HDR students

Our HDR students

Madeleine Archer

Examining the impact of regulation on decision-making about assisted dying in Belgium: holistic understandings of the Belgian regulatory space and lessons for Australian regulation.

Whilst there is much research on assisted dying in Belgium since its legalisation almost two decades ago, a holistic analysis of the regulatory influences on behaviour and decision-making in relation to assisted dying has not been undertaken. This study seeks to map Belgium’s assisted dying regulatory space, in order to identify the regulatory actors and tools which operate within this regime, and to critically analyse them with respect to their interactions and interrelationships. The findings from this analysis may have implications for improving regulation in Belgium and in Australia, where assisted dying regulation is relatively new.

Principal Supervisor: Professor Ben White
Associate Supervisors: Professor Lindy Willmott, Luc Deliens and Kenneth Chambaere

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

Aurélie Copin

Conscientious objection to voluntary assisted dying – ethics, law and practice.

This thesis seeks to determine where the boundaries of conscientious objection (CO) to voluntary assisted dying (VAD) should be defined. This research will examine the limits that may exist to CO, the ethical acceptability of the construction of CO in current legislative frameworks and the impacts of CO on clinical practice. The findings hope to inform future legislative frameworks and processes governing practice as VAD becomes operational across Australia.

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

David Cusack

Critical Analysis of Institutional Conscience in the Delivery of VAD Services.

This research examines the ethical and legal legitimacy of claims of a right to institutional conscientious objection to legally permitted voluntary assisted dying (VAD) services in Australia.

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

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

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

Laura Fiona Ley Greaves

A longitudinal study of medial practitioners’ experiences following the commencement of Voluntary Assisted Dying in Queensland.

A longitudinal study of medical practitioners regarding voluntary assisted dying (VAD) has not been explored in Australia. This project looks to understand the perspectives and experiences of medical practitioners involved with VAD, and how these might evolve from the initial implementation and early practice stages, through to a more established practice in Queensland.

Principal Supervisor: Professor Ben White
Associate Supervisor: Professor Lindy Willmott, Dr Rachel Feeney

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

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

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

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

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

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