Mary Anne Kenny  from Murdoch University in Perth Australia.
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+61 8 9360 6806

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M.Kenny@murdoch.edu.au

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    Associate Professor Mary Anne Kenny
    BJuris, LLB(Hons), LLM

    Associate Professor in Law

    About me

    I am an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Law within the College of Arts, Business, Law and Social Science.  I am the Programme Manager of the Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law and Practice.

    I have taught both undergraduate and postgraduate students . My teaching in law is influenced by my experience and practice in human rights and social justice.  .I have taught in the areas of migration law, refugee law, human rights and clinical legal education in the School of Law. I maintain an active involvement in legal practice in the areas of immigration, human rights and refugee law. I have taught subjects in Migration Law, Refugee Law, Street Law, Human Rights and Clinical Legal Education. I have supervised (or co-supervised)  PhD students to completion.  In 2018 I received both a national Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, as part of the Australian Award for University Teaching and the Vice Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Enhanced Learning.

    My research interests are refugees, immigration, human rights and law reform.  I have published in the area of human rights of refugees and asylum seekers.  In 2018 I received a Vice Chancellor’s Excellence in Research Award for Impact in Communities. My research on improving legal practice, community support and high-level policy advice through the study of migration and refugee law and policy was rated by the ARC  as having high socioeconomic impact.  For more details, see the Impact Case Study https://dataportal.arc.gov.au/EI/Web/Impact/ImpactStudy/1121.

    I was the Chair of the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia between 2014-2016 and a member of the Law Reform Commission from 2012-2016.


    I have been a legal practitioner and migration agent for over 25 years. I also work in the clinical legal education program at SCALES.  As a legal practitioner I continue to provide pro bono advice and assistance to refugees and asylum seekers.

    Teaching area

    I teach units across  the Graduate Diploma in Australian Migration Law and Practice.

    I also teach in human rights and refugee law as part of the International Human Rights Program in Geneva.

    Research areas

    My research focuses on the human rights in relation refugees and asylum seekers and is often multi-disciplinary covering law, health and social science.  In particular my research has focused on the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia, child asylum seekers and mental health issues. A key feature of much my research is about the importance of interdisciplinary practice in the area of refugee law and policy.  My research also reflects my practice experience.

    My academic and practical expertise in refugee and asylum-seeker law and policy has led to me advising the Minister for Home Affairs, and the Republic of Nauru government.

    My research on intersection of mental health and legal processes has focused on force-feeding of detainees and suicide risks among the “legacy caseload” of asylum-seekers .

    I was a Commissioner with the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia between 2006-2012.  During that time I was involved in a number of law reform papers in the areas of coronial law, the law of homicide, Aboriginal customary law, therapeutic jurisprudence, jury selection and  the Community Protection (Offender Reporting) Act.

    Current projects

    I am currently involved in a research project with the University of South Australia examining how legal professionals identify and respond to mental distress of clients in the fast track assessment  caseload.

    The Fast Track Assessment (FTA) process is a new legal system of processing and assessing the protection claims of asylum seekers who arrived by boat between August 2012 and December 2013 (sometimes referred to as the “legacy caseload”). This research examines the nature, scope and mental health experiences of accelerated legal processing upon asylum seekers applying for protection within the new FTA process.

    This research is investigating the association between the mental health of asylum seekers and the new FTA process. Part of this research will investigate the role of legal assistance in supporting asylum seekers through the FTA process. In particular, we are seeking to understand how legal professionals identify and respond to mental distress of their clients and how legal professionals perceive the refugee status determination impacts upon their clients.

    Awards and grants

    Awards

    • Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, 2018 Australian Award for University Teaching
    • Vice Chancellor’s Excellence in Research Award for Impact in Communities, 2018
    • Vice Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Enhanced Learning, 2018
    • Pro-Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, Curtin University (Centre for Human Rights Education team award) 2012
    • Sir Ronald Wilson Leadership Award, 2009  WA Office of Multicultural Interests
    • The Murdoch University School of Law’s Clinical Program at the Southern Communities Advocacy Legal and Education Service (SCALES) was awarded the national Human Rights Award for Law in 2002 by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
    • Finalist Career Achiever, International Woman’s Day Awards, WA Ethnic Communities Council, March 2003
    • Nominated for Senior Women Lawyer of the Year, WA Women’s Lawyers Association, March 2006 and 2007

    Prestigious appointments

    • Member of Ministerial Advisory Council on Asylum Seekers and Detention (Feb 2012-April 2018)
    • Member of the Joint Advisory Committee on Nauru (Nov 2012- present)
    • Chair of Law Reform Commission of WA (2008-Feb 2012)
    • Member of Law Reform Commission of WA (Feb 2007 – Feb 2012

    Selected Grants

    • Office of Teaching and Learning ‘Filling the social justice gap’ (with S. Banki, S. Rice, D. Otto, M. Stubbs, L. Berg, P. Orchard) ($220,000.00)

      -          ARC Linkage Grant ‘Small mercies, big futures: Enhancing law, policy and practice in the selection, protection and settlement of refugee children and youth’ (with Crock, M, Rubenstein, K, Newman, L, Gifford, S, Saul, B) ($413,000)

      -          UNHCR Regional Office, Canberra, Consultancy project on quality assurance in primary refugee status decision making ($10,000)

      -          Lotterywest, The Role of Socio-Economic & Familial Factors in the Pursuit of Final Violence Restraining Orders For Women Subjected to Family & Domestic Violence ($150,000)

      -          Murdoch University Zariski A., Styles I. and Kenny M., Innovative Teaching Grant: Enhancing Student Learning in Clinical Education, to develop a Handbook with associated collaborative workshops to help students think about their clinical learning.( $10,000)

    Publications

    Books

    • Kenny, M., Crock, M., Bones, K., Ghezelbash, D., Hollands, J., (2020),Children and Young People in Asylum and Refugee Processes: Towards Best Practice,Federation Press.

    Chapters

    • Kenny, M., Loughry, M., (2018),'These don't look like children to me': age assessment of unaccompanied and separated children,In: Protecting Migrant Children: In Search of Best Practice, Edward Elgar Publishing, pages 321 to 333.
    • Kenny, M., Crock, M., (2017),Migrant and Non-Citizen Children,In: Children and the Law in Australia, LexisNexis Butterworths, pages 263 to 282.
    • Kenny, M., Mojtahedi, A., (2015),Refugee and Asylum Seeking Children and Family Reunion in Australia,In: Creating New Futures - Settling Children and Youth from Refugee backgrounds, Federation Press, pages 226 to 240.
    • Guerra, C., Quek, S., Kenny, M., (2015),Settling Well? An Examination of the Settlement Experiences of Unaccompanied Humanitarian Minors in Australia,In: Creating New Futures - Settling Children and Youth from Refugee backgrounds, Federation Press, pages 150 to 166.
    • Kenny, M., Fiske, L., (2014),Refugees and Asylum Seekers: Social work practice with refugees and asylum seekers,In: In the Shadow of the Law: The Legal Context of Social Work Practice, Federation Press, pages 322 to 342.
    • Pedersen, A., Tilbury Fozdar, F., Kenny, M., (2012),Battling Boatloads of Prejudice: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Activism with Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Australia,In: Peace Psychology in Australia, Springer, pages 121 to 137.
    • Kenny, M., Fiske, L., (2009),Social work practice with refugees and asylum seekers,In: In the Shadow of the Law: The Legal Context of Social Work Practice, Federation Press, pages 303 to 316.
    • Kenny, M., (2008),Children and Immigration and Citizenship Law,In: Children and the Law in Australia, LexisNexis Butterworths, pages 238 to 254.

    Journals

    • Kenny, M., Loughry, M., (2018), Addressing the limitations of age determination for unaccompanied minors: A way forward, Children and Youth Services Review, 92, , pages 15 - 21.
    • Procter, N., Kenny, M., Eaton, H., Grech, C., (2017), Lethal hopelessness: Understanding andresponding to asylum seeker distress and mentaldeterioration, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, , , pages 1 - 7.
    • Kenny, M., Procter, N., Grech, C., (2016), Mental Health and Legal Representation for Asylum Seekers in the "Legacy Caseload", Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Journal, 8, 2, pages 84 - 103.
    • Kenny, M., Procter, N., (2015), The Fast Track Refugee Assessment Process and the Mental Health of Vulnerable Asylum Seekers, Psychiatry Psychology and Law, 22, 2015, pages 1 - 7.
    • Fleay, C., Hartley, L., Kenny, M., (2013), Refugees and asylum seekers living in the Australian community: the importance of work rights and employment support, Australian Journal of Social Issues, 48, 4, pages 473 - 493.
    • Crock, M., Kenny, M., (2012), Rethinking the Guardianship of Refugee Children after the Malaysian Solution, The Sydney Law Review, 34, 3, pages 437 - 465.
    • Pedersen, A., Kenny, M., Briskman, L., Hoffman, S., (2008), Working with Wasim: A convergence of community, The Australian Community Psychologist, 20, 1, pages 57 - 72.
    • Fiske, L., Kenny, M., (2004), 'Marriage of Convenience' or 'Match Made in Heaven': lawyers and social workers working with asylum seekers, Australian Journal of Human Rights, 10, 1, pages 137 - 157.
    • Kenny, M., Silove, D., Steele, Z., (2004), Legal and ethical implications of medically enforced treatment of detained asylum seekers on hunger strike, Medical Journal of Australia, 180, , pages 237 - 240.
    • Kenny, M., Zariski, A., Styles, I., (2004), Looking At You Looking At Me Looking At You: Learning Through Reflection in a Law School Clinic, ELaw - Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law, 11, 1, pages 1 - 15.
    • Kenny, M., (2002), Force-Feeding Asylum Seekers, Alternative Law Journal, 27, 3, pages 107 - 111.
    • Kenny, M., (2001), Australia and The Refugees Convention 50 Years On, Human Rights Defender, 10, 2, pages 20 - 22.