Innovative, rigorous and forward-thinking research is central to the Kaldor Centre, where scholars are leaders in the national and international discussion about refugee law, policy and history.

Scientia Professor Jane McAdam, Kaldor Centre Director

Professor McAdam is internationally renowned as a thought leader in the field of forced migration, particularly for her work in climate change-related displacement. She is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Refugee Law, and serves as Co-Rapporteur of the International Law Association’s Committee on International Law and Sea-Level Rise. Winner of the 2017 Calouste Gulbenkian Prize for Human Rights, her contributions have been widely recognised, including as finalist for NSW Woman of the Year, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, and one of Australia’s top ten ‘Women of Influence’ in The Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence awards in 2015.

See Professor McAdam’s academic profile and publications.


Professor Guy S Goodwin-Gill, Kaldor Centre Acting Director

Widely recognised as the preeminent legal scholar in the field of international refugee law, Professor Goodwin Gill is Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford and Emeritus Professor of International Refugee Law of the University of Oxford. He practises as a barrister from Blackstone Chambers in London. His distinguished career has encompassed various roles with UNHCR, advocacy before the courts in a number of prominent cases, and academic posts in Canada and throughout Europe.

See Professor Goodwin-Gill’s academic profile and publications


Madeline Gleeson, Senior Research Associate

Lawyer and award-winning author of Offshore: Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru (NewSouth 2016) Madeline Gleeson’s areas of expertise include offshore processing, State responsibility and regional refugee protection in the Asia-Pacific. A graduate of UNSW with first class honours, She practiced as a solicitor in Sydney before leaving for Cambodia to work for the Jesuit Refugee Service. As a John Monash scholar, she completed her Masters in International Law in Geneva, where she also worked with UNHCR. Offshore won the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for non-fiction, was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, NSW Premier’s Award, the Australian Book Industry Awards, and the 2017 Colin Roderick Award and long-listed for the Stella Prize and Walkley Book Award. In 2017, Ms Gleeson launched the Asia-Pacific Research Group, as part of the Kaldor Centre’s Emerging Scholars Network.

See Madeline Gleeson’s academic profile and publications.


Dr Claire Higgins, Senior Research Associate

Award-winning historian Dr Claire Higgins’s research focuses on in-country processing and refugee status determination in historical context. In 2018, as a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar, she is at Georgetown University in the US undertaking comparative research in the alternative pathways for safe and orderly access to humanitarian resettlement. As a Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute in 2017, Dr Higgins researched Italy’s innovative Humanitarian Corridors program which enables Syrian asylum seekers to safely claim protection in Italy. She completed her doctorate in history at the University of Oxford examined on the development of Australian refugee policy. Her first book is Asylum by Boat: Origins of Australia’s refugee policy (NewSouth 2017). She has also written for The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald and Forbes. Dr Higgins founded and convenes the Kaldor Centre’s Emerging Scholars Network.

See Dr Higgins’s academic profile and publications.


Dr Sangeetha Pillai, Senior Research Associate

Sangeetha PillaiDr Sangeetha PIllai is the Kaldor Centre's expert on the domestic public law framework that governs refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia. Her current research examines the boundaries of parliamentary and executive power over refugees and asylum seekers in Australian case law. She is an expert on Australian citizenship law, and the constitutional differences in the scope of government power that can be exercised over citizens and non-citizens, and she has published widely on these topics.

See Dr Pillai’s academic profile and publications.



Adrienne Anderson Research Associate

Adrienne AndersonA member of the Women’s Project Advisory Committee of Asylum Aid in the UK and the ICMC–UNHCR emergency deployment roster, Ms Anderson is a Research Associate on Professor Jane McAdam’s ARC Discovery Grant on ‘The concept of “imminence” in the international protection of refugees’, held jointly with Professor Michelle Foster (Melbourne) and Professor Hélène Lambert (Westminster). Prior to joining the Kaldor Centre, she worked as a Resettlement Officer with UNHCR in Uganda and as a Solicitor and Policy Officer with the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre (now Refugee Legal) in Melbourne. She holds a BA/LLB(Hons) from the University of Auckland and an LLM from the University of Michigan, where she received the Michigan Grotius and the Michigan Program for Refugee and Asylum Law Fellowships.

See Adrienne Anderson's academic profile and publications.


Frances Voon, Executive Manager

Ms Voon joined the Kaldor Centre in 2015 from the UNHCR Policy Development and Evaluation Service in Geneva. She has worked for several years in refugee operations in Bangladesh, Jordan and South Sudan. She completed a Masters in Development Studies at the University of Oxford as a John Monash Scholar, where her research addressed policy and assistance for self-settled refugees in protracted situations. She was Tipstaff to Justice John Basten at the Supreme Court of New South Wales and is admitted to legal practice. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales.



Kelly Newell, Centre Administrator

Kelly NewellMs Newell joined the Kaldor Centre as Centre Administrator in January 2013. She is responsible for working with the Executive Manager to develop and implement the Centre’s operational management plans. In addition to administrative and finance functions of the Centre, Ms Newell oversees events, publications, website and volunteer programs. Prior to commencing at the Kaldor Centre, Ms Newell worked in a number of not-for-profit organisations coordinating community programs, supporting advocacy campaigns and managing events. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University and is currently completing her Juris Doctor at UNSW Sydney. 



Lauren Martin, Communications Officer

Ms Martin was appointed the Kaldor Centre’s first Communications Officer in 2016, joining from the Sydney Opera House, where she was Head of Communications. An award-winning journalist, she was an editor in Australia at The Sydney Morning Herald and later of The Global Mail, appearing in that capacity at the Sydney and Melbourne Writers Festivals. In the United States, she was Managing Editor of the [Martha’s] Vineyard Gazette and Washington Editor for Institutional Investor publications. She earned a BA in Journalism and Political Science (Phi Beta Kappa) at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. 

Centre Affiliate Members

Bassina Farbenblum, Senior Lecturer

Bassina FarbenblumMs Farbenblum joined UNSW as a Senior Lecturer in 2009 after a decade as a human rights litigator and clinical legal educator in New York, Mumbai, and Sydney. She established and leads the Australian Human Rights Centre's Migrant and Refugee Rights Project, which engages in research and law reform initiatives to advance the human rights of migrant workers and refugees in Asia and Australia. She also established, and currently directs, UNSW's Human Rights Clinic, in which students gain domestic and international lawyering experience in human rights advocacy, law reform and litigation on behalf of migrants, asylum seekers and other non-citizens. Her recent research projects include the first large-scale empirical study of migrant workers’ access to justice in countries of origin, focused on migrant workers who go from South and South East Asia to the Middle East.

See Bassina Farbenblum's academic profile and publications.

Gabrielle Appleby, Associate Professor

Gabrielle ApplebyDr Appleby is an Associate Professor at UNSW Law and the Associate Dean (International & External Engagement). She researches and teaches in public and constitutional law, particularly focussing on questions about the role, powers and accountability of the Executive government, the role and ethics of government lawyers, and the independence and integrity of the judicial branch. She is the Co-Director of The Judiciary Project at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Constitutional Law and the Blog Coordinator and Joint Editor (Academic) of AUSPUBLAW - She is currently a Chief Investigator on the ARC Discovery Project, Law, Order and Federalism.

See Gabrielle Appleby's academic profile and publications.

Dr Melissa Crouch, Senior Lecturer

Melissa CrouchDr Crouch is a Senior Lecturer at the Law Faculty, the University of New South Wales, Sydney.  Her research contributes to the field of Asian Legal Studies, with a focus on Comparative Constitutional Law; Law and Development; and Law and Religion. Her research has a particular focus on Southeast Asia, where she has conducted extensive socio-legal field research. She is currently Chief Investigator on an ARC Discovery Grant on "Constitutional Change in Authoritarian Regimes" (2018-2020).

See Melissa Crouch's academic profile and publications.


Dr Michael Grewcock

Michael GrewcockHaving worked as a solicitor in London for 13 years,  Dr Michael Grewcock returned to UNSW in 2004 to complete a PhD. He has taught criminology and criminal law on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs since 2006.

See Michael Grewcock's academic profile and publications.


Dr Vicki Sentas, Senior Lecturer

Vicki SentasDr Sentas joined the Faculty of Law at UNSW Sydney in July 2012 and previously held the Newton International Fellowship at the School of Law, King’s College London.  Prior to that she worked in higher education policy and in community legal centres in NSW and Victoria. She researches processes of criminalisation and racialisation in law and policing.  She teaches in criminal law, criminology and policing and coordinates the Police Powers Clinic at UNSW. Her recent and current research projects examine: the effects of counter-terrorism practices, migration controls and multiculturalism policies on criminal justice and racialised peoples in Australia, the UK and the EU; the criminalisation of armed conflicts, self-determination and diasporas through the use of security lists; police powers and their relationship to diverse forms of regulation including pre-emption and prosecution; police accountability and criminal justice reform.

See Vicki Sentas' academic profile and publications.

Adjunct Lecturer Joanne Kinslor

Joanne KinslorMs Kinslor is a specialist immigration lawyer who has extensive experience and exceptional knowledge of immigration law. She has been accredited as an immigration specialist by the Law Society of New South Wales since 2006. She is Course Convenor and Principal Lecturer of “Australian Immigration Law and Practice” at UNSW Sydney. Ms Kinslor is an active member of the Law Council of Australia’s Migration Law Committee and participates in national debate on immigration law and policy and contributes to Parliamentary submissions.

Professor Natalie Klein

Dr. Natalie Klein is a Professor at UNSW Faculty of Law, Sydney, Australia. She was previously at Macquarie University where she served as Dean of Macquarie Law School between 2011 and 2017, as well as Acting Head of the Department for Policing, Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism at Macquarie in 2013-2014. Professor Klein teaches and researches in different areas of international law, with a focus on law of the sea and international dispute settlement. Professor Klein is the author of Dispute Settlement and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and Maritime Security and the Law of the Sea (Oxford University Press, 2011). She provides advice, undertakes consultancies and interacts with the media on law of the sea issues. Prior to joining Macquarie, Professor Klein worked in the international litigation and arbitration practice of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, served as counsel to the Government of Eritrea (1998-2002) and was a consultant in the Office of Legal Affairs at the United Nations. Her masters and doctorate in law were earned at Yale Law School and she is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.

PhD candidates affiliated with the Kaldor Centre

The Kaldor Centre includes a small number of outstanding PhD students pursuing advanced research and developing substantive expertise in refugee law. Meet our current PhD candidates:

Emma Dunlop
‘Justice in Exile: A study of States’ obligations to ensure refugees’ access to courts under international law’ (Jane McAdam/Guy Goodwin-Gill/Melissa Crouch)

Ms Dunlop's thesis investigates the scope and content of States’ obligations to guarantee refugees’ access to courts under article 16 of the 1951 Refugee Convention and International Human Rights Law.


Madeline Gleeson
‘Refugee protection and multi-State responsibility in the Asia-Pacific: a conceptual framework for accountability under international law’

Ms Gleeson's research looks at whether and how international law regulates the conduct of States, or provides a remedy, in situations where two or more States contribute to harmful outcomes for refugees and asylum seekers, specifically within the context of forced displacement in the Asia-Pacific region.

Tristan Harley
'Overcoming impasse through innovation? The search for new comprehensive solutions to large scale refugee movements' (Claire Higgins/Guy Goodwin-GIll)

Mr Harley’s current research explores responsibility-sharing and the Global Compact on Refugees.


Khanh Hoang
'Cooperation and compliance in international refugee law: A rational choice approach' (Jane McAdam/Rosalind Dixon)

Avenues for asylum seekers to obtain protection are rapidly closing in many jurisdictions around the world. In this context, Mr Hoang's project examines the potential of additional or complementary pathways to refugee protection through the use of labour mobility. In particular, it examines how such pathways can be operationalized in the Australian context.

Regina Jeffries
'Reimagining refoulment: Developing an evidence-based strategy to esnure domestic compliance with international refugee law (Andrew Byrnes/Guy Goodwin-Gill/Claire Higgins)



Riona Moodley
'"Extraterritorial processing" of asylum seekers outside the European Union: A panacea for the future' (Jane McAdam/Justine Nolan)

Ms Moodley's research is focused on recent proposals put forward in the European Union (EU) to introduce a form of external processing that will enable the protection claims of asylum seekers to be processed before they reach Europe. In particular, she shall assess the legal feasibility of such proposals, having regard to international and EU human rights law, and consider the extent to which such proposals are capable of improving the protection outcomes available to asylum seekers.

Luke Potter
'To what extent can Local Government Authorities (LGAs) build durable solutions to protect against disaster displacement risk in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Pacific?' (Jane McAdam/Melissa Crouch)

Mr Potter's research examines the extent that local governments can offer protection against disaster-displacement risk in Pacific Small Island Developing States.  This includes examining the interplay of international and national disaster risk reduction laws and stakeholder agencies with local governments to evaluate the effectiveness of their collaboration, and to identify areas of future good practices.  Previously Mr Potter has worked as a commercial solicitor in a large Australian law firm and in pro bono immigration and refugee advocacy, before moving to London to complete his Masters.

Shreeya Smith
'Aslyum seekers, mandatory detention and constitutional limits on the exercise of non-statutory executive power' (Rosalind Dixon/Gabrielle Appleby)

Ms Smith’s thesis investigates principled approaches to the question of limits on the non-statutory coercive executive power of the Commonwealth. It explores this question through the lens of whether the executive arm of government has the power to detain non-citizens without statutory authority in three contexts: seeking asylum, counter-terrorism and in response to a public health epidemic.

Tamara Wood
‘In search of the African refugee – Article I(2) of the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa' (Jane McAdam/Sarah Williams)

The so-called ‘expanded’ definition of a refugee in Article I(2) of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa has been widely praised for being more humanitarian, more reflective of current causes of displacement and providing better protection than its counterpart in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Ms Wood's thesis will investigate the truth of these claims by seeking, first, to elaborate on the meaning of the definition’s terms, and second, to consider the impact of the definition on refugee protection in practice.