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The Economic Society of Australia presents annual awards to recognise distinguished economists in Australia for their contribution to the development of economics.

Since the Women in Economics Network was established in 2017, the network has been actively ensuring that deserving female economists are included among the short-listed candidates for the annual awards presented by the ESA. WEN also proposed for a modification to be made to the eligibility criteria for the Young Economist Awards to recognise the impact of parental and caring responsibilities, and other forms of interruptions, that can disproportionately affect women's careers.

Prior to 2017:

  • The ESA Distinguished Fellow Award, incepted in 1987, had been presented to only two female economists – Professor Helen Hughes AO in 2004 and Professor Maureen Brunt AO in 2006.

  • The Honorary Fellow Award, incepted in 2006, had never been awarded to a female economist.

  • The Young Economist Award, incepted in 2007, had never been awarded to a female economist.

  • The Distinguished Public Policy Award, incepted in 2014, had never been awarded to a female economist.


Professor Helen Hughes AO
Distinguished Fellow Award, 2004


Professor Maureen Brunt AO
Distinguished Fellow Award, 2006

WEN is happy to report that the proportion of female recipients of the ESA awards has risen since we began our shortlisting efforts in 2017. We warmly congratulate the following worthy recipients:

Professor Alison Booth
Distinguished Fellow Award, 2017


Danielle Wood
Honorary Fellow Award, 2017

Professor Rachel Ong ViforJ (Left) - Young Economist Award, 2018
Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark (Right) - Distinguished Fellow Award, 2018
Awarded by ESA President Dr Matthew Butlin (centre)

Professor Sue Richardson
Distinguished Public Policy Fellow Award, 2019

Professor Gigi Foster
Young Economist Award, 2019

Professor Stefanie Schurer
Young Economist Award, 2021

More information about the ESA Awards, including the citations for the recipients, can be found on the ESA Awards webpage.

If you would like to nominate a distinguished economist who is eligible for these awards, please get in touch with your WEN Branch.

WEN hopes to be able to offer further awards for contribution to economic research, policy and service to the profession in future years.

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