20162023

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Personal profile

Biography

Senior Lecturer Holly Doel-Mackaway’s interdisciplinary research focuses on international human rights law with a particular focus on children and young people. She is currently working on several major grant projects spanning five continents. She holds a PhD in Law (Macquarie University), a Bachelor of Laws (1st class honours from UTS) and an honours degree in Social Work (Sydney University). She co-leads the Children’s Rights, Participation and Protection Research Stream in the Faculty of Arts and is an elected member of the Academic Senate. She teaches Constitutional Law and Child and Elder Law and in 2021 was recognised as an educator of impact winning the student-nominated Vice-Chancellor's Learning and Teaching Award for her teaching excellence. She is the Expert Counsellor for Children, Indigenous people and Gender for the LAWASIA Human Rights Committee.

Her 2022 book Indigenous Children's Right to Participate in Law and Policy Development (Routledge) presents a model for reforming and developing Indigenous related legislation and policy in Australia and internationally. The model provides guidance about how to seek, listen to and respond to the voices of Indigenous children and young people. She received the Macquarie University Executive Dean's Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research for the field research with Aboriginal children and young people that underpins the book.  

Before becoming an academic Holly worked as a lawyer across more than 20 countries for the United Nations and various international non-government organisations providing specialised advice on international children’s rights law. She has held senior legal and managerial positions with a range of child focussed agencies including UNICEF, Save the Children and the NSW Department of Community Services. Holly also operated a child rights consulting practice for over 10 years providing children's rights research, training, legislative and policy advice nationally and internationally on matters relating to child protection, girls’ rights, the commercial sexual exploitation of children, children engaged in armed conflict and child rights-based approaches to research and development.

Dr Doel-Mackaway collaborates with a range of human rights NGOs and regularly comments on child law matters in the media. She was admitted as a solicitor to the NSW Supreme Court in 2004. Prior to becoming a lawyer Holly worked as a social worker with women and children who had experienced domestic violence and sexual abuse.

Research interests

  • Children's Rights and Children and the Law
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Children and Young People's Participation
  • Rights of the Girl Child
  • Constitutional Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Indigenous Studies
  • Gender and Feminist Studies
  • International Development and Research Ethics

Research student supervision

Current Supervisions:

  • Joanna Mitchell (MRes) - 'The Participation of Children in Australian Administrative Tribunals' (Principal Supervisor)
  • Emily Kwok (PhD) - 'Child Participation in Cross-Border Child Protection Issues in Australia, MENA Region and the United States of America' (Principal Supervisor)
  • Lachhindra Mahajarajan, 'Strengthening the Child Protection System in Nepal: "Girls Voices" – the Missing Link’ (Principal Supervisor)
  • Helena Hanna: 'Children and Young People's Encounters with the Police in Australia as Witnesses, Victims and Suspects: A Rights Based Approach' (Principal Supervisor) 

Prospective PhD Students

Holly is available to supervise PhD and Masters research in the following areas and welcomes inquiries from prospective students:  

  • Children's Rights
  • Children's Law
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Children and Young People's Participation
  • Rights of the Girl Child
  • Constitutional Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Indigenous Studies
  • Gender and Feminist Studies
  • International Development and Research Ethics

Teaching

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Macquarie University

1 Feb 20129 Jun 2016

Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) , University of Sydney

Bachelor of Laws (1st Class Hons), University of Technology Sydney

Graduate Certificate in Legal Practice, University of Technology Sydney

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