She has a PhD in the Discipline of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. She was awarded the 2005 Jean Martin Award by The Australian Sociological Association for her PhD thesis, Collective identity and Australian Feminist Activism: conceptualising a third wave, which examined the role of young women in contemporary Australian women's movements. In 2009 she was joint winner of the Australian Political Science Association Henry Mayer Award for her book Black Politics: Inside the complexity of Aboriginal political culture. In 2009 she was also part of the Sydney Leadership Program ran by Social Leadership Australia at The Benevolent Society.
Sarah’s research interests include reconciliation and conflict transformation, agonistic democracy, dialogue, and Australian social movements, including research on the Indigenous rights movement and the women’s movement. Sarah has also co-authored two editions of a textbook for students of Australian public policy. Sarah received a 2009 Churchill Fellowship to study models of Indigenous representation in the United States and Canada in 2010. She has been an ARC Discovery Project grant recipient for two completed projects, one considering new possibilities for Indigenous representation (DP0877157) and one considering the evolution of social movements through a study of the Australian women’s movement (DP0878688 with Professor Marian Sawer, ANU), which produced the edited collection The Women's Movement in Protest, Institutions and the Internet: Australia in transnational perspective.
In 2010 Sarah Maddison was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (FT100100253) to undertake a four-year, four-country comparative study of reconciliation and conflict transformation in Australia, South Africa, Northern Ireland and Guatemala. A book analysing the results from this research will be published by Routledge in 2015. She also has a new research project funded in 2014, with colleagues in Melbourne and Canada (DP140102143), that is exploring non-Indigenous pathways to reconciliation.
Books and Articles
- Activist Wisdom: Practical Knowledge And Creative Tension in Social Movements, with Sean Scalmer. UNSW Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0-86840-686-2
- Silencing Dissent: How the Australian Government Is Controlling Public Opinion and Stifling Debate, edited with Clive Hamilton. Allen & Unwin Pty LTD, 2007. ISBN 978-1-74175-101-7
- Collective Identity and Australian Feminist Activism: Conceptualising a Third Wave. VDM Verlag, 2008. ISBN 978-3-639-02768-6
- Black Politics: Inside the Complexity of Aboriginal Political Culture. Allen & Unwin Australia, 2009. ISBN 978-1-74175-698-2
- An Introduction to Australian Public Policy: Theory and Practice, with Richard Denniss. Cambridge University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-521-70571-4
- Beyond White Guilt: The real challenge for Black-White relations in Australia. Allen & Unwin, 2011. ISBN 978-1-74237-328-7
- Unsettling the Settler State: Creativity and Resistance in Indigenous Settler-State Governance, edited with Morgan Brigg. Federation Press, 2011. ISBN 978-1-86287-826-6
- An Introduction to Australian Public Policy, second edition, with Richard Denniss. Cambridge University Press, 2011. ISBN 9781107658257
- The Women's Movement in Protest, Institutions and the Internet: Australia in transnational perspective, edited with Marian Sawer, Routledge, 2013. ISBN 978-0415830904* "Relational Transformation and Agonistic Dialogue in Divided Societies" Political Studies 63:5 (December 2015).
- Maddison scoops sociological award. UNSW News. Retrieved 2009-07-04.