Associate Professor Cassandra Star

Associate Professor

College of Business, Government and Law

place Social Science South (331)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

I am Associate Professor of Public Policy in the College of Business, Government and Law. I lead the Climate and Sustainability Policy Research (CASPR) group. I am currently Research Theme Leader for Flinders Government. I have previously been Head of Department of Politics and Public Policy at Flinders University. I have an Honours degree from Griffith University and a PhD from Monash University.

My research is concentrated on the interface between politics and the policy process and the subsequent impact of these dynamics on policy formulation. The ways in which stakeholders shape the climate policy agenda is the current focus of my work. My research has attracted over $830 000 in funding, including Category 1 funding. I have been awarded visiting appointments and esteemed fellowships, including by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. I review grant applications for prestigious national and international schemes.

I am highly sought after to provide advice and professional development services to state and federal government agencies. Clients have included the South Australian Department of State Development, ReturnToWorkSA and HealthWorkforce Australia. I have chaired government boards, including for the Department of Education and Child Development. I was the academic coordinator of the Public Sector Management Program for the Australian Public Service Commission from 2013-2015 and managed the team that delivered this $1.6m dollar project from Flinders University. I am a member of the Institute of Public Administration, South Australian branch’s Strategic Advisory Committee.

I am an outstanding, internationally recognised innovative educator. I am the recipient of eight teaching awards across my career, including two prestigious Office of Learning and Teaching competitive National Citations for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.

I provide significant leadership within political science nationally and internationally, including convening the Environmental Politics and Policy Standing Committee for the Australian Political Science Association.

  • PhD Monash University
  • Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching and Learning University of Southern Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science (Australian Environmental Studies) Hons (I) Griffith University
  • Bachelor of Science (Australian Environmental Studies) Griffith University
Honours, awards and grants

Honours and Awards

  • Office of Learning and Teaching Citation (2014) - For over two decades of empowering and supporting individuals to develop their political identity and engage with the political world, enabling active global citizens.
  • Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Teaching Award (2010).
  • Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation - For Institutional Leadership in Creating and Sustaining a University-wide Situated Professional Development Initiative to Improve Learning and Teaching Quality by Empowering Academic Teaching Staff (2009).
  • Membership, Flinders University College of Distinguished Educators (2009).
  • Membership, University of Southern Queensland Teaching Academy (2008).
  • Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (2007).
  • Excellence in Design and Delivery of Teaching Materials (2007).


  • Cassandra Star, Peter Tangney, Beverley Clarke and Joshua Newman. 2019-2020. Developing policy expertise and a toolkit for evidence-based coordination of national climate resilience using a co-design professional development approach. Department of Defence, Strategic Policy Grants Program $125877.51
  • Christian Leuprecht and Cassandra Star. 2019. Geostrategic Futures in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. Department of Defence, Strategic Policy Grants Program $122409.50.36
  • Cassandra Star. Visiting Fellowship. Centre for the Study of Australian Politics. Australian National University.
  • Cassandra Star and Helen McLaren, 2018. (Australia Indonesia Institute / Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade). $30000. Women's public sector leadership: Learning from what works.
  • Cassandra Star, 2012. (Flinders University Re-Entry Fellowship). $49497. Understanding state-civil society engagement by analysing the relationship between ENGOs, citizens and the state in periods of significant political change.
  • Cassandra Star & Jacquelin McDonald, 2010. (ALTC). $218000. Identifying, building and sustaining leadership capacity for communities of practice in higher education.
Key responsibilities
Teaching interests

As a tertiary educator of over twenty years’ standing, I have made a significant contribution to the transition of students from diverse backgrounds and pathways into tertiary education. I have also engaged students in reflecting about their place in the social and political world, introduced them to the ways in which their personal choices are political, and demonstrated how political events affect them personally.

I have taught students across a range of contexts and from a diversity of backgrounds: international students, students from rural backgrounds, distance learning students, first-in-family students, those from lower SES backgrounds, students from alternative entry pathways, Indigenous students and incarcerated students studying externally.

My personal philosophy of teaching is to place the development of the individual learner at the centre of all I do. My approach to teaching diverse cohorts of undergraduate and postgraduate students centres on dialogue, investigation and making connections between politics and daily life. I emphasise communication and a supportive learning environment. I recognise each student’s particular learning interests and needs, and provide individual help, feedback and engagement as needed to support their development.

In my current role, I teach postgraduate students in a vocationally-focused program. I aim to provide an appreciation and understanding of theory and scholarly practice, especially in relation to environmental policy and research skills. I do this via my teaching in two specialised topics (POAD9129 Environmental policy and governance and POLI9004 The politics of climate change), and my coordination of our capstone experience topics (POAD9140 Public policy internship, POAD9057 Professional research project and POAD9150/9050 Masters project/dissertation). I bring to this context significant experience and expertise, and a scholarly approach to teaching that has been recognised by a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching and Learning with Dean’s commendation.

Topic coordinator
POAD9129 Environmental Policy and Governance
Supervisory interests
Australian government and politics
Australian politics
Climate change
Climate policy
Climate resilience
Comparative politics, Australia, Canada, USA
Environment movements
Environment policy
Environmental politics
Natural resource management
New social movements
Non-government organisations
Policy Formation
Politics of energy policy debate
Public policy
Public policy development
Public policy evaluation and development
Social movement activism
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Climate Change Policy (2), Feminist organisations and domestic violence (1)
Associate supervisor: Child health policy (1), Retirement planning (1)
Principal supervisor: Young people and violence (1), Climate change policy (3), Global justice (1)
Associate supervisor: Federalism and International Relations (1), Food policy and public health (1), Decentralization in Indonesia (1)
Higher degree by research student achievements
Ben Lohmeyer

Winner, Flinders University 3MT Competition - AUG 2014

Han Lin

Higher Degree Publication Prize - NOV 2016

Ben Lohmeyer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Best Higher Degree by Research Student Publication, Flinders University ($1000 prize) - NOV 2018

Ben Lohmeyer

Student Publication Prize (x2), School of Social and Policy Studies, Flinders University ($300 prize) - NOV 2017

Find an expert

Search for experts by name, research, topic or role.

Filter by: