Susan is an expert in women’s rights and international law. She was involved with the creation of the position of the Global Ambassador for Women and Girls; and supported the creation of the W20 summit in Turkey, and the C20 in Australia (civil society grouping giving policy advice to the G20). She was Australia’s representative to the W20 in Turkey 2015, China 2016 and Germany 2017.
Sue is from Coonabarabran, NSW. She is married to Professor Matthew Rimmer at QUT and mother to Marina and Joshua, and a failed guide dog, May the labrador.
Employment History: Appointed as Associate Professor to Griffith University Law School in July 2015, awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellow for her project Are We Trading Women’s Rights in Transitions? to examine the role of gender in diplomatic negotiations 2014-2019 ($653,993).
Sue remains an Adjunct Reader at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University where she was Director of Studies from 2012 to 2015. She is also a Research Associate at the Development Policy Centre in the Crawford School. Sue was appointed an Associate Fellow, International Economics at UK think-tank Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) in December 2015 for a 3-year term.
Sue held the position of Manager of Advocacy and Development Practice at the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the peak body for Australian development non-governmental organisations. She has also worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the National Council of Churches and the research service of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library.
Doctor of Juridical Science award conferred December 2008, Australian National University, 2002 – 2008.
1991‑1997 University of Queensland BA(Hons)/LLB(Hons) ‑ includes a year of cross‑institutional enrolment at Australian National University 1996
Awarded University Medal for 1995. Awarded Lizzie Heal‑Warry Prize 1991, the George Essex Evans Scholarship 1995, and the Ruthning Memorial Scholarship 1997
Awards and Appointments
Winner of the 2006 Audre Rapoport Prize for Scholarship on the Human Rights of Women held by the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at The University of Texas School of Law.
Selected as participant in the 2020 Summit 2008, and awarded the Future Summit Leadership Award, 2008 and Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Award 2002
Selected for Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy Workshop, Doha Qatar, 3-11 January 2014 and Harvard IGLP Conference, June 2015, winner of Harvard-Satander grant.
Selected as an expert for the official Australian delegation to the 58th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in NY in March 2014, with the delegation headed by Minister Michaelia Cash and Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott-Despoja.
Selected as participant in the Think20 process for Australia’s host year of the Group of 20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane 2014. Susan was the G20 correspondent for The Conversation site in St Petersburg.
Nominated by Australian Government as Australian representative to the W20 Summit in Turkey, China and Germany.
Visiting Fellow, International Gender Studies Programme, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, UK 2016
Visiting Fellow, Programme on Gender and Global Change, Institut De Hautes Études Internationales Et Du Développement (Graduate Institute Of International And Development Studies), Geneva, Switzerland, 2016.
Named one of 100 global gender experts by Apolitical 2018
Admitted to the Queensland Supreme Court as a solicitor, March 2000.
Member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law
International Womens Development Agency Board, 2014 to present.
Appointed the national board of the Refugee Council of Australia in October 2013 and an Australian Refugee Trust Ambassador, 2013-2017
Elected to UN Women Australia Board, October 2008 – 2011 (previously UNIFEM)
President of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, elected February 2008 – 2010, National Committee member 2013-2014, Women’s committee 2017-present
Australian Red Cross ACT International Humanitarian Law Committee 2001-2009
Harris Rimmer, S. (ed) (with Caitlyn Byrne and Melissa Conley-Tyler) Australian Journal of International Affairs Vol 70special issue 2016: Australian Diplomacy Today.
Harris Rimmer, S. 2016. ‘Barriers to operationalising the Women Peace and Security doctrine in UN Peacekeeping operations’. Journal of International Peacekeeping 20 (2016): 49-68
Harris Rimmer, S. 2104. ‘The Big Stage: Australian women leading social change in international fora’ in Women and Leadership in a Century of Australian Democracy, eds Joy Damousi, Kim Rubenstein & Mary Tomsic, ANU E-Press (ARC Linkage grant)
Full publications listing, including opinion pieces is available from