Teaching and Research Staff

Dr Emma Rush

Lecturer in Philosophy
Wagga Wagga
Building 26 Office 221


Dr Emma Rush brings ethical knowledge, and the clarity and rigour that are characteristic philosophical skills, to areas outside philosophy. Emma holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Philosophy and French and a PhD in Philosophy, both from the University of Melbourne.

Emma is a member of the International Network of Co-operative Inquirers and a member of the Environmental and Social Justice research group at Charles Sturt University.

As the lead author of two papers on the sexualisation of children released by the Australia Institute in 2006 (www.tai.org.au), Emma prompted considerable public debate, ultimately leading to a Senate Inquiry into the issue. Emma continues to work in areas related to the issue of the sexualisation of children, producing pieces variously addressed to academic, professional and general audiences.

In 2013, Emma received a Charles Sturt University Faculty of Arts Teaching Award (Individual).

Selected Media Pieces

Rush, E. (2012) 'Girls on film: Could new regulations stop the sexualisation of children?' The Conversation, May 24, http://theconversation.edu.au/girls-on-film-could-new-regulations-stop-the-sexualisation-of-children-6762.

Rush, E. and Norma, C. (2012) 'Sexed up tween advertising shows fashion needs to grow up', Sydney Morning Herald, February 16, http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/sexed-up-tween-advertising-shows-fashion-needs-to-grow-up-20120215-1t788.html.

Rush, E. (2012), 'Teens have hearts, not just bodies', Melinda Tankard Reist (Blog), February 8, http://melindatankardreist.com/2012/02/teens-have-hearts-not-just-bodies/.

Rush, E. (2012), 'Media must do better on porn debate', ABC Religion and Ethics, February 1, http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2012/02/01/3420737.htm. 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: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/drive/can-an-anti-abortion-activist-be-called-a-feminist3f/3816694

As a lecturer in philosophy and ethics, Emma teaches professional ethics for human services, health, and creative industries students, as well as history of philosophy subjects.

Emma has taught the following subjects at Charles Sturt University.

Philosophy Subjects:

  • Applied Ethics (PHL101)
  • 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) (module on ethics only)
  • 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)

During her doctoral studies and early in her academic career, Emma provided intellectual leadership and pastoral care as a residential academic staff member at Whitley College and later at Queen's College, both associated with the University of Melbourne. During this period, she also tutored across a range of disciplines (philosophy, politics, and sustainability) at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University.

Research Interests

Emma was a member of the former Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. Her research in the areas of philosophy and ethics encompasses three main areas:

  • professional ethics, with a particular strength in social work and human services ethics and a developing project on resilience;
  • applied ethics, including her nationally significant work on the sexualisation of children, and a developing project on ethics in the creative industries; and
  • environmental ethics.


Emma's publications are listed on her research profile.


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

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