Julia Powles

Associate Professor, BSc (Hons) ANU, LLB (Hons) UWA, BCL Oxon., PhD Cantab.

  • The University of Western Australia (M253), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Julia Powles is Director of The University of Western Australia's Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab and Associate Professor of Law and Technology at UWA Law School. Scientifically trained and experienced in national and international policy-making, Julia’s research focuses on civic and rights-based responses to emerging technologies. She is an expert in privacy, intellectual property, internet governance, and the law and politics of data, automation, and artificial intelligence. Julia is known for her work on data protection law and, in particular, citizens’ rights to correction and explanation, as well as her detailed investigations of Google affiliates DeepMind and Sidewalk Labs and their incursions into health, cities, and governance. She is currently leading major projects on Big Tech culpability with a focus on Facebook/Meta and Uber.

Julia is chief investigator on the Australian Institute of Sport-National Institute Network project on Data Governance for High Performance Sport (2021-22) as well as Co-Chair of the Australian Academy of Science Expert Working Group on Data in Professional Sport (2020-22).

Roles and responsibilities

  • Director, UWA Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab, 2020-present
  • 40 Under 40 Award for Western Australia, 2022
  • Co-Chair, Australian Academy of Science Expert Working Group on Data in Professional Sport, 2020-22
  • Inaugural Be Inspired Appointment, UWA Law School, 2019
  • Innovation Fellow, IQX, 2019
  • Leader, Tech & the Public Interest Research Group, 2019-20

Previous positions

Prior to joining UWA, Julia held academic appointments at New York University, Cornell Tech, and the University of Cambridge. She also worked as a Contributing Editor and Policy Fellow for The Guardian, as Speechwriter for the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, as a Lawyer at MinterElison, and as a Judicial Associate in the Federal Court of Australia and Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal. In 2019-20 she balanced her academic role with 12 months as inaugural CEO, Frontier Technology at Minderoo Foundation. In addition to her academic publications, Julia's writing can be found in the Financial Times, New Yorker, Guardian, One Zero, Wired, and Slate.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy in Law, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 1 Aug 2015

Bachelor of Civil Law (Master's degree), University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Aug 2009

Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours), The University of Western Australia

Award Date: 1 Dec 2006

Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours), Australian National University

Award Date: 1 Dec 2004

Industry keywords

  • Law
  • Government

Research expertise keywords

  • Public Policy
  • Technology
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Big Data
  • Bioscience
  • Health
  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Intellectual Property
  • Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Internet Governance
  • Political Economy


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