Professor Melissa Bull is the founding Director of the QUT Centre for Justice. In this role, she leads around 80 researchers and 50 postgraduate students in diverse areas of research and practice related to social and criminal justice. The Centre for Justice is a think tank for social justice that aims to empower and enable citizens, consumers and communities through solutions-oriented research. Its vision is to democratise justice by improving opportunities for health and well-being and enhancing the inclusiveness of work and education while widening access to justice. Melissa has held a number of research leadership roles, including the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (2012-15) and leader of the Justice, Law and Society research program in the Griffith Criminology Institute (2016-2019).
Melissa's two main areas of research include drug regulation and policing diversity. Melissa has published widely on drug regulation and drug control, sentencing and punishment, long term immigration detention, community policing and diversity, counter terrorism narratives and prevention programs, youth radicalisation, gender violence in Pacific island states, and pervasive bias and discrimination in the criminal justice system. Melissa is committed to working with communities and governments to promote fair and equitable practice in society. She is a contributor to ‘The Conversation’, with her most recent article focusing on the meaning of ‘shared responsibility’ in a disaster. Her work on improving resilience and rethinking disaster recovery responsibility was also highlighted in a ‘Centre for Justice Day’ which she recently organised. Melissa’s long-standing work on gender violence has led to substantive change in practice both within Australia and internationally. She has been instrumental in the Women’s Butterfly Project, which aims to empower mature women at risk of homelessness. In the past year, she has published on policing and gender violence in Vanuatu, exploring women’s experiences of gender-based violence and other threats to safety in Bangladesh, gender violence in the global south, and women and policing in the South Pacific.