BOb graduate news: Awards, presentations, publications, fieldwork and thesis submissions

Our graduate students continue to make us proud with their amazing research achievements as representatives of the Border Crossing Observatory. Read below to find out more about what three of our graduate students have been up to in the last three months.

Maie Noweir

Maie-NoweirCongratulations Maie! Maie has just submitted her Masters by Research thesis titled “Supporting Victims of Human Trafficking: Examining the design and implementation of victim support within Australia and the UK”. Supervised by Professor Sharon Pickering and Dr Marie Segrave, Maie has worked tirelessly and with great passion and commitment to her research comparing government victim protection and support services offered to those who have been trafficked to and within Australia and the UK. 

Set against the backdrop of international and national counter-trafficking initiatives, including within the domestic regions of Australia and the UK in a context in which human trafficking can be explored through numerous paradigms, Maie's thesis examines the implementation of victim support within a critical victimology framework informed by feminist critiques of the increased recognition of the status of victims. Her thesis outlines the ways in which both government and non-government organisations involved in anti-trafficking responses come to define and recognise victims of trafficking and how dominant victim narratives have been translated into the implementation of support. 

The findings from this research call for a more critical account and understanding of trafficking victimisation through the deconstruction of dominant trafficking discourses and ideal victim narratives. Maie's thesis illustrates the role of both international and domestic responses to trafficking, as well as government and NGOs’ in producing and sustaining dominant narratives of victimisation that subsequently impact on the identification of victims of trafficking and the provision of support. By drawing attention to these implications and the specific practices by which gendered and narrow assumptions surrounding victimisation are constituted, we can begin to deconstruct the dominant ideal victim label which has become far detached from the experiences of victims of trafficking themselves. 

Julie Ham

Jule-HamJulie is currently based in Vancouver, Canada where she is conducting fieldwork interviewing sex workers until the end of the 2013 for her PhD research ‘Sex work, migration and agency'. Julie reports that her field experiences have been very different between Melbourne and Vancouver (her two field sites). Julie says,

” In Vancouver, I'm much more engaged with community – through my long-time involvement with SWAN (a sex worker support org), but also with other local sex worker orgs and with policy initiatives at the City government level. 

When I was interviewing sex workers earlier this year in Melbourne, I still felt like a newcomer – to the sex worker community and to the community development sector. I find that my field experiences in Melbourne feel much more like ‘traditional' research activities, where interactions with research participants are strictly limited to the research interview. This is quite different from my interactions with research participants in Vancouver, which have sometimes extended beyond the research interview to connecting them with other networks or community supports, working with them in community activities, or just keeping in touch about how they're doing and how business is going. I'm still thinking through how this might shape my findings and the methodologies I use for future research.” 

Julie has also presented at a number of conferences and public forums on her recent publications surrounding sex work and sex trafficking. You can view her recent presentations and publications list here

Brandy Cochrane

Brandy-map-150x150Shining a light on recent issues in the European Union were the parameters set forth by the Bill Kent Memorial Essay Contest which BOb’s Brandy Cochrane won second place for her paper entitled ‘A Union Hardened: EU and Deaths in the Borderland's by the Monash European and European Union Center (MEEUC).

In October, she presented a poster and a paper at ANZSOC regarding areas of origin and border deaths of those trying to enter Australia and the EU. In December, Brandy will be participating in a Human Rights Roundtable at Melbourne University regarding issues of asylum seekers and human rights. Focused on the prevalence (or lack thereof) of white collar crime in journals, textbooks, and PhD programs, her article ‘White Collar Crime Representation in the Criminological Literature Revisited' was published in the Western Criminology Review recently.

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