About Our Speakers

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Dr Faith Gordon

Dr. Faith Gordon is a Lecturer in Criminology at Monash University; Director of the Interdisciplinary International Youth Justice Network; Research Associate at the Information Law & Policy Centre, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster.  From 2016-2018, she worked as a Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Westminster before moving to Monash University in September 2018.

Faith has developed an international scholarly and advocacy reputation in the area of the rights of children in conflict with the law and specifically in the dynamics of youth justice, the media’s treatment of youth, young people’s engagement with the media, policing and legal responses, especially in transitional societies. As a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow working in the Childhood, Transition and Social Justice Initiative she led a large-scale fieldwork involving over 150 children, as well as workshops with journalists, editors, policymakers, politicians, police and those working in the NGO sector. Emerging from this project were a number of impactful academic, policy and practice-based outputs, as well as educational and training-focused resources, which have been used and cited internationally.


Laura Vidal

Laura comes to her PhD research with over ten years experience supporting and advocating for those impacted by human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices; specialising in forced marriage. With a background in case management, project coordination and policy advocacy, Laura has led and delivered services to asylum seekers and refugees, women experiencing homelessness and individuals impacted by human trafficking and slavery both domestically and abroad. Laura’s policy advocacy has shaped government and civil society responses to these issues. 

As one of Australia’s leading experts in understanding and responding to forced marriage, in 2016 Laura received a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship, which took her on a study-tour of six countries to develop innovative and best practice solutions to forced marriage. Alongside her PhD studies, Laura works with Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand leading policy advocacy on a range of issues impacting on women’s safety—particularly forced marriage and its intersection with family violence and modern slavery.

 Laura holds a Master’s Degree in Human Rights Law and Policy and a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Social Work, both from the University of New South Wales. Laura's keynote presentation will explore the critical links between robust research and an evidence based policy response, highlighting the importance of research contributing in practical ways to solving complex social and political challenges.

Professional Panel: Access and Academia

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Dr Kate Burns

Dr Kate Burns is a Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University. Kate's research looks at penal policy, justice reinvestment and the impact of incarceration on marginalised populations. Prior to completing her PhD and taking up her academic position at Monash, Kate worked in public policy with a focus on criminal justice.

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Robyn Oxley

Robyn Oxley is a Tharawal woman from South-West Sydney with family connections to Yorta Yorta along the Murray River in Victoria. Robyn is a Lecturer in Criminology for the School of Social Sciences in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University and currently completing a Masters by Research. Her Masters thesis focuses on Aboriginal affairs within the criminal justice system, the pre and post release support of Aboriginal offenders and self determination. Robyn is interested in Family Violence and the criminalisation of Aboriginal women as victims. Robyn is an activist, an abolitionist and advocate for Aboriginal people, ensuring self determination is practiced and at the core of all things Aboriginal.


Dr Chrissy Thompson

Chrissy Thompson holds a PhD in Criminology. Her doctoral research examined upskirting in Australia, and she has published on topics including media archaeology, creepshots, viral justice, countersurveillance and upskirting. Chrissy’s research interests include understanding how crime intersects with technology, gender and disability. Chrissy also works in police policy at the Department of Justice and Community Safety and works on Royal Commission into Family Violence recommendations. Chrissy is the Vice President Policy of the Victorian Public Service enablers network, a staff led network for people with a disability. She is also the co chair of the Department of Justice Disability Network. In 2017 Chrissy was awarded a Disability Leadership Scholarship by Leadership Victoria and is a member of the Disability Leadership Institute. In 2018 she was recognised as a young Victorian leader by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for her work in disability advocacy.