Dr Georgia   Van Toorn
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Georgia Van Toorn

D.Phil. University of Glasgow and University of New South Wales 2019


B. Social Research and Policy (with a major in Politics and International Relations) – First Class Honors and the University Medal, University of New South Wales 2009-2012

Arts,Design & Architecture
Disability Innovation Inst

Georgia is a political sociologist whose research interests lie at the intersection of political economy, social policy and critical disability studies. Her research program comprises a series of projects that investigate the neoliberal restructuring of social welfare regimes through the prisms of disability, work and technology. This includes work on the marketisation of disability services and the introduction of algorithmic technologies into disability support and social security regimes, both in Australia and internationally. As a postdoctoral fellow at the ADM+S Centre (UNSW node), Georgia is currently developing new work with Professor Jackie Leach Scully (CI) in the Health focus area and People program, exploring disabled people's understandings and experiences of algorithmic governance in Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Room 315 John Goodsell Building


  • Books | 2021
    Van Toorn G, 2021, The New Political Economy of Disability Transnational Networks and Individualised Funding in the Age of Neoliberalism
  • Journal articles | 2021
    Cortis N; Van Toorn G, 2021, 'Safeguarding in Australia’s new disability markets: Frontline workers’ perspectives', Critical Social Policy, pp. 026101832110206 - 026101832110206, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/02610183211020693
    Journal articles | 2021
    van Toorn G, 2021, 'Neoliberalism’s friends, foes and fellow travellers: What can radical feminist and disability perspectives bring to the policy mobilities approach?', Environment and Planning A, vol. 53, pp. 723 - 740, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0308518X20969419
    Journal articles | 2017
    Spurway KS; Soldatic K; Somers K; Van Toorn G, 2017, 'Emplacing Indigeneity and rurality in neoliberal disability welfare reform: The lived experience of Aboriginal people with disabilities in the West Kimberley, Australia', Environment and Planning A: international journal of urban and regional research, vol. 49, pp. 2342 - 2361, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0308518X17718374
    Journal articles | 2016
    Van Toorn G; Dowse L, 2016, 'Policy claims and problem frames: A cross-case comparison of evidence-based policy in an Australian context', Evidence and Policy, vol. 12, pp. 9 - 24, http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/174426415X14253873124330
    Journal articles | 2016
    Dowse L; Soldatic K; Spangaro J; Van Toorn G, 2016, 'Mind the gap: The extent of violence against women with disabilities in Australia: The', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 51, pp. 341 - 359, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/j.1839-4655.2016.tb01235.x
    Journal articles | 2015
    van Toorn G; Soldatic KM, 2015, 'Disability, rights realisation, and welfare provisioning: What is it about Sweden?', Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, vol. 2, pp. 109 - 115, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23297018.2015.1089185
    Journal articles | 2014
    Soldatic K; van Toorn G; Dowse L; Muir K, 2014, 'Intellectual Disability and Complex Intersections: Marginalisation under the National Disability Insurance Scheme', Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, vol. 1, pp. 6 - 16, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23297018.2014.906050
  • Reports | 2020
    Hamilton M; Hodgson H; Bradbury B; Ip M; Adamson E; Van Toorn G, 2020, Security in old age for older single women without children, https://www.sydney.edu.au/content/dam/corporate/documents/business-school/research/women-work-leadership/security-in-old-age-for-older-single-women-without-children-report.pdf
    Reports | 2020
    Cortis N; Van Toorn G, 2020, Working in new disability markets: A survey of Australia's disability workforce, Social Policy Research Centre, Sydney, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/5eb8b85e97714
    Reports | 2020
    Cortis N; Van Toorn G, 2020, The disability workforce and COVID-19: initial experiences of the outbreak, Social Policy Research Centre, Sydney, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/5eb0e680cbb04


Dean's Prize for Research (Society) Impact Award (2014)

Australian Post-graduate Award, 2013-2017

Research Excellence Award 2013-2015

U21 Joint PhD Research Scholarship, 2013

University Medal (Social Research and Policy Hons 2012)




NDIS Workforce Research (CI)

Funding bodies: Health Services Union, Australian Services Union (ASU) and United Workers Union (UWU)

February 2020 – May 2020

Amount allocated: $33,000

This project explores the status of the workforce delivering disability services in the context of the NDIS in early 2020. In partnership with the three unions, the research team will develop a survey and capture information from disability workers about their characteristics, the nature of their work and job quality, their experiences and perceptions of delivering services and supports to people with disability, health and safety, and other workforce issues. The findings will provide a current profile of the disability workforce to provide a basis for evidence-informed policy development and advocacy and inform public debate and directions for further research.