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Ms Claire Wilkinson


image - Claire Wilkinson

Dr Claire Wilkinson is a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at the Drug Policy Modelling Program (DPMP) at UNSW, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR), La Trobe University.

Claire's PhD evaluated recent and historical approaches to limiting alcohol outlet density at a local level in Victoria using both licensing and planning legislation. Claire’s research on alcohol policy is multidisciplinary drawing on public health and public policy as well as historical perspectives. She uses  mixed methods. She maintains close links with CAPR, La Trobe University, where she worked as a Research Associate prior to commencing at UNSW. She has published over 30 publications including peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and reports.

Claire is grateful for outstanding mentors, especially Prof Robin Room and A/Prof Sarah MacLean, La Trobe University and now, at UNSW, from Prof Alison Ritter AO. She counts herself lucky to have spent a formative ten years at Melbourne's TurningPoint, Alcohol & Drug Centre, which has given rise to many of Australia's former and current leaders in AOD research, practice and policy.

University role: 
Research Fellow

PhD in Population HealthUniversity of MelbourneGraduate Certificate in Addiction Research, Dresden International University; Diploma in Japanese, University of Melbourne; Bachelor of Science (Honours, Psychology), University of Melbourne; Bachelor of Arts and Sciences, Development Studies & Psychology, University of Melbourne

  • 2020 Alcohol purchasing and consumption: Learning from pandemic containment measures for more effective alcohol policy
  • 2019 -2020 La Trobe University Sheffield Hallam University Collaborative Research Seed Grants, $10,000 
  • 2019 NSW Ministry of Health, $32,000
  • 2018 - 2022: NHMRC Early Career Fellowship, $322,952
  • 2016 Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, $150,000
  • 2016 Western Australia Mental Health Commission, for The Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs (Federal Government), $75,000
  • 2015 NSW Ministry of Health, $20,000
  • 2013 World Health Organization, $14,000


  • 2020: Honourable Mention, Early Career Academic Publication Award, Faculty of Art & Social Sciences, UNSW
  • 2018: Winner, Late Breaking Presentation, Scientific Alcohol & Drug Conference, Australasian Professional Society for Alcohol & Other Drugs, New Zealand
  • 2018-2022: Early Career Fellowship, National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia
  • 2013: Junior Researcher Paper Price, Master Class in Addiction, Addiction Research Institute (IVO) Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2012: Finnish Government Doctoral Scholarship, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 2012: Postgraduate Overseas Research Scholarship, The University of Melbourne
  • 2012: Graduate Social Science/Humanities Scholarship, Queen’s College, The University of Melbourne
  • 2011: Frank Murphy Travelling Scholarship, Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre, Melbourne
  • 2011-2014: Australian Postgraduate Award, Australian Government
public health
alcohol policy
Research activities: 

Current Research Interests

Community ownership as an instrument for public health and welfare: Lessons from Australia’s community-owned licensed premises

A new research interest in advancing knowledge about the trend in town groups buying pubs across regional Australia. I'm interested in advancing knowledge about the role of co-operatively owned licensed premises, such as pubs and sports clubs, in promoting the health and well-being of communities throughout Australia. I'd like to understand the impact of co-operatively owned licensed premises on community health and well-being, social cohesion and local economies.

List of media reporting on co-operatively purchased and run pubs in regional Australia (updated March 2022)

Member, Australian Fabians, Policy Action group on Co-operatives and Mutuals 2022 - ongoing

Teaching & Supervision
I am available to supervise: 
Areas of supervision: 

alcohol policy, policy-making, qualitative research methods

Currently supervising: 

Stephanie Colbert (PhD, Public Health, UNSW) - Understanding the online alcohol delivery market in Australia to inform improved regulation of the industry and reduce alcohol-related harm (Joint Supervisor); 2020 to present.

Michala Kowalski (PhD, NDARC, UNSW) - Alcohol policy-making in the night-time economy (Scientia Scholarship Project, Joint Supervisor); 2020 to present.

Filip Djordjevic (PhD, Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, La Trobe University) - Participation in alcohol policy-making (Sheffield Hallam-La Trobe Universities joint-PhD Scheme, Joint Supervisor); 2021 to present.



2022 - Keelin O'Reilly (Honours, School of Social Science, UNSW) - Drug trafficking thresholds

2019 - Miranda Guizzo (Masters, Public Health, La Trobe University) - Understanding local government responses to alcohol‐related harm - Guizzo - - Drug and Alcohol Review - Wiley Online Library

2018 - Ella Dyson (Honours, Psychology, La Trobe University) - Attitudes towards Warning Statements about Short-Term and Long-Term Harms of Alcohol in Younger and Older Drinkers

2006 - Lisa Gelbart (Honours, Biomedical Science, Monash University) - Trends in media reporting on alcohol-related violence since 2005

Supervision keywords: 
alcohol policy
drug regulation
city and urban planning
socio-legal issues
socio-legal methodology

Teaching Areas

Social research methods, policy-making, policy case studies, policy analysis, qualitative research methods

Past teaching


  • SRAP3002 (undergraduate) - Social Research and Policy Project (2020)

Guest Lecturer: 

  • SOSS2001 (undergraduate) - Qualitative Social Research
  • PHCM9604 (undergraduate) - Tobacco, Alcohol and Illicit Drugs
  • SRAP1001 (undergraduate) - Social Research and Society
  • SRAP5102 (graduate) - Theory, Ethics and Social Impact  
  • PHE5LAE (graduate) -  Health, Law and Ethics (LaTrobe University)

Completion of the BTT Program (UNSW) in 2020