Vale Associate Professor Christine Alder
It is with great sadness that the discipline of Criminology and the School of Social and Political Sciences learnt of the death of Associate Professor Christine Alder.
Professor Alder was a vital part of the development of Criminology at The University of Melbourne. She came to the University from the University of Oregon in 1983, where she had completed her PhD, and stayed at the University until her retirement as Associate Professor in Criminology in 2004. She continued at the University in an honorary role after her retirement.
Professor Alder was a leader in the field of gender, young people and crime. Her pioneering work in juvenile justice was instrumental in bringing to light the importance of opportunities for a rewarding and meaningful life for all young people, including those caught up in the juvenile justice system, irrespective of background, gender or race. Her public work extended the influence of her academic expertise through roles on the Youth Parole Board and Youth Residential Board she held for over 12 years. She was awarded the Distinguished Criminologist Award by the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology in 2014. The Society also created the Christine M Alder book prize in her honour. In addition to her teaching and research, Professor Alder is well remembered at the University for her passion in supporting graduate students. She was a dedicated supervisor, building close, long-term mentoring relationships with many of her PhD graduates many of whom are now successful senior women in their own right.
Professor Alder well understood her own career as a product of both biography and history, an understanding that was reflected in her own research. Descended from a 14-year-old convict, James Alder transported to Australia in 1818, Professor Alder faced her own challenges as a single mother determined to complete a Bachelor of Arts at La Trobe University in 1977. She would often tell of the importance of Gough Whitman's policy on free higher education in setting her on the path to her academic career. Many Criminologists will remember Professor Alder's contributions and the role she played in their own academic development. Through her passionate commitment to women, universal human rights and justice, Professor Alder was an exemplar of Criminology - bold, strong and an inspiration for others to go beyond themselves to make the world a fairer place.