2017 PhD submission success

Dr Brandy Cochrane

It's been a bumper PhD submission year from our PhD network with four in 2017! Congratulations to all of our PhD candidates on their recent submissions and particularly to Brandy Cochrane who graduated in July. We also wish to acknowledge the hard work and support of our BOb PhD supervisors, Sharon Pickering, Marie Segrave and Leanne Weber who helped to encourage our graduate students through their candidature.

Brandy Cochrane submitted and then graduated with her PhD in July 2017. Brandy wrote her PhD on  the impact of border securitisation on refugee and asylum-seeking mothers with a focus on the experiences of Iranian and Afghan migrant women who arrived in Australia. She is currently working with the Monash Gender and Family Violence Focus Program and continues to teach in Criminology and Sociology.

Congratulations Sirakul Suwinthawong!





Sirakul Suwinthawong conducted her PhD research on irregular migration at the Lao-Thai border  and the risk of exploitation of Lao migrant workers in Thailand. She submitted her PhD in September and is now back in Thailand. She has returned to her position as a lecturer at the College of Politics and Governance, Mahasarakham University in northeastern Thailand.


Bodean and Sharon Pickering, Dean of Arts, Monash and PhD supervisor.








Bodean Hedwards recently submitted her PhD which examines the irregular migration of Tibetans on the Tibet-Nepal border. She continues her work as a Research Associate with the Border Crossing Observatory and with the University of Nottingham’s Rights and Justice Priority Area, where she supports research on issues relating to irregular migration, human trafficking and slavery.


Congratulations Sara Maher!

Sara Maher submitted her PhD that aimed to develop a better understanding of the post-settlement lives of South Sudanese diaspora women. Visits to Sudan and consultations with women Elders had indicated a largely unknown history of gendered and genocidal violence during Sudan’s second civil war. It seemed vital to understand how this interacted with their forced migration and settlement in Australia.

Sara is now working as the Lead Researcher on the Rift Valley Institute, South Sudan Disapora Impacts Project. The project aims to fill a vital knowledge gap on the networks and systems of this diaspora. It focuses on the Australian South Sudanese community, and the mechanisms through which they may influence South Sudan’s current civil war.