Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Dr Emma Rush

Dr Emma Rush


Dr Emma Rush is a lecturer in philosophy and ethics. She teaches professional ethics for human services, health, and creative industries students, as well as history of philosophy subjects. She is nationally recognised for her research on the sexualisation of children. She was the lead author of two papers on the sexualisation of children released by the Australia Institute in 2006 ( These papers prompted considerable public debate, ultimately leading to a Senate Inquiry into the issue. Emma continues to write and speak about the issue of the sexualisation of children to academic, professional and general audiences (links to some of Emma's media pieces appear below). Within applied ethics, Emma's other major research areas are environmental ethics and professional ethics.

Emma previously tutored across a range of disciplines (philosophy, politics, and sustainability) at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University, and has also worked in academic administration and support at University residential colleges associated with the University of Melbourne: Whitley College (2002-2004) and Queen's College (2008).

Selected Media Pieces

Rush, E. (2012) 'Girls on film: Could new regulations stop the sexualisation of children?' The Conversation, May 24,

Rush, E. and Norma, C. (2012) 'Sexed up tween advertising shows fashion needs to grow up', Sydney Morning Herald, February 16,

Rush, E. (2012), 'Teens have hearts, not just bodies', Melinda Tankard Reist (Blog), February 8,

Rush, E. (2012), 'Media must do better on porn debate', ABC Religion and Ethics, February 1, See also the radio conversation which followed from this: 'Can an anti-abortion activist be called a feminist?' ABC Radio National Drive (February 7). Available from:

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Emma has coordinated or taught into the following subjects at CSU:

Philosophy Subjects

  • Applied Ethics (PHL101) (Co-ordination assistance and marking only)
  • Theories of Human Nature (PHL103)
  • Theories of Justice (PHL209)
  • Political Ideas (POL205)

Professional Ethics Subjects


  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Health (LAW131)
  • Bioethics (ETH403)
  • Ethics, Law and Medical Science (SSC502)
  • Discipline of Nursing 2: Health, Law and Ethics (NRS295)
  • Professional Fundamentals (MRS100) (module on ethics and law only)
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Complementary Medicine (LAW304)

Human Services

  • Ethics and Social Work Practice (SWK423)
  • Ethics and Social Welfare (ETH401)
  • Vulnerability and the Ethics of Intervention (ETH402)

Creative Industries

  • Ethics and Law for Creative Industries (ETH205)

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Research Interests

  • Environmental ethics
  • Professional ethics
  • Ethics in public life: sexualisation of children, corporatisation of child care.

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Emma's publications are listed on her research profile.

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  • National Tertiary Education Union
  • Australasian Association of Philosophy
  • Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics

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