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Welcome – Indigenous Australian Postdoctoral Research Fellow – QUT Centre for Justice and QUT Carumba Institute

QUT Centre for Justice and QUT Carumba Institute are delighted to introduce Gina Masterton who started work as the Indigenous Australian Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the QUT Centre for Justice and Carumba Institute on 1 November 2021. We are grateful to the VC who funded this position in recognition of Black Lives Matter. It is a three-year appointment where Gina will work on her own research project and take a leading role in our cross Faculty Indigenous Research Capability Building strategy.

Gina has provided an e-introduction and a professional biography below:

Gina is a proud Gubbi Gubbi / Wakka Wakka woman. Her maternal grandmother is a Gubbi Gubbi woman, and her paternal grandmother is a Wakka Wakka woman. (It has been estimated that the Wakka Wakka lands extended over 11,000km, running northwards from Nanango to the area of Mount Perry. Their western extension was at the Boyne River, the upper Burnett River, and Mundubbera. They were also present in the areas of Kingaroy, Murgon and Gayndah. Gina’s grandmother was from Gayndah. Many Wakka Wakka and Gubbi Gubbi people were shifted onto the Barambah Aboriginal Mission near Murgon in the early 20th century. The mission later become the town of Cherbourg. Gina lives in Scarborough with her partner, David, a retired Australian Army Sergeant, and their two dogs, Billie, a 7-year-old Westie and Duff, a 6-year-old Scottish Terrier.

Professional Biography 

In February 1995 I began studying law at QUT and I graduated in May 2000. I am the eldest of 5 children and the first in my family to go to university. In July 2000 I was admitted as a Barrister to the Qld Supreme Court and the High Court of Australia. I worked for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (Brisbane) from 1996 to 2000 while studying law. Later in 2000 I moved to Los Angeles (and married), and I worked for many law firms there, mostly in litigation. I really enjoyed living and working in Los Angeles but got homesick after 13 years, so I returned to Brisbane at the end of 2013. In early 2014 I started another degree at QUT – a Masters by Coursework, which turned into a Master of Laws (Research). My Masters examined the history of a treaty called the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (1980) – which is an international law that can be used by parents to seek the return of their children to Australia or other countries, usually when a child is wrongfully taken by a parent. I graduated with my Master of Laws (Research) in July 2016. In early August 2016 I began a Ph.D. with Griffith Law School (Gold Coast) where I investigated the Hague Convention further by examining the experiences of 10 mothers who had fled domestic and family violence with their children across international borders back to their home countries, who were then subjected to the Hague Convention’s tough legal process. My Ph.D. thesis explored their journey as a 3-stage episode – the abuse they endured from their partners; the abuse they endured via legal systems and the abuse they endured after the legal process had concluded when they had returned to the place they fled from with their children to rebuild their lives. On 25 October 2021, I uploaded my Ph.D. thesis for examination. I feel very fortunate and excited to be an Indigenous Post-Doctoral Researcher with the QUT C4J which allows me to continue my passion for feminist legal researching and writing. I hope to focus my post-doctoral research on issues around equality and justice affecting women, and First Nations women in particular. My first project will be a team effort which include researchers at CARRS-Q at QUT KG where I will look at: ‘How technologies and loss of mobilities can affect justice outcomes for First Nations women who are domestic and/or family violence victims.’

Welcome Gina!


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