Associate Professor Natasha Cortis

Associate Professor Natasha Cortis

Associate Professor

BEc(SocSc) Hons PhD Syd

Arts,Design & Architecture
Social Policy Research Centre


Dr Natasha Cortis, BEc(SocSci) Hons PhD (Syd), is Associate Professor at the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC). Her work explores the organisation, delivery, and evaluation of human services, focusing on funding, workforce and sustainability in the not-for-profit sector; quality, safety and regulation in community service markets; and women's employment and economic security. 

Recent commissioned projects include:

- Gender-based Occupational Segregation: A National Data Profile (for the Fair Work Commission, 2023). The report, data file, and President's Statement can be found here and additional coverage is here.

- the Australian Community Sector Survey (with ACOSS and the COSS network, 2019-23)

- Work, family and care in Australian retail (with SDA, 2021). Read the report: Challenges of Work, Family and Care for Australia's Retail, Online Retail, Warehousing and Fast Food Workers  Media coverage: watch or read

Costing community services in the ACT (with ACTCOSS, 2021)

- the disability workforce in 2020 (with the Health Services Union, Australian Services Union and United Workers Union). Evidence to the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS is here.

- person-centred models in aged care (with Macquarie University, RMIT University, the Health Services Union and United Voice, 2019);

Evaluation of 1800RESPECT 2018-19;

- National Survey of the Domestic and Family Violence and Sexual Assault Workforces in Australia (commissioned by Department of Social Services, 2017-18). Datasets are here;

- analysing regulatory data from the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission to develop new knowledge about charities' characteristics, activities and finances (2015-18); 

- analysing the impact of NDIS pricing arrangements on service quality and decent work (with the Health Services Union, Australian Services Union and United Voice, 2017);

workforce issues in community services (with NCOSS and Homelessness NSW, 2017); 

- and an ARC Linkage Project examining government purchasing of child welfare services in China (2017-20). 

From 2014 to 2016 Natasha led a study of strategies to promote women's economic security following domestic violence, funded by Australia's National Research Organisation on Women's Safety. Evidence provided to the Fair Work Commission can be found here. Dr Cortis' submission to the Australian Parliament's inquiry into market readiness of the NDIS can be found here.   

Google scholar profile.



HDR Supervision:

Natasha is currently supervising PhD candidates:  Axelle Marjolin (with Abigail Powell); Karen Wilcox (with Ilan Katz);  Eugenia Marembo (with kylie valentine); and Molly Saunders (with Georgia van Toorn and Gemma Carey). Recent HDR completions include Valeriia Kasatkina (supervised with Fiona Hilferty); Georgia van Toorn (with Karen Soldatic) and Tammy Burnstock (with Bettina Cass).

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2021- Norm Smith Publication in Social Work Research Award. Awarded for best article in Australian Social Work, won jointly for article co-authored with Kate Seymour, Kris Natalier and Sarah Wendt, for article titled Which Models of Supervision Help Retain Staff? Findings From Australia’s Domestic and Family Violence and Sexual Assault Workforces. 

2018- Mary Parker Follett Award for Theory Informed Research. Awarded by the United States Network for Social Work Management for the article Working Time in Public, Private, and Nonprofit Organizations: What Influences Prospects for Employee Control? (co-authored with Dr Abigail Powell)

2018- Dean's Award for Social Impact. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW. Awarded for research on NDIS pricing (with Dr Fiona Macdonald, Dr Bob Davidson and Eleanor Bentham)

2015- Award for Excellence in Evaluation. Awarded by the Australasian Evaluation Society for contribution to the 'Keep them Safe' evaluation.

2012- Norm Smith Publication in Social Work Research Award. Awarded for best article in Australian Social Work, won jointly for article co-authored with Professor Gabrielle Meagher for article titled Social Work Education as Preparation for Practice: Evidence from a Survey of the New South Wales Community Sector. 

2008- Vice Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, UNSW

1999- Women in Politics Prize, Australasian Political Studies Association and the Institute of Public Administration Australia (for article titled Gender, Pay Equity, and Human Service Work: A NSW Case Study).