Barbara Pocock has worked in many jobs - in shearing sheds, advising politicians, for governments, on farms, in unions, writing, teaching and researching in universities, and as a mother. She spent 25 years working in universities, including the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia. She founded and led the Centre for Work + Life at the University of South Australia between 2006 and 2014, leading a team of researchers studying how work affects Australian men, women and children and the households and communities in which they live. 

Barbara was initially trained as an economist, completed her doctorate in gender studies, and taught and researched labour studies and social science from the mid-1980s to 2014.

Barbara was made Emeritus Professor in the Business School at the University of South Australia in 2015. She has been a member of the Board of The Australia Institute for many years, and is a member of Mothers for a Sustainable South Australia (MOSSA).

Barbara was made a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2008 and in 2010 was made a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to industrial relations research and for advocacy of social justice.  She has presented her research in many countries and written many articles and books including The Work/Life Collision, and The Labour Market Ate My Babies.  

Her research has focussed upon work, employment relations, gender, trade unionism, pay and pay equity, vocational education and inequality in the labour market. Barbara has been the recipient of many grants and was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship to study the intersections between work, family and community for 5 years, 2003-2007. She lives in Adelaide, South Australia, and is a mother of two.

For Barbara Pocock's Current Full Curriculm Vitae
Image and short 
Biography for introductions


Living Low Paid

2012 book - Time Bomb: Work Rest and Play in Australia Today. 

Co-authored with Natalie Skinner and Philippa Williams, New South Books, AU$34.95. Order at:


2008 book - Living Low Paid: The Dark Side of Prosperous Australia

Allen & Unwin, Sydney. Written by Helen Masterman-Smith and Barbara Pocock. For details visit:

Kids Count

2007 book - Kids count: better early childhood education and care in Australia

Edited by Elizabeth Hill, Barbara Pocock and Alison Elliott Sydney University Press, Sydney, 2007.  Click here to order:

The Labour Market Ate My Babies

2006 book - The Labour Market Ate My Babies: Work, Children and a Sustainable Future


The Work Life Collision

2003 book - The Work/Life Collision. What Work is Doing to Australians and What to
Do About It



1997 book - Strife: Sex and Politics in Labour Unions Allen & Unwin, Sydney