New ARCSHS Director appointed

Following an international search, Professor Suzanne Fraser has been appointed as the next Director of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University.

ARCSHS is an established leader of social research into sexuality, health and the social dimensions of human relationships. It has become the major player in framing the agenda on, and delivering the evidence to understand, sex and sexuality in contemporary Australia, particularly in relation to health, education and social justice.

La Trobe’s Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Russell Hoye welcomed Professor Fraser to the University.

“It is fantastic to welcome such an internationally recognised scholar as Professor Fraser to La Trobe,” Professor Hoye said.

“Throughout her career, Professor Fraser has led influential, high-impact research around addiction, gender and sexuality and I look forward to her bringing her wealth of knowledge and expertise to ARCSHS.”

Professor Fraser founded and is currently program leader for the National Drug Research Institute’s Social Studies of Addiction Concepts Research Program (SSAC) based a Curtin University.

Professor Fraser said she was excited to be joining the ARCSHS team at La Trobe.

“I’ve been aware of the great work done by ARCSHS ever since I began my academic career about 17 years ago,” Professor Fraser said.

“The Centre has been instrumental over the years in helping Australia lead the world in HIV prevention and related health and education issues.

“It has an international reputation for doing great work advancing understandings of sexuality, gender and relationships, and the health and social aspects of sexuality.

“I’m really proud and excited to be taking up the role of Director and think ARCSHS can go even further in the vital work it does.

“I’m also very pleased to be moving into a role at La Trobe University, whose history of helping to open up access to higher education for those traditionally excluded I find very inspiring. La Trobe has a mission to support social justice, inclusion and positive change through high quality research and teaching, and I hope to contribute to this mission through my work at ARCSHS,” she said.

Professor Fraser will be joined by her collaborator, Professor David Moore, who currently leads the Ethnographic Program at the National Drug Research Institute.

They will also be joined by several research staff and two PhD students.

Professor Fraser and her team will start at La Trobe on 1 July 2019.

Professor Suzanne Fraser – biography

Professor Fraser is an internationally recognised scholar in how sexuality and gender impact on drug use and the body, health, and the self.

Professor Fraser founded and is Program Leader of the Social Studies of Addiction Concepts (SSAC) research program at the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) based at Curtin University.

In 2012, she was awarded a prestigious ARC Future Fellowship and she is currently CIA on two ARC Discovery Projects that explore injecting practices and harm reduction needs among men who inject performance and image enhancing drugs, and impediments to the uptake and diffusion in Australia of take-home naloxone, the opioid overdose medication known to save lives.

She is author of six books and several book chapters on the body and health in society and culture, including her most recent co-authored book, Habits: Remaking addiction.

Professor Fraser is a prolific and well cited author with almost 100 journal articles.

Professor Fraser is also research lead for South West Sydney Drug Health Service, where she leads a range of projects on service user perspectives and experiences, designed to support South West Sydney in improving its drug health services.

She is associate editor of the social science journals Contemporary Drug Problems and Addiction and is on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Drug Policy, Addiction Research & Theory and Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy.

About the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe

Founded in 1993, The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) leads pioneering research, working collaboratively and in partnership with communities, community-based organisations, government and professionals in relevant fields to produce research that advances knowledge and promotes positive change in policy, practice and people's lives.

In 2018 – and for the third time consecutively - ARCSHS achieved a score of five in the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) – indicating that the Centre’s research is well above world standard.

Read more about ARCSHS.

Media Contact: Claire Bowers – - 9479 2315 / 0437279903