Barbara grew up on a mallee farm near Lameroo in South Australia, and has worked and raised her two children in South Australia.
She has over 30 years experience studying work and inequality at local, state, national and international levels, and advocating for fairness, especially for low paid workers and for women.
Barbara is an Emeritus Professor at UniSA, trained as economist and has worked in many jobs, from shearing sheds to the Reserve Bank.
Her contributions include:
- setting up and leading the Centre for Work + Life at UniSA (2006-2014),
- membership of SA’s Economic Development Board (2012-2016)
- board member of The Australia Institute (2003-2020)
- co-convenor and founder of the Work + Family Policy Roundtable (2007-2014).
- member of the Board of the Festival of Ideas (2005-2009)
- member of Mothers for a Sustainable South Australia (MOSSA), advocating against the ‘disposal’ of nuclear waste in South Australia
- author of many books (eg The Work/Life Collision) and articles about how work affects Australian men, women and children.
In 2010 Barbara was awarded an AM for services to industrial relations and social justice.
Barbara has been preselected as the Lead Senate Candidate for the Greens (SA) in the next federal election.