Skip to content
Curtin University
National Drug Research Institute

Preventing Harmful Drug Use In Australia

NDRI adjunct staff member

Kate Seear photo

Dr Kate Seear

Research Fellow


+61 3 9905 3399


Kate Seear's research focuses on addiction, drug use, health and the body. Kate's particular interests are in the management and constitution of addiction and drug use in different contexts. Kate is the author of two books - Making Disease, Making Citizens: The politics of hepatitis C (with Associate Professor Suzanne Fraser) and The Making of a Modern Epidemic: Endometriosis, Gender and Politics (out through Ashgate in 2014), which is based upon Kate's PhD research. Kate has a unique multi-disciplinary background, with expertise in sociology, gender and the law. Before commencing with the National Drug Research Institute, Kate was a Lecturer and Research Fellow in Sociology and Gender Studies in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University and a Research Assistant in the National Centre in HIV Social Research at the University of New South Wales. She has also worked in the Faculties of Law and Medicine at Monash University.

Kate's current research program focuses on the social and cultural aspects of addiction. She presently leads two research projects in this area: one on the constitution and management of addiction in legal and quasi-legal realms, and one on the various issues associated with drug use, addiction and sport. Kate has previously worked as a research assistant and/or chief investigator in several research projects including:

  • An ARC-funded project into the social and cultural politics of hepatitis C (Chief Investigators: A/Prof Suzanne Fraser, Prof Carla Treloar and Prof David Moore);
  • A pilot study funded by the South East Sydney and Illawarra Health Service which examined injecting drug use, hepatitis C transmission and prevention between same-sex couples (Chief Investigators: Prof Carla Treloar, Dr Loren Brener, Dr Joanne Bryant and Ms Rebecca Gray). This pilot study formed the basis of a subsequent NHMRC-funded study;
  • A highly-publicised study examining drug use, addiction and sport through the experiences of the AFL footballer Ben Cousins, a self-confessed drug 'addict'. Kate's work (with A/Prof Suzanne Fraser) examined media coverage of Ben's drug use and 'addiction', and Ben's own experience of addiction, through an interview Kate and Suzanne conducted with Ben;
  • Several projects on health and the body, new and emergent technologies, drugs and medical treatments. These include: a pilot study on stem cell tourism (with Prof Alan Petersen), two projects funded by the Commonwealth Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research on nanotechnologies (with Prof Alan Petersen and Dr Diana Bowman) and a project on the emergence and marketing of anti-aging medicines and drug therapies (with Prof Alan Petersen). Kate was also the lead author of a national consultation report into childhood obesity. This report helped to inform a subsequent ARC-funded study into parenting and obesity (A/Prof Suzanne Fraser, Prof Jan Wright, A/Prof JaneMaree Maher and Prof Alan Petersen).

Kate is an invited reviewer and contributor to several international journals, and is an invited advisory committee member on a world-first ESRC-funded study into the impact of endometriosis on heterosexual couples living in the UK (Endopart). Kate is also the immediate past convenor of the health sociology thematic group within The Australian Sociological Association (TASA).


Kate has expertise in a range of qualitative methods and welcomes supervision opportunities in addiction, drug use, the body, and health, including drug use/addiction and the law, and drug use/addiction and sport. Her main theoretical interests are in feminist theories of health, the body, agency and subjectivity, science and technology studies and the work of Michel Foucault.


  • PhD Sociology, School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University
  • BA (Hons) Sociology, Monash University
  • LL.B. (Hons), Monash University

Research Interests

  • Addiction, drug use, risk, drug use and the law, drug use and sport, gender and the body


  • Member, Asia-Pacific Science, Technology and Society Network
  • Member, Australian Women's and Gender Studies Association
  • Member, International Harm Reduction Association

Current projects

  • Understanding performance and image enhancing drug (PIED) injecting to improve health and minimise hepatitis C transmission Details


Moore, D., Fraser, S., Keane, H., Seear, K. and Valentine, K. Missing masculinities: Gendering practices in Australian alcohol research and policy. Australian Feminist Studies. [In Press] [RJ1307]

Seear, K. and Fraser, S. Euthanasia for what? Attending to the role of stigma in addiction-related ‘intractable suffering’ and ‘incurability’. Addiction. [In Press] [RJ1383]

Barratt, M.J., Seear, K. and Lancaster, K. (2017). A critical examination of the definition of 'psychoactive effect' in Australian drug legislation. International Journal of Drug Policy, 40, pp. 16-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2016.10.002 [RJ1315] Paper

Farrugia, A.C., Seear, K. and Fraser, S. (2017). Authentic advice for authentic problems? Legal information in Australian classroom drug education. Addiction Research & Theory. DOI: 10.1080/16066359.2017.1343823 [RJ1347] Paper

Fraser, S., Moore, D. and Seear, K. (2017). Submission to the Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017. [R315]

Seear, K. and Fraser, S. (2017). When it comes to redress for child sexual abuse, all victims should be equal. Published 1/11/17. The Conversation. [UJ214]

Seear, K., Fraser, S., Moore, D., Keane, H. and Valentine, K. (2017). Submission to the Victorian Law Reform Commission Reference on Victims of Crime. [R314]

Fraser, S., Valentine, K. and Seear, K. (2016). Emergent publics of alcohol and other drug policymaking. Critical Policy Studies. DOI: 10.1080/19460171.2016.1191365 [RJ1210] Paper

Moore, D., Fraser, S., Keane, H., Seear, K. and Valentine, K. (2016). Submision to the Review of the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998. [R316]

Moore, D., Fraser, S., Keane, H., Seear, K. and Valentine, K. (2016). Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry Into the Need for a Nationally-Consistent Approach to Alcohol-Fuelled Violence. [R287]

Quilter, J., McNamara, L., Seear, K. and Room, R. (2016). Criminal law and the effects of alcohol and other drugs: A national study of the significance of 'intoxication' in Australian legislation. UNSW Law Journal, 39, (3), pp. 913-949. [RJ1254]

Quilter, J., McNamara, L., Seear, K. and Room, R. (2016). The definition and significance of ‘intoxication; in Australian criminal law: a case study of Queensland’s ‘Safe night out’ legislation. QUT Law Review, 16, (2), pp. 42-58. DOI: 10.5204/qutlr.v16i2.654 [RJ1253] Paper

Seear, K. and Fraser, S. (2016). Addiction veridiction: Gendering agency in legal mobilisations of addiction discourse. Griffith Law Review, 25, (1), pp. 13-29. DOI: 10.1080/10383441.2016.1164654 [RJ1198] Paper

Seear, K. (2015). Making addiction, making gender: A feminist performativity analysis of Kakavas v Crown Melbourne Limited. Australian Feminist Law Journal, 41, (1), pp. 65-85. DOI: 10.1080/13200968.2015.1031932 [RJ1161] Paper

Seear, K., Fraser, S., Moore, D. and Murphy, D.A. (2015). Understanding and responding to anabolic steroid injecting and hepatitis C risk in Australia: A research agenda. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 22, (5), pp. 449-455. DOI: 10.3109/09687637.2015.1061975 [RJ1068] Paper

Seear, K., Murphy, D.A., Fraser, S. and Moore, D. (2015). Understanding and responding to the rise of steroid injecting in Australia: Recommendations from a national consultation. National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. [T240] Paper

Seear, K. and Moore, D. (eds.) (2014). Complexity: Researching Alcohol and Other Drugs in a Multiple World (Conference Special Issue). Contemporary Drug Problems, 41, (3), pp. 293-484. [M82]

Petersen, A., Seear, K. and Munsie, M. (2014). Therapeutic journeys: the hopeful travails of stem cell tourists. Sociology of health and illness, 36, (5), pp. 670-685. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9566.12092 [RJ939] Paper

Seear, K. (2014). Book review of 'Habitus and drug using environments'. Drug and Alcohol Review, 33, (6), pp. 575-682. John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex. DOI: 10.1111/dar.12178 [UP33] Paper

Seear, K. (2014). The makings of a modern epidemic: Endometriosis, gender and politics. Ashgate, Aldershot. [M81]

Seear, K. (2014). What do we really know about doping 'effects'? An argument for doping effects as co-constituted 'phenomena'. Performance Enhancement and Health, 2, (4), pp. 201-209. DOI: 10.1016/j.peh.2014.04.002 [RJ944] Paper

Seear, K. and Fraser, S. (2014). Beyond criminal law: The multiple constitution of addiction in Australian legislation. Addiction Research & Theory. DOI: 10.3109/16066359.2014.910511 [RJ941] Paper

Seear, K. and Fraser, S. (2014). The addict as victim: Producing the 'problem' of addiction in Australian victims of crime compensation. International Journal of Drug Policy, 25, (5), pp. 826–835. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2014.02.016 [RJ943] Paper

Seear, K. and Moore, D. (2014). Complexity: Researching alcohol and other drugs in a multiple world. Contemporary Drug Problems, 41, (3), pp. 295-300. DOI: 10.1177/009145091404100302 [RJ1023] Paper

Seear, K. (2013). Cory Monteith, addiction and the search for better endings. The Conversation. [UJ194]

Seear, K. (2013). Review Essay: Beyond the boundary: Drugs, the body and sport. Contemporary Drug Problems, 40, (2), pp. 215. [RJ912] Paper

Non-NDRI Publications

Seear, K., Gray, R., Fraser, S., Treloar, C., Bryant, J. and Brener, L. (2012). Rethinking safety and fidelity: The role of love and intimacy in hepatitis C transmission and prevention. Health Sociology Review, 21, (3), pp. 272-286. [RJ]

Fraser, S. and Seear, K. (2011). Making disease, making citizens: The politics of hepatitis C. Ashgate, Aldershot. [M] Paper

Petersen, A. and Seear, K. (2011). Technologies of hope: techniques of the online advertising of stem cell treatments. New Genetics and Society, 30, (4), pp. 329-346. [RJ]

Petersen, A., Seear, K. and Bowman, D. (2010). Communicating with citizens about nanotechnologies: Views of key stakeholders in Australia. Monash University - School of Political and Social Inquiry, Melbourne. [R] Paper

Seear, K. and Fraser, S. (2010). Ben Cousins and the 'double life': Exploring citizenship and the voluntarity/compulsivity binary through the experiences of a 'drug addicted' elite athlete. Critical Public Health, 20, (4), pp. 439-452. [RJ]

Seear, K. and Fraser, S. (2010). The 'sorry addict': Ben Cousins and the construction of drug use and addiction in elite sport. Health Sociology Review, 19, (2), pp. 176-191. [RJ]

Seear, K., Fraser, S. and Lenton, E. (2010). Guilty or Angry? The politics of emotion in accounts of hepatitis C transmission. Contemporary Drug Problems, 37, (4), pp. 619-638. [RJ]

Seear, K., Fraser, S., Wright, J., Maher, J. and Petersen, A. (2010). 'Peeling away the onion': Report on a national consultation on childhood obesity research, policy and practice in Australia. Centre for Women's Studies and Gender Research, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. [R]

Seear, K., Petersen, A., Munsie, M. and Skinner, R. (2010). Hopeful Journeys: Experiences of stem cell treatment offered outside Australia. Monash University - School of Political and Social Inquiry, Melbourne, Australia. [R] Paper

Petersen, A. and Seear, K. (2009). In search of immortality: the political economy of anti-aging medicine. Medicine Studies, 1, pp. 267-279. [RJ]

Seear, K. (2009). 'Nobody really knows what it is or how to treat it': Why women with endometriosis do not comply with healthcare advice. Health, Risk and Society , 11, (4), pp. 367-385. [RJ]

Seear, K. (2009). 'Standing up to the beast': Contradictory notions of control, un/certainty and risk in the endometriosis self-hep literature. Critical Public Health, 19, (1), pp. 45-58. [RJ]

Seear, K. (2009). The etiquette of endometriosis: Stigmatisation, menstrual concealment and the diagnostic delay. Social Science and Medicine, 69, pp. 1220-1227. [RJ]

Seear, K. (2009). The third shift: Health, work and expertise among women with endometriosis. Health Sociology Review, 18, (2), pp. 194-206. [RJ]

Seear, K., Petersen, A. and Bowman, D. (2009). The social and economic impacts of nanotechnologies: A literature review. Monash University - School of Political and Social Inquiry, Melbourne, Australia. [R]

Seear, K. (2008). First do no harm: law, ethics and healthcare. Book review. Critical Public Health, 18, (1), pp. 121-122. [UJ]

Seear, K. (2008). Inescapable ecologies. Book review. Critical Public Health, 18, (2), pp. 249-250. [UJ]

Seear, K. and McLean, K. (2008). Breaking the silence: The role of emotional labour in qualitative research. The Australian Sociological Association Annual Conference Refereed Proceedings. [RJ]

Seear, K. (2007). Health self-management among women with endometriosis. The Australian Sociological Association Annual Conference Refereed Proceedings. [RJ]