Bettina Cass was born in Sydney in 1940. Studying at the University of New South Wales, Cass completed her BA with first class honours (1971) before receiving her PhD (1984), while a Lecturer and Senior Research Fellow in the School of Sociology at the University of New South Wales (1974-80). Cass went on to hold several positions at the University of Sydney, including Personal Chair as Professor in Sociology and Social Policy (1990-2005) and Dean of the Faculty of Arts (1996-2001). She also held the position of Professor of Australian Studies at Georgetown University, Washington DC, between 2001 and 2002. Cass has published widely and internationally renowned for her social policy research on issues such as youth and families, disabilities and ill-health, ageing and the provision of care. Some of her key publications include Contesting the Australian Way (1998) and Divided Society (1998). Cass has also been director of several large governmental inquires and reviews, including serving as Commissioner on the NSW and Commonwealth Law Reform Commissions on social policy, as well as consulting for the OECD on social issues in Eastern Europe (1995). In recognition of her extensive contributions to both research and social policy reform, Cass received the Order of Australia in 1989. Cass is currently Emeritus Professor at the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, and a Fellow of The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.