Professor Hurriyet Babacan

Hurriyet Babacan


Professorial Research Fellow


Rural Economies Centre of Excellence



Areas of research & interest:

  • Community transitions and pathways
  • regional workforce development
  • regional connectivity
  • climate change and livelihoods
  • circular economy and resilience

Research Institution:

Geographic Coverage:



Professor Hurriyet is Professorial Fellow, Economic and Policy Development at The Cairns Institute, James Cook University. Hurriyet has a distinguished career over the last 25 years in senior roles in higher education, public private partnerships and the public sector. She has held roles such as the Victorian Manager of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet; Executive Director, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Pro Vice-Chancellor; CEO of number of organisations including local government; and director of research institutes.  

Hurriyet is well recognised nationally and internationally including publications, keynote presentations, capacity building and other activities.   She has been a member of high-profile international working parties such as the wellbeing working party of Council of Europe and OECD and steering committee member of the United Nations-Queensland Government Engaging Communities initiatives, including a major global conference on community engagement. She has recently completed a TEDx talk on Inclusive Economic Development. Her recent research related to regional workforce development, regional connectivity, climate change and livelihoods, circular economy and resilience. 

Hurriyet has been recognised for her work through a number of awards including the Order of Australia (AM) in 2014, Bi-Centenary Medal awarded by the Prime Minister, Telstra Business Women’s Award and the Multicultural Services Award. She is listed in the Australian Women’s Archives as an Australian women leader.