Jane Alver

PhD Candidate

Jane Alver has more than 25 years of experience working in the fields of law, governance, gender, and international development. She currently provides gender advice for a government agency in the foreign affairs portfolio.  Jane's areas of expertise include research design in partnership, participatory research, facilitation and training, stakeholder engagement, and strengths-based approaches to development. She has a passion for enabling spaces and conditions for women to step into their own leadership and amplifying the voices of activists, grassroots organisations and communities creating change for gender equality and this is reflected in her areas of research.

She has sectoral experience and expertise related to gender and social inclusion, governance and law. Jane has conducted consultancy and facilitation activities with: World YWCA, Queensland University of Technology, 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, Integrity 20 (Griffith University), Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the London Borough of Brent and the Women and Equality Unit (UK). She has work experience in Australia, Kiribati, England, Nauru, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Tuvalu, Myanmar and PNG.

Jane has served on many boards including YWCA of Australia, YWCA of Canberra, Women Lawyers Association of ACT, Women Lawyers Association of NSW, Canberra Mothercraft Society, and Motivation Australia.

Jane is completing her PhD with the Centre for Deliberative Democracy at the University of Canberra (2021). She holds a Master of Studies (Women’s Studies), University of Oxford, (2004); and a Bachelor of Arts (1992) and Bachelor of Laws Honours (1995), Sydney University.

PhD supervisors

  • A/Prof Selen Ercan (Primary Supervisor)

  • Prof John Dryzek (Secondary Supervisor)

  • Dr Pia Rowe (Secondary Supervisor)


Jane’s PhD thesis is entitled ‘Negotiating Sisterhood in the Pacific Region: Feminist Alliances across Diversity.’  The threat to feminist advocacy and women’s human rights worldwide flags an urgent need to identify what pathways are available for regional collective alliances, and how feminists make use of these pathways in their efforts to respond to the threats they experience and to amplify voices and actions. The thesis investigates the ways feminist civil society actors in the Pacific region respond to the shrinking opportunities for inclusion, and the type of alliances they build to consolidate and amplify their voice in the region. 

More specifically, the thesis seeks to respond to the following questions:

  • What are the prospects and challenges of building regional feminist alliances in the Pacific region?

  • How do the Pacific feminist civil society actors navigate the challenge of building a unified regional voice that is attuned to the differences across the region and its peoples? 

  • What impact, if any, do the feminist alliances have regionally and globally? 

Conference Presentations

  • Alver, J. (2020), Beijing + 25; The way forward: Pacific perspectives, UNSW, December 2020

  • Alver, J. (2020) Pacific Feminism, Oceanic Conference on International Studies, ANU December 2020

  • Alver, J. (2020); Can a t-shirt slogan ever be counted as part of the ‘system’ of reasoned deliberation? Or: Does my activist agenda look big in this? Deliberative Democracy Summer School, Canberra, February 2020

  • Alver, J., O’Keefe, G. and Bosibori, B (2019) Breaking down the binary in agricultural research, Seeds of Change, April 2019, Canberra

  • Alver, J. (2018); Building inclusive young women’s leadership in the Pacific; spaces for change; Political Organisations & Participation workshop, Sydney, November 2018

  • Alver, J. (2018); Regional solutions to global issues: Addressing Marginalisation through the Pacific Feminist Forum, IPSA World Congress, Brisbane, July 2018

  • Alver, J. (2017) Feminist Utopias, ANU, September 2017

  • Alver, J. (2017) ‘Advancing Pacific Regional Feminism through New Spaces for Talk & Action’ , International Studies Association conference, Hong Kong University, June 2017, later published by

  •  Alver, J. (2017) ‘Pacific civil society ‘feminisms’: Where theory and practice meet’, International Feminist Journal of Politics Conference, Delhi, India, April 2017

  • Alver, J. (2017) Achieving a regional sisterhood through democratic dialogue

  • Alver, J. (2016) Feminist democratic innovations in the Pacific region, 2nd Deliberative Democracy Summer School, February 2016, University of Canberra

  • Alver, J. (2016) ‘Innovation and Design Ideas to Capture Community Voice and Vision’, ACT Council of Social Services (ACTCOSS) Conference on ‘Citizen Voice, Community Vision’ 4-5 August 2016, ACT

Key Publications

  • Alver, J. (forthcoming) ‘Negotiating Sisterhood in the Pacific Region: Feminist Alliances Across Diversity.’ Global Policy

  • Bett, B., Alver, J. and O’Keefe, G. (2021) ‘Sexual and Gender Minorities in Agricultural Research: The Hidden Mirror.’ International Journal of Gender Studies in Developing Societies 4(1):

  • Rowe, P. and Alver, J. (2021). ‘Unpaid Labour in Australian Politics’ in Z. Ghazarian and K. Lee-Koo (Eds). Gender Politics: Navigating Political Leadership in Australia, Sydney: NewSouth Books.

  • Alver, J. (2020) ‘Building inclusive young women’s leadership in the Pacific: Spaces for change’ in K. Lee-Koo & L. Pruitt (Eds.) Young Women’s Leadership. London: Routledge

  • Parry, L.J., Thompson, N. and Alver, J. (2019). ‘Democratic Innovation in Australasia’ in S. Elstub and O. Escobar (Eds.) Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.


View Jane Alver’s complete list of publications here.

Scholarships and Prizes

  • 2021     Finalist, ACT Women of the Year Awards

  • 2016       Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship, 3 years 

  • 2017       Travel Grant International Feminist Journal of Politics Journal Conference, New Delhi

  • 2017       Travel Grant International Studies Association Conference, University of Hong Kong

  • 2018       Travel Grant Political Organisation & Participation Workshop, Macquarie University

  • 2019       Travel Grant, Gender in Australian Politics, University of Monash

  • 2018      AFR 100 Women of Influence

  • 2018       VCs Award for Excellence in Diversity for 50/50 by 2030 Foundation team


  • 50/50 by 2030 Foundation Steering Committee 2018 - present

  • IGPA HDR Representative 2017 – 2018

  • Research for Development Impact Network Ethics Advisory Committee 2020

  • Interviewer, Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance’s Book Drop Series.

Public Engagement