Professor Tony Vinson

Social scientist, former Head NSW Corrective Services

Professor Tony Vinson

Professor Tony Vinson’s professional career has alternated between academic appointments and government and community positions. He has held professorial appointments in Behavioural Science in Medicine at the University of Newcastle and Social Work at the University of NSW and has held visiting professorships in Sweden and Holland. In the early 1970s, he was Foundation Director of the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research and from 1979 to 1981 he headed the NSW Department of Corrective Services during a period of intense reform following a Royal Commission into the state’s prison system.

In 2001 he was invited to chair a year long Independent Inquiry into Public Education in NSW and he is currently an Emeritus Professor of the University of New South Wales and an Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, Sydney University. Tony recently published a book on Goulburn in the 19th Century called Tenant in the Cathedral.


See below for a preview of Tony’s interview.

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"The one thing I can’t change is you’re in here, but we can make it as civilised as we possibly can."

- Professor Tony Vinson

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"I realised that I was mixing with a cross-section of basically working background people….not all that unlike my relatives, and people I knew."

- Professor Tony Vinson

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"I could see great merit in the very early establishment of the working relationship with the prisoners, the cultivation of, the encouragement of aspirations for the future."

- Professor Tony Vinson