Dr Maree Higgins

Dr Maree Higgins

Senior Lecturer

Doctor of Philosophy (Social Work), ACU National

Bachelor of Social Work (Hons First Class), UNSW

Arts, Design & Architecture
School of Social Sciences

Maree Higgins is Senior Lecturer and the Social Work Honours Program Convenor at UNSW. Maree undertakes research on human rights priorities of people from refugee backgrounds, those with disability, older people and missing girls. Maree provides research supervision and teaches professional ethics and practice courses. 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. 

+61 (2) 9065 6318
158 Morven Brown
  • Books | 2024
    Higgins M; Lenette C, 2024, Disrupting the Academy with Lived Experience-Led Knowledge Decolonising and Disrupting the Academy, Policy Press
  • Book Chapters | 2024
    Atem AD; Higgins M, 2024, 'Ethical and decolonial considerations of co-research in refugee studies: what are we missing?', in Higgins M; Lenette C (ed.), Disrupting the Academy with Lived Experience-Led Knowledge, Bristol University Press, Bristol, UK, pp. 103 - 118, http://dx.doi.org/10.51952/9781447366362.ch006
    Book Chapters | 2023
    Murad M; Salameh M; Higgins M, 2023, 'Narrative 9: My work advocating for the Syrian community', in Research Handbook on Disability Policy, pp. 322 - 329, http://dx.doi.org/10.4337/9781800373655.00035
    Book Chapters | 2023
    2023, 'Engaged advocacy: A framework for inclusion of people from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds in disability policy', in , http://dx.doi.org/10.4337/9781800373655.00034
    Book Chapters | 2019
    2019, 'Social work with refugees and migrants', in Poon AWC; Ow R (ed.), , http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0440-8_13-1
  • Journal articles | 2024
    Dew A; Murad M; Smith L; Watson J; Robinson K; Higgins M; Preston-Thomas C; Stow M; Culos I; Coello M; Momartin S; Astourian C; Johnson K; Lenette C; Boydell K, 2024, 'Online Bilingual Co-Design: Developing Resources with People with Disability and Family Members from Refugee Backgrounds', The Qualitative Report, http://dx.doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2024.6377
    Journal articles | 2024
    Morley C; Ryan V; Higgins M; Hodge L; Briskman L; Harcus M; Martin R; Hill N, 2024, 'Australian Students’, Educators’, and Practitioners’ Experiences of Modified Field Education Standards During the COVID-19 Pandemic', Australian Social Work, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2024.2317706
    Journal articles | 2023
    Morley C; Ryan V; Hodge L; Higgins M; Briskman L; Martin R, 2023, 'Re-Envisioning Field Education in Australian Social Work to Combat Placement Poverty: Students’, Educators’ and Practitioners’ Perceptions', The British Journal of Social Work, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcad229
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, 'Key characteristics of the refugee journey for Iraqi and Syrian family members who support someone with disability', , http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2022.2045189
    Journal articles | 2022
    2022, '“In the beginning it was difficult but things got easier”: Service use experiences of family members of people with disability from Iraqi and Syrian refugee backgrounds', , http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jppi.12424
    Journal articles | 2021
    Wells R; Murad M; Higgins M; Smith L; Lenette C; Lappin J; Dew A; Boydell K; Bibby H; Cassaniti M; Isaacs D; Raman S; Zwi K; Bibby H, 2021, 'Exploring the intersection of human rights, health, disability and refugee status: An arts-based approach', Australian Journal of Human Rights, 26, pp. 387 - 404, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1323238x.2021.1882044
    Journal articles | 2020
    Dew A; Lenette C; Smith L; Boydell K; Bibby H; Lappin J; Coello M; Raman S; Velkou K; Wells R; Momartin S; Blunden H; Higgins M; Murad M; Barry J; Mohammad Y; Bibby H, 2020, '“To the Arabic community disability is not normal”: Understandings of disability among Iraqi and Syrian people from refugee backgrounds.', Journal of Refugee Studies, 34, pp. 2849 - 2870, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jrs/feaa111
    Journal articles | 2017
    Higgins MS, 2017, 'Reflections on methodology for a qualitative cross-cultural study of human rights', The Australasian Review of African Studies (ARAS), http://afsaap.org.au/assets/16-Maree-Higgins.pdf
    Journal articles | 2017
    Rollins W; Egan R; Zuchowski I; Duncan M; Chee P; Muncey P; Hill N; Higgins MS, 2017, 'Leading Through Collaboration: The National Field Education Network', Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=054158805483050;res=IELHSS
  • Reports | 2023
    Crisp B; Morley C; Briskman L; Higgins M; Hodge L; Saunders B, 2023, Australian Council of Heads of Social Work Education: Submission to the Australian Universities Accord, 1, https://eprints.qut.edu.au/239098/1/ACHSSW_submission_to_Universities_Accord_April_2023_final_version.pdf
    Reports | 2023
    Morley C; Briskman L; Martin R; Hodge L; Higgins M; Hill N; Watts L; Noble C, 2023, Reimagining field education: Report From The Summit, 1, https://eprints.qut.edu.au/239150/
    Other | 2022
    Daniels K; Higgins M; Baldry E; McGee P, 2022, People with Cognitive Impairments and Mental Health Disorders Detained Under Forensic Orders, Often Indefinitely, Subject to Restrictive Practices Including Chemical Restraint Stories About Mike, Scott Simpson, Tarni, Melanie, David Dungay, David Wotherspoon, Fenika Junior Tautuliu Fenika (known as Junior), Shayne Mace, Miriam Mertens, Eric Whittaker, UNSW, Kensington: Australia,
    Other | 2022
    Daniels K; Higgins M; Baldry E, 2022, Conceptualisation, Management and Experiences of Forensic Patients in New South Wales 2000 - 2025: Case Studies of Mike, Scott Simpson, Tarni, Melanie, David Dungay, David Wotherspoon, Fenika Junior Tautuliu Fenika (known as Junior), Shayne Mace, Miriam Mertens, Eric Whittaker., UNSW, Kensington,

Evans P, Baldry E, Sheehan R, Newton BJ, Higgins M, Trotter C, Flynn C & Urquhart R Missing girls: from childhood runaways to criminalised woman (2022-2025) Total Grant Awarded: $204,307

Newton, BJ, Higgins, M, Trotter, C., & Sheehan, R., Missing girls: from childhood runaway to criminalised woman (2019) Total Grant Awarded: $5,000

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

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)

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. 

My Research Supervision

PhDKaren Daniels (2019, Principal): Experiences of people with SMI in Forensic Settings; Ben Garcia-Lee (2023, Principal): Belonging, intellectual disability and complex support needs; Iqra Riaz (2023, Principal) Preventing Intimate Partner Violence in Pakistan; Simon Metcalfe (2023, Joint) The Affective Dimensions of Border Regimes: Australia’s Violent Border Policies Towards People Seeking Asylum; Anna Laverty-Wilson (2023, Joint) Family members experiences in the immediate aftermath of an expected death at home. What are their and palliative care clinicians’ perspectives on support needs during this time?  Honours:


Masters: Ms Miki Hachigo (2021, Principal): Transition into aged care for people who have experienced long-term homelessness and chronic alcohol use;

Honours: Freddy Burke (2022): “I’ll do it on my own, but I’m never alone”: lived experience and practitioner perspectives of autonomy in Eating Disorder treatment and recovery. Kate Mesaglio (2022): Considering voice and justice: Examining how courts view and respond to technology-facilitated abuse occurring post-separation. Rona Zaire-Sasson (2022): Suspicion, Ignorance, and Withheld Praise: What A Critical Feminist Analysis Tells Us About Women’s Experiences in Family Law. Abbey Somers (2022): Analysis of policies relating to the provision of care to Aboriginal women throughout birthing in the New South Wales maternity care subsystemMeghan Sproule (2021): Inclusive sexual education with people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Patricia Ho (2021): Human rights, displacement, conflict and war. Kaydee Jackosalem (2021): Accessibility, engagement, and culturally responsive practice with people from CALD backgrounds. Marina Aguirre (2020): Guatemalan Mayan women’s lived experiences of safety, freedom and identity. Jessica Totenhofer (2020): Social Work Acts of Resistance to Australia’s Refugee and Asylum Seeker Policies. Danya Schonberger (2019): Use of strengths-based approaches with people with intellectual disability. Timothy Indsto (2019): Media representations about male forced migrants. 

My Teaching

  • SOCW1001 Introduction to Social Work
  • SOCW2100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in Social Work
  • SOCW3009 Ethics and Reflective Practice
  • SOSS3006 Social Policy in the Workplace
  • SOCW4015 Social Work Honours (Thesis)
  • SOCW4016 Social Work Honours (Practice Portfolio)