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Vale Emerita Professor Ann Harding AO | Founder and Former Director of NATSEM UC

It was with much sadness that the University learned of the passing of Emerita Professor Ann Harding AO.

Professor Harding was the founder and inaugural Director of the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM). She founded the Centre in January 1993 and held the position of Director for 16 years before stepping down in mid-2009 to take on a research-based role within NATSEM and the University of Canberra. In 2011, Professor Harding was bestowed the title of Emerita Professor by UC.

Professor Harding led the development of highly sophisticated microsimulation models and databases, so that policy makers can gain much better information about the likely distributional impact of current and proposed policies.

More recently Professor Harding steered microsimulation modelling in Australia beyond its traditional 'tax and social security' focus to such new areas as health, aged care, housing and regional issues, with the goal of extending sophisticated quantitative decision-support tools to policy makers in these areas. This research was largely financed through ARC and NHMRC grants.

Professor Harding published widely on income inequality, poverty, and the distributional impact of government programs, and was a prolific contributor to public policy debate in Australia.

In 1996 Professor Harding was elected a fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and served as elected President of the International Microsimulation Association from 1993 to 2011. She served on a range of government and academic boards and advisory committees.

In 2008 Professor Harding was one of the 1000 Australians selected to attend the Prime Minister's 2020 Summit. Prior to joining NATSEM, Ann worked on policy and research within the Federal departments of Social Security, Treasury and Health, Housing and Community Services.

In 2013, Professor Harding was awarded a special award for Long Term Contribution to Research in the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards.  In 2016 she was awarded an AO in the Australia Day Honours for her distinguished service to education in the field of applied economics and social policy analysis, as an academic, researcher and author, and to professional organisations.

The Ann Harding Conference Centre at UC was named in recognition of her contribution to the University.

We extend our condolences to her family and friends during this time.