Jane Anderson

Dr, DipTh UNDA, Grad Dip Sp Dir ACAS, BA Curtin, BA Hons, PhD

  • The University of Western Australia (M257), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated using citation counts from Scopus for publications in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository
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Personal profile


Jane Anderson is a social anthropologist and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia. Her earlier research focused on key issues in the Roman Catholic Church, including gender and sexuality, parish conflict and clergy sex offending. In 2010 she was awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship to examine the relationship between State and Church through the lens of a progressive religious movement in the Roman Catholic Church.

In recent years, her attention has turned to restorative justice and its practice in the criminal justice system. She was a scholar-facilitator of an inprison restorative justice program, the Sycamore Tree Project for five years. Since then, she has developed, with the support and input of an Aboriginal community, a culturally responsive restorative justice process named Journey Ways which is currently being piloted. Similarly, she is developing a secular in-prison restorative justice process for crime victims and incarcerated offenders.

Additionally, Jane has been involved in establishing a community support service for individuals and family members impacted by methamphetamine and other drugs. This has led to a scholarly interest in investigating how peer workers support drug users seeking recovery from the multiple consequences of their drug use.

Jane has a track record of linking her scholarly work with her community work. This has been acknowledged in her being a nominee for the Bunbury Australia Day Citizen of the Year (2019). The community support service (Doors Wide Open), which she Chairs, was a joint winner of the Bunbury Australia Day Community Group of the Year (2019).

Roles and responsibilities

Jane has considerable expertise in the fields of Roman Catholicism and its various conflicts, progressive religion, the relationship between Church and State, and clergy sex offenders.

As a scholar/practitioner of restorative justice processes in the context of the prison, she is also developing expertise in this field.

Jane is a qualified Spiritual Director. This 'expertise' contributes to her capacity to maintain links with progressive religion, the latter which has significance for inprison restorative justice processes.

Jane is strongly committed to contributing to the wellbeing of local communities. Apart from her voluntary prison work, she is also Chair of Doors Wide Open, a community support service for individuals and family members impacted by methamphetamine and other drugs.

Future research

Jane recognises that the potential for investigating and developing research around restorative justice and its practices is immense. She has launched the development and delivery of RJ processes for specific categorical groups. These endeavours will require substantial ongoing enquiry.

Funding overview

She is currently self-funded, but would welcome funding support for her studies and practice of restorative justice.

Previous positions

Jane was a farmer for 11 years. While completing her studies, she took up the position of Director of Catholic Missions.
Jane has long - decades! - been an active member of various community organisations.

Current projects

Jane has recently submitted the following article: Peer workers’ conceptions of drug users and the implications for service provision.

Jane is currently working on the following articles:
1) Supply and Selection of Crime Survivor Participants for Inprison Restorative Justice Programming.

2) An Investigation of Values-Oriented Processes for Prisoners

Industrial relevance

Jane is creating linkages with key leaders to introduce the potential of restorative justice practices for the criminal justice system. To assist with this goal, she has made submissions to the Select Committe into Alternative Approaches to Reducing Illicit Drug Use and Its Effects on the Community. Additionally, in preparation: Submissions to the Inquiry into the Economic Impacts of Mental Ill Health
Jane regularly addresses community organisations on the topics of Restorative Justice, and the "Forgotten" Children of Prisoners.


Jane has published extensively on significant issues in the Roman Catholic Church. Most notably, Priests in Love: Roman Catholic Clergy and Their Intimate Relationships (Continuum, 2005); Souled Out: Power and Protest in the Catholic Church (2012); Innovative Catholicism and the Human Condition (2016). Jane recognises these works as commentaries on the contemporary social situation, which, further, inform her current studies writings on restorative justice.

External positions

Chairperson, Doors Wide Open, Inc.

1 Sep 2017 → …

Research expertise keywords

  • Religion
  • Catholicism
  • Sexuality and gender
  • restorative justice
  • Prison education
  • problematic drug use


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