Professor David Bright is a criminologist and forensic psychologist. Prior to a career in academia, he worked in a range of clinical and forensic settings including community mental health services, police agencies, courts, and prisons. After completing a PhD in forensic psychology in 2008, Professor Bright joined the National Drug and Alcohol Centre at UNSW, where he conducted research on illicit drug markets and organised criminal groups. In 2012 he commenced a teaching and research position with the School of Social Sciences at UNSW where he subsequently took up the role of Deputy Head of School (Research). In 2016, he was appointed Associate Dean Research for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UNSW. He commenced at Flinders University in 2017.
Professor Bright's research interests include criminal networks, organised crime, terrorism, drugs and crime, and desistance from crime. He is Director of the Flinders Illicit Networks Lab which conducts ground-breaking research using social network analysis and related approaches to study organised criminal groups and terrorist groups. He is also convenor of the ANZSOC Thematic Group on Illicit Networks.
Professor Bright has been Chief Investigator on five consecutive ARC funded projects as well as projects funded by industry and government (ie Category 2 and 3 funds). He is the author (with Associate Professor Chad Whelan) of Organised Crime and Law Enforcement: A Network Perspective (published by Routledge in 2021).
Graduate Certificate in University Learning and Teaching, UNSW
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), UNSW
Master of Psychology (Forensic) Honours, UNSW
Bachelor of Science (Psychology) Honours, UNSW
2019: Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation in Teaching Award (Flinders University)
2010: The College of Forensic Psychologists (NSW Section) award for Research and Academic Work.
2010: Dean’s Rising Star Award for significant contributions to research (Faculty of Medicine, UNSW)
2007: Maconochie Award: “Best doctoral thesis on a forensic topic”. (College of Forensic Psychologists, Australian Psychological Society)
Reducing Aboriginal imprisonment: An offence-specific study (ARC DP)
Understanding and preventing gun violence: A qualitative study (ARC DP)
Pathways to radicalisation: Using social network analysis to detect harmful and protective influences within social network (Victorian Government)
Developing automated audio and facial recognition biometrics tools for detecting child exploitation material (Australian Institute of Criminology)
Director, Flinders Illicit Networks Lab
Research Section Head, Criminology and Criminal Justice
Professor Bright has taught a number of criminology topics including those dealing with theories of crime, the criminal justice system, crime policy, policing, prisons, quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and sexual offenders. He has taught at undergradute and postgraduate levels in both criminology and psychology.
Committee Member, Australian Network for Social Network Analysis
Convenor, ANZSOC Thematic Group on Illicit Networks
ERA 2015 & 2018 Peer Reviewer (ARC)
Expert Advisor, NSW Law Reform Commission Parole Reference, Department of Attorney General and Justice.
Member of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Law (ANZAPPL).
Member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC)
Member of the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime (IASOC).
Member of the International Network of Social Network Analysis (INSNA)
Registered with the Psychologists Board of Australia (with endorsement in Forensic Psychology)
Performance Assessor for the Psychology Council of NSW
Member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS); and the APS College of Forensic Psychologists (Past Chair of NSW Section: 2009-2012)
Secretary and Committee member of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Law (ANZAPPL, NSW Branch); Past President: 2004-2006
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