do so by examining how the Act evolved, how it is being implemented, and how its future success can best be secured, drawing on the experiences of other jurisdictions nationally and internationally.

Religious Freedom, LGBT+ Employees, and the Right to Discriminate

  • Funded by an Australia Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project, DP200100395: Professor Douglas Ezzy; Professor Simon Rice; Associate Professor Angela Dwyer; Dr Louise Richardson-Self; Professor Lori Beaman ($575,000 awarded in 2019).

This research aims to identify constructive strategies to manage religious freedom and LGBT+ rights in religiously affiliated workplaces in education, health care, and social welfare. The project will carefully describe workplace experiences, religious beliefs, and current legislation associated with religious freedom and LGBT+ rights. It will evaluate different policies and managerial practices in terms of their impact on religious practitioners and LGBT+ workers. The research combines systematic empirical research with legal and philosophical analysis. It will produce findings that policy makers and religiously affiliated social service providers can immediately use to guide their responses to religious freedom and LGBT+ rights.

Reshaping Employment Discrimination Law: Towards Substantive Equality at Work?

  • Funded by an Australia Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project: Professor Beth Gaze and Professor Anna Chapman ($217,000 awarded in 2011).

The Australian employment discrimination law system comprises long standing anti-discrimination law and novel discrimination provisions from the Fair Work Act 2009. This project studies the operation and effectiveness of the reshaped system, to assess whether it is likely to be effective in supporting a more substantive version of equality at work.

Sexual Harassment Law Reform in Australia

  • Funded by the Law Health Justice Research Group, University of Technology Sydney: Associate Professor Karen O'Connell.

The Legal Regulation of Behaviour as a Disability

  • Funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, DP150102935: Professor Isabel Karpin and Associate Professor Karen O’Connell ($272,661 awarded in 2014).

People who exhibit socially challenging behaviour are increasingly defined in law as having a disability. This project addresses the problem of how law should respond to this growing cohort, a problem made more acute as advances in genetics and the brain sciences expand the set of socially unacceptable behaviours that are identified as biologically based. Using case studies of the regulation of genetic screening of embryos for disability and the application of disability discrimination law to behavioural traits, this project will determine, how, if at all, the law should regulate variant personality and behaviour.