HDR students

Our HDR students

Natasha Ayling

Barriers and facilitators to mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect in early childhood education.

Early childhood educators have only relatively recently become mandatory reporters of child maltreatment. Limited research has been conducted to understand the prevailing barriers and facilitators that might impact on how this child protection policy reform is enacted. This study will employ exploratory sequential mixed method design to fill gaps in current research by drawing on the perspectives of the early childhood workforce.

Principal Supervisor: Professor Kerryann Walsh
Associate Supervisors: Professor Kate Williams, Professor Ben Mathews

Kristina Chelberg

Construction of Dementia in Australian Aged Care Public Discourse and Law.

Ageing and dementia are key health and social issues facing contemporary societies. Deficits in the Australian aged care system have been the subject of numerous enquiries and reports, including the current Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. At the same time, public discourse on ageing is frequently negative, while representations of dementia stigmatise it to be ‘all that is most feared about growing old’. This research project explores the narratives of dementia in Australia, their representation in the public discourse of key stakeholders and institutions, and finally, how these narratives may become embedded in the legislative and regulatory framework of the aged care system.

Principal Supervisor: Professor Kieran Tranter
Associate Supervisor: Associate Professor Shih-Ning Then

Elizabeth Dallaston

The Defence of Reasonable Chastisement and Lawful Physical Punishment of Children under Australian Criminal Law.

Historically, the defence of reasonable chastisement gave husbands the right to physically punish their wives, and masters to punish apprentices. However, the contemporary law provides this excuse only in the case of children. The aim of this program of research is to analyse and evaluate the current Australian law of physical punishment from both moral and public health perspectives.

Principal Supervisor: Professor Ben Mathews
Associate Supervisor: Andrew Garwood-Gowers

Michele Davis

Disentitling conduct. Human rights and moral ambiguity: an analysis of the impact of elder abuse in family provision claims in Queensland and New South Wales.

An analysis of how elder abuse when alleged as a defence of disentitling conduct affects the resolution of family provision claims and how the principles of human rights and morality assist in the resolution of court and out-of-court disputes.

Principal Supervisor: Associate Professor Tina Cockburn
Associate Supervisor: Associate Professor Kelly Purser

Julia Duffy

The Indivisibility of Human Rights and Decision-making with and for Adults with Cognitive Disabilities.

This thesis considers how the principle of the indivisibility, interrelatedness and interconnectedness of human rights underpins the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, especially article 12 – the right to recognition of legal capacity.

Principal Supervisor: Professor Ben White
Associate Supervisors: Professor Lindy Willmott, Associate Professor Andrew McGee

Stephen Edward de Weger

Reporting clergy sexual misconduct against adults to Roman Catholic Church authorities: An analysis of survivor perspectives.

This study explores and describes Roman Catholic Church responses to those who experienced sexual misconduct against adults (CSMAA), and who them reported those events. In-depth interviews were undertaken with six women, three men and one whistle-blower. The findings were that these survivors did not find healing, compassion, or justice, often experience further traumatisation.

Principal Supervisor: Professor John Scott
Associate Supervisors: Professor Ben Mathews, Associate Professor Kelly Richards

Antonia Horst

Regulation in the Face of Technological Change – 3D Printed Medical Products.

This thesis addresses the regulation in emerging technological contexts with a focus on 3D printed medical products. The thesis adopts a socio-legal perspective and combines legal doctrinal analysis with findings from stakeholder interviews, and is expected to show relevance in a 3D printing context as well as in the field of technology regulation more broadly.

Principal Supervisor: Associate Professor Fiona McDonald
Associate Supervisor: Dr Stephen Whyte

Melissa Gillbard

A human rights approach to understanding and addressing barriers to accessing justice for victims of elder financial abuse.

Elder financial abuse has come into the spotlight since the Australian Law Reform Commission released their report titled Elder Abuse – A National Legal Response. In line with the Attorney Generals National Plan to Respond to Abuse of Older Australians, this research aims to enhance our understanding of financial abuse by investigating the perceived barriers inhibiting victims of elder financial abuse from accessing a justice outcome. This research will take a human rights approach to analysing the effectiveness of approaches, proposed, or used in Australia and other countries to combat elder financial abuse.

Principal Supervisor: Associate Professor Tina Cockburn
Associate Supervisor: Associate Professor Kelly Purser

Ruthie Jeanneret

Patient and Family Perspectives of Voluntary Assisted Dying in Canada and Australia.

Little is known about the role that patients and families play in regulating voluntary assisted dying (VAD). This project aims to advance an understanding of the role that patients and families play in the regulation of VAD, how they interact with other regulatory actors, and how regulation can be improved.

Principal Supervisor: Dr Eliana Close
Associate Supervisor: Professor Ben White, Professor Lindy Willmott

Tammy Johnson

The Regulation of Commercial Surrogacy in Australia: A Harm Analysis.

A harm-based analysis of the prohibition of commercial surrogacy in Australia.

Principal Supervisor: Professor Lindy Willmott
Associate Supervisor: Professor Ben White

Jade M Kelly

Healthcare AI and Robotics in Australia: Privacy Issues and Solutions.

Rapidly developing healthcare AI and robotics technologies are creating novel health information privacy issues under Australian law. This research will explore and propose solutions to these privacy issues, particularly with respect to machine learning-based AI and care robots in the delivery of healthcare.

Principal Supervisor: Professor Belinda Bennett
Associate Supervisor: Associate Professor Mark Burdon

Michelle King

The Transition to Adulthood of People with Severe Intellectual Disabilities in Australia: A Socio-Legal Examination.

The legal and administrative transition to adulthood of people with severe intellectual disabilities is not well research or understood. This project uses grounded theory and a qualitative methodology to explore the core ideas of legal citizenship and adulthood for people with severe intellectual disability in Australia.

Principal Supervisor: Associate Professor Shih-Ning Then
Associate Supervisor: Dr Elizabeth Dickson

Ian Pieper

Relational Autonomy in Clinical Research.

Clinical research participants are human beings. They have hopes and dreams, doubts and fears, strengths and vulnerabilities unique to them as individuals. Consent is obtained from participants as a demonstration of respect for autonomy. That process ought to consider individuals within the context of their place in society.

Principal Supervisor: Associate Professor Fiona McDonald
Associate Supervisors: Professor Ben White, Associate Professor Andrew McGee

Sinead Prince

The patriarchy and the post-enhanced world: will women finally be equal?

This project will analyse the ethics of genetic enhancement from a fresh perspective: feminism. Much of the current literature analyses the ethics of genetic enhancement from equality, well-being, libertarian, or utilitarian perspectives, without any attention to the perspective of women and their position in a post-enhanced world. Legal regulators must see the future of genetic enhancement with an inclusive vision and move beyond the patriarchal assumption that the ethics of enhancement are within the confines of what is ethical for the enhanced male.

Principal Supervisor: Associate Professor Andrew McGee
Associate Supervisor: Dr Sam Boyle
Mentoring Supervisor: Associate Professor Shih-Ning Then

Linda Renouf

Connections to Country and Culture for Aboriginal Young People in Out of Home Care.

A qualitative synthesis on the significance of Aboriginal culture and Country according to Aboriginal young people in care, aged 14-20 years. Analysis of the operation and legal principles of Queensland’s legislative framework pursuant to the Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld) and United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Principal Supervisor: Associate Professor Kelly Richards
Associate Supervisors: Professor Ben Mathews, Associate Professor Deb Duthie

Samuel Roach

The role of policy in promoting adult vaccination.

Australia has implemented restrictive measures to promote childhood immunisation, however, there has been comparatively less emphasis on promoting adult vaccination. This thesis undertakes a comparative legal analysis to examine whether policies aimed at promoting adult vaccination are effective, ethical and compatible with Australia’s legal system.

Principal Supervisor: Associate Professor Andrew McGee
Associate Supervisor: Professor Belinda Bennett

Jodhi Rutherford

What would the doctor prescribe? Doctors’ perspectives and experiences of the Voluntary Assisted Act 2017 (Vic).

A socio-legal empirical research into the knowledge, attitudes and experiences of some Victorian doctors regarding the voluntary assisted dying (VAD) regime which commenced in that state in June 2019. The research seeks to identify likely implications arising from the VAD Act in the context of doctors as the exclusive providers of VAD in Victoria.

Principal Supervisor: Professor Lindy Willmott
Associate Supervisors: Professor Ben White, Associate Professor Kelly Purser

Peter Thorning

Work Health and Safety Regulation: Aligning Compliance with Modern Systematic Work Health and Safety Management.

Given that systematic WHS management and public enforcement of WHS laws are required to reduce work related fatalities, injuries and illnesses, how are these two concepts operationalised by the WHS regulator in Queensland and is there a case for legislative and operational reform?

Principal Supervisor: Professor Richard Johnstone
Associate Supervisors: Associate Professor Nektarios Karanikas

Anne Walsh

Regulation Research Integrity

This research will examine the implications and consequences for research integrity regulation in Australia and articulate principles that could guide further regulation or regulatory frameworks. Any future regulatory framework must balance the public’s expectations for accountability whilst fostering the underlying value of trust imperative for scientific conduct.

Principal Supervisor: Associate Professor Fiona McDonald
Associate Supervisors: Associate Professor Shih-Ning Then, Dr Peta Stephenson

Sanath Sameera Wijesinghe

A Global Policy Coherence for Plain Packaging of Tobacco Products.

A critical examination of the impact of international trade, intellectual property and investment laws on public health regulations. Taking plain packaging measures as a case study, the research will examine how to harness the overlapping interests of these legal regimes to promote global health justice.

Principal Supervisor: Dr Kylie Pappalardo
Mentoring Supervisor: Professor Nicolas Suzor
Associate Supervisors: Dr Bridget Lewis, Dr Hope Johnson

Julie Witham

A human rights examination of the barriers and enablers which impact police investigation into alleged financial abuse of older Australians.

Financial elder abuse ranges from innocent mismanagement to substantial criminal conduct victimising older people and is recognised as a significant social problem in Australia. This research will examine police responses to allegations of criminal conduct in relation to the financial abuse of older Australians.

Principal Supervisor: Associate Professor Tina Cockburn
Associate Supervisor: Associate Professor Kelly Purser

Samantha Wooding

Sucrose and the Law

Examining the health and wider consequences of consuming too much sucrose in light of the growing obesity epidemic, and evaluating whether the role of law should be strengthened.

Principal Supervisor: Associate Professor Andrew McGee
Associate Supervisor: Associate Professor Fiona McDonald