human rights, people from refugee backgrounds, people of African descent, forensic mental health, older people transitioning into care, arts-based research, co-design, participatory methods and ethics, trauma-informed and social justice research.
Fields of Research (FoR)Social work, Human rights and justice issues (excl. law), Migrant cultural studies, Stakeholder engagement, Public participation and community engagement, Counselling, wellbeing and community services
Maree Higgins is Senior Lecturer in Social Work, School of Social Sciences. She is an Associate of the Australian Institute of Human Rights and is affiliated with the Forced Migration Research Network, the Kaldor Centre and the Gendered Violence Research Network. She is a respected interdisciplinary researcher focussing on participatory methods and human rights informed research with refugee-background co-researchers, people of African...view more
Maree Higgins is Senior Lecturer in Social Work, School of Social Sciences. She is an Associate of the Australian Institute of Human Rights and is affiliated with the Forced Migration Research Network, the Kaldor Centre and the Gendered Violence Research Network. She is a respected interdisciplinary researcher focussing on participatory methods and human rights informed research with refugee-background co-researchers, people of African descent, older people, people with disability, and people in forensic justice. Her scholarship centres on how co-research can safely and ethically illuminate lived experience, promote inclusion, and create meaningful social change. Drawing on her extensive social work practice experience, Maree’s aim is to tackle issues like racism, ablism, marginalisation and exclusion through her research.
Baldry, E., Evans, P., Newton, BJ, Higgins, M., Trotter, C., & Sheehan, R., Missing girls: from childhood runaway to criminalised woman (2019) Total Grant Awarded: $5,000
Lenette, C., Banks, S., Milne, EJ, Nunn, C., Higgins, M., Atem, A., & Nguyen, D., (2019) Ethics and community-based participatory research in refugee studies: Co-designing a framework with refugee-background co-researchers (2019) Total Grant Awarded: $5,000
Sole: WIL Futures. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW (2019) Total Grant Awarded: $10,000
Ravulo, Fox, Higgins, Blakemore: NUW Alliance Community Hub (NUWACH). Newcastle, UNSW and Wollongong University Scheme (2018) Total Grant Awarded: $1,500
Doctor of Philosophy (Social Work), ACU National
Bachelor of Social Work (Hons First Class), UNSW
My Research Activities
Maree's research focuses on social justice, human rights and contextualised lived experience. She is an investigator on the following projects:
- Ethics and community-based participatory research in refugee studies: Co-designing a framework with refugee-background co-researchers
- Missing girls: from childhood runaway to criminalised woman
- SESLHD 'Beyond Respite' Project
- WIL Futures: Love to Life!
- NUW Alliance Community Hub (NUWACH)
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
Culturally Responsive Practice
Critical Disability Studies
Dignity in Aging
PhD: Ms Karen Daniels (2019, Principal): Experiences of people with SMI in Forensic Settings; Ms Danya Schonberger (2021, Joint-Principal): Social work tele-practice with people with disability; Masters: Ms Miki Hachigo (2021, Principal): Transition into aged care for people who have experienced long-term homelessness and chronic alcohol use; Honours: Ms Kaydee Jackosalem (2021, Principal): Accessibility, engagement, and culturally responsive practice with people from CALD backgrounds; Ms Meghan Sproule (2021, Principal): Inclusive sexual education with people with ASD; Ms Patricia Ho (2021, Principal): Human rights, displacement, conflict and war.
Completions - Honours: Ms Danya Schonberger (2019): Use of strengths-based approaches with people with intellectual disability; Mr Timothy Indsto (2019): Media representations about male forced migrants. Ms Marina Aguirre (2020): Guatemalan Mayan women’s lived experiences of safety, freedom and identity. Ms Jessica Totenhofer (2020): Social Work Acts of Resistance to Australia’s Refugee and Asylum Seeker Policies.
I proudly engage with social work bodies including the Australian Heads of Schools of Socal Work, the National field Educational Network. and the Australian and New Zealand Social Work and Welfare Education and Research group as well as human rights and policy bodies including the Kaldor Centre, the Gendered Violence Research Network and the African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific.
My research engages with people with lived experience of forced migration, incarceration, disability and older age, and the organisations working to promote their safety and inclusion including STARTTS, Foundation House, The Black Dog Institute and the Prince of Wales Hospital.
- SOCW1001 Introduction to Social Work
- SOCW2100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in Social Work
- SOCW4015 Social Work Honours (Thesis)
- SOCW4016 Social Work Honours (Practice Portfolio)