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Ani Wierenga

Academic Coordinator -Adolescent Health & Wllbeing
social sciences
social issues
social change
alternative education
Ani Wierenga's Profile Picture

Ani Wierenga

Medicine, Dentistry And Health Sciences
Primary Interest
Ani Wierenga's Profile Picture

Ani Wierenga


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).
Research Focus
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 disciplines and sectors. This research program has focussed on the social and structural conditions that support young people's wellbeing, learning and engagement, in a fast-changing world. The projects have had a mix of local Australian and regional (Asia-Pacific) focus. This fellowship was based at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, through the Australian Youth Research Centre, in association with the McCaughey Centre (Public Health), and the Nossal Institute (Global Health), in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.
Ani was the Chief Investigator on Australian Research Council funded Linkage Project called Youth led learning: local connections and global citizenship, with Johanna Wyn (University of Melbourne), Jose Roberto Guevara, Annette Gough (RMIT University) and Sarah Dyer, Plan International (Australia) (2008-11). Partnering with Plan International, this research explores the processes which enhance civic engagement in local and global issues by school-aged youth, across international contexts.

Scholarly Works

Displaying the 39 most recent scholarly works by Ani Wierenga.

Honours, Awards and Fellowships


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


University of Melbourne Future Fellowship





Academic Coordinator -Adolescent Health & Wllbeing

Paediatrics Royal Children'S Hospital


Social And Political Sciences


Paediatrics Royal Children'S Hospital

Vice President, Australia New Zealand And Oceania (Elected For Term 2006-2010)

International Sociological Association (ISA), Research Committee 34: Sociology of Youth

Elected Member Of National Representative Committee

Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC)


The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)

New Investigators Network, Extended Member

Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY)


SPIRAL: Systemic - Participatory - Inquiry - Research - Action ~ Learning. Victorian Action Research Network


SPIRAL: Systemic - Participatory - Inquiry - Research - Action - Learning. Victorian Action Research Network


Consulting Editorial Group, Youth Studies Australia


Doctor of Philosophy

University of Tasmania

Bachelor of Arts (honours)

University of Tasmania