Citizenship, global citizenship, social participation and engagement
Education policy and strategy
Professional practice / workforce development
Social change and young people
Social inequalities, learning and work
Young people and wellbeing
Dr Ani Wierenga is an Honorary Senior Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences, and the Academic Coordinator of the University’s postgraduate programs run through the School of Paediatrics in the School of Medicine. She is based with the vibrant team at the Centre for Adolescent Health, the University of Melbourne.
She is passionate about shaping the types of futures we are creating locally and globally, for and with younger generations. Her interests cut across the spheres of learning, wellbeing, citizenship and social participation. Investigating ways to make better (or liveable) futures through research, teaching, policy and planning projects, she works with a broad range of actors towards developing strategies for transformative learning. These include young people, professionals, communities, programs, governments, departments, local and international non-government and multi-lateral organisations.
With a commitment to strengthening international conversations about social change and young people, she is Past President (2014-18) of the Youth Research Committee (RC34) of the International Sociological Association and has held advisory and education strategy development roles with UNESCO (2016-18).
A current fascination is about investigating the concept of impact, and on pushing the edges on the ways in which a university, (or other organisation), might understand and demonstrate its contribution to public value. What does it mean to develop Global Citizens and Engaged Students? Currently she co-leads a pilot project with Gavan McCarthy and team from the eScholarship Research Centre, sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor Office, Chancellery Engagement, and Advancement, Alumni. Ani Wierenga was awarded one of the University of Melbourne's inaugural Future Generation Fellowships (2008-11), a role designed specifically to address contemporary social issues, by working collaboratively across disci
International Sociological Association (ISA), Research Committee 34: Sociology of Youth.
Vice President, Australia New Zealand and Oceania (elected for term 2006-2010) 2009 - 2022
SPIRAL: Systemic - Participatory - Inquiry - Research - Action ~ Learning. Victorian Action Research Network.
member 2005 - 2011
Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY).
New Investigators Network, Extended Member 2008 - 2010
SPIRAL: Systemic - Participatory - Inquiry - Research - Action - Learning. Victorian Action Research Network.
participant 2005 - 2010
Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC).
Elected Member of National Representative Committee 2008 - 2009
The Australian Sociological Association (TASA).
1. Competitive grants:
A Wierenga Young people in context: enhancing youth and community wellbeing,
University of Melbourne Inaugural Future Generation Fellowship,
awarded October 2007 for 2008-11
A Wierenga, J Wyn, J.R Guevara, A Gough, and S Dyer,
Youth led learning: local connections and global citizenship,
Australian Research Council Linkage Project LP0882159
University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Plan International (Australia),
awarded September 2007 for 2008-10
A Wierenga, Schools and sustainable futures for young people in disadvantaged areas,
Melbourne Graduate School of Education Staff Competitive Research Grants Scheme,
awarded in December 2008 for 2009
A Wierenga, Making a rural village: fifteen years on,
University of Melbourne Early Career Researcher Grant Scheme,
awarded September 2007 for 2008
Education and training
University of Tasmania 2001
University of Tasmania 1995
Awards and honors
Early Career Scholarship, 2007, Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth,
Staff Research Award 2008, Melbourne Graduate School of Education,
Policy and Research Award 2007, Australasian Evaluation Society,