Research and Policy Impact

Media commentary and policy advice.  

Advice to Australian Government
  • DFAT White Paper submission 2016
  • DFAT Soft Power Review consultation 2018
  • Consultations on Second National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security 2018
  • Women Peace and Security Advisory Group, PMC 2018
  • Queensland Human Rights Advisory Panel, Queensland Parliament, 2019 – present
  • Queensland Human Rights Commission Academic Advisory Group, 2019 – present

Parliamentary Submissions

Policy Papers 

Policy events

  • Seminar – The EU and a Feminist Trade Policy, Amsterdam Centre for European Studies, April 2021
  • On 6 February 2015, I gave an invited keynote address to the ‘Big Ideas’ forum on Gender and Diplomacy for DFAT, and on 19 May delivered the DFAT Multilateral training session on women’s rights and foreign policy. I was also invited to join a ‘deep dive’ with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on MIKTA.
  •  I was nominated by Australia as official representative to the W20 Summit in Turkey, China and Germany for 2016-2018.
  • I was an invited expert for the Asialink Women in Leadership dialogue in Singapore, December 2016.
  •  In December 2016, I was appointed as a Research Associate to the UK think-tank Chatham House.
  • In October 2016, I chaired a panel on Myanmar for the Women Peace and Security Civil Society Dialogue in Canberra.
  • In February 2016 I was invited to join an expert committee on Mandatory Gender Training by the EveryWoman EveryWhere Coalition (Carr Centre, HKS), with the aim of drafting a new UN Convention to End Violence Against Women.
  • In February 2016, I was invited to join the new Queensland Law Society Human Rights Working Group.
  • In March 2016, I was a keynote speaker at the UN Women International Women’s Day Breakfast in Brisbane on the topic of ending violence against women.
  • I was invited to speak on panel about academic women’s leadership at FutureProof 2016 in May 2016.
  • On 8 November 2016, I was the moderator for CEDA Global Disruption event Brisbane Convention Centre.
  • In December 2017, I represented Griffith Law School at the Attorney-General Department’s International Law Colloquium.
  • Invited to Australia-ASEAN Summit side event with Minister Bishop – 2018 ASEAN Australia Dialogue, 13 March 2018, Sydney
  • On 27 May 2016, I chaired a roundtable with visiting Afghan female parliamentarian at ANU.
  • In September 2016, I attended ‘Transitioning from military interventions to long- term counterterrorism policy in fragile states: The case of Afghanistan’ expert meeting in Brussels. It was part of a research project conducted by the International Centre for Counter- Terrorism (The Hague), Leiden University and ANU for the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme.
  • In March 2016, I met with the Afghan Women’s Network during Commission for the Status of Women Session 60 in New York.
  • ANU Inaugural Women in National Security Conference – Facilitator of session on the Australian Women Peace and Security National Action Plan, with Office for Women, Canberra 4 April 2017 – fed into official consultation for development of the next National Action Plan.
  • On 8 September 2017, I hosted and facilitated Brisbane consultation on second National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security, QCA, flowing into National Consultation, Canberra.
  • 30 August 2017 – MIKTA interview with Frances Adamson, Secretary of DFAT
  • 31 August 2017 – Department of Communication and the Arts Seminar: ‘Artistic Conundrums’ – Memorialisation, Justice and Cultural Policy (with Ruth Berenson)
  • Accepted Invitation by Trade Commissioner Ms Malmström of the European Commission and Executive Director Ms González of the International Trade Centre, to moderate a session at the first International Forum on Women and Trade on 20 June 2017 in Brussels, Belgium.
  •  No Going Back: Making Gender Equality Happen, Chatham House Forum,  London, 16 July 2018.  This annual forum brings together a committed group of scholars, policymakers, activists, business people and entrepreneurs to generate key policy ideas for the G20 to explore the following year and support the work of the Women 20 (W20).
  • United Nations Association of Australia address – ‘Foreign Policy for Peace’ – clarifying Federal white paper implications – with USG David Malone, Rector for United Nations Universities, former President of the International Peace Institute, Griffith EcoCentre, 28 July 2018.


Named as one of the Queensland Voices Female Leaders 2019

Sue was named in the Apolitical list of Top 100 Global Experts in Gender Policy in May 2018. 




Selected Media Mentions

New York Times

International conferences

  • December 2020 – Columbia University Human Rights Seminar series 2020 #3 Whither Human Rights? Navigating through evolving configurations of governance, territoriality and normativity. THE COVID-19 GENDER GAP: IMPLICATIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW
  • 14 September 2017 – Keynote presentation, Pluralistic Memory Project, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Are We ‘Trading’ Women’s Rights in Transitions? in Gender and Leadership in a Volatile World 2016 seminar series, Talbot Hall, Lady Margaret Hall, IGS, Oxford University, 13 October 2016. 
  • Panellist at Second International Conference on Burma Studies, Mandalay, February 2018 – Chair of ‘Gender, Justice and Rights in Transitional Myanmar’ roundtable with Daw Khin Mar Mar Khyi, Oxford, first time such a panel has been held inside Myanmar.
  • Paper on feminist economic governance presented at the International Feminist Journal of Politics 2018 Conference, “Feminism + Knowledge + Politics,” held at the University of San Francisco’s Fromm Hall on April 2-3, 2018.
  • Presented two papers and convened a panel for IPSA World Congress, July 2018. Refereed conference proceedings.
    • Panel Paper – The W20 and the limits of gender disruption at the G20;
    • Panel Paper – The Women, Peace and Security Doctrine and the Failures of the UN System to Prevent the 2017 Rohingya Crisis, Myanmar
    • Panel convener & chair – Women’s Leadership in International Affairs
  • I delivered two lectures on the UN system at the University of Yangon, December 2016.
  • I gave a seminar at USAK, Turkey on MIKTA and the G20 on September 2016.
  • Delivered seminar on Gender and Diplomacy at SOAS, UK, July 2016
  • In June 2016, I delivered a panel paper at the Harvard Institute for Global Law and Policy conference, Boston, and met with the ‘Future of Diplomacy’ project director at the Kennedy School.
  • I delivered a paper on military reform and the Women Peace and Security agenda at Georgetown University, 2016.
  • I gave an invited paper at the ‘Burma in Transition’ conference at Lingnan University Hong Kong in December 2015.

Australian lectures and conferences

  • Opening Event Address for Next Gen Policy Change, Monday 8 February 2021
  • Beijing Platform for Action at 25 Conference – Address – How do we move forward?, December 2020 –
  • 21 September 2017 – delivered ANU College of Law/ANU Gender Institute Seminar: ‘Women Making International Law’
  • 26 April 2018. Presented a CIPL seminar at ANU Law on Gender dilemmas in stabilisation missions: The NATO ISAF mission and the practice of bacha bazi,
  • 18-19 June 2016 – International Feminist Journal of Politics conference UQ – Feminist Economic Governance
  • 12 August 2016 – QUT Law Seminar – Are we trading women’s rights?
  • 28 August  2016 – Australian Diplomacy workshop, ANU-Bond-AIIA hosted by DFAT, Canberra

Griffith Workshops

  • Evaluating the Queensland Human Rights Act, Law Futures Centre, Queensland Supreme Court, March 2020.
  • Co-chaired and presented at successful 31 July 2018 workshop with Centre for Human Rights in Conflict, University of East London – Formations of British Colonial Legality: Disjuncture and Continuity in India/Ireland, Palestine, Sri Lanka and Myanmar (Burma). (AEL grant $9k)  My paper – ‘Gender, Militarism and Dissent: The ‘Public Tranquillity’ of British Colonial Laws in Transitional Myanmar, 2008-2018’
  • Chaired successful 13 August workshop on Cities as Diplomatic Actors project with Professor Michele Acuto, University of Melbourne hosted by DFAT Queensland. Working paper and op ed published with GAI and ARC Linkage Grant application on foot (LFC)
  • Chaired successful workshop on Mental Health and Human Rights with Professor Bernadette McSherry, University of Melbourne on 11 October 2018 (with Neeraj Gill) – AEL Workshop grant $6k leading to ARC Linkage application with Mental Health Commission.
  • 27-28 November 2017 – Joint workshop with Renee Jeffrey and Sara Davies – Women in Political Leadership: The Effectiveness of Human Rights Institutions.  Paper on ‘Women Human Rights Defenders and National Human Rights Institutions’.
  • Convened a workshop on The Future of Women’s Engagement with International Law (with co-editor Kate Ogg July 2016 with funds obtained from an AEL International Workshop Award ($7,500).
  • 26 October 2016– Panel speaker, Griffith Asia Institute Digital Diplomacy Roundtable, Rydges Southbank

Research Grants

  • 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).
  • Australian Research Council (ARC). Adjudicating priorities and rights in the battle for a sustainable and fair National Disability Insurance Scheme, 2020 – 2023.  Cis Foster M, Burns K, Harris Rimmer S ARC Discovery Projects (including Fellowship) – (DP200100742) (Total project value: $285,318)

GU Grants

  • Griffith Gender Equality Research Network, Co-convenor with Sara E. Davies (AUD50,000 internal grant by Griffith University Office for Research to support early career gender researchers with a support program)
  • Wayfinding: Students as Researchers. 2021
  • Climate Action Beacon. Theme Leader, Climate Justice theme.
  • Evaluating the Queensland Human Rights Act: Building the case for the four year review 2020 – 2024. Griffith University Internal Grant (Total project value: $4,200)
  • Diplomatic practices in liquid modernity – Simon Fraser University Partnership, 2018 – 2020. Griffith University Internal Grant (Total project value: $15,000)


  • Evaluating the 2020 Queensland State Government Election, Nous Group Pty Ltd, 2021
  • The Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE) Evaluation: Assessing the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) engagement in conflict prevention and peace building through diplomacy, trade, aid, and security. Ninti One Limited, 2019 – 2020 (Total project value: $20,000)
  • Human Rights adviser to FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2032 Bid – 2020
  • Human Rights Adviser to GOLDOC, the Commonwealth Games ($AUD45k) – 2018
  • Consultancy for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, South Korea on an evaluation of MIKTA, with Sebastian Haug and Sung-Mi Kim, $AUD25k – 2018
  • Delivered seminar on Women and Children’s Rights and Transitional Justice for Advancing Women, Peace and Security in the ASEAN Region: A Fellowship for the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children, hosted by The Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, 27-31 March 2017.
  • Invited expert to DFAT Innovation Xchange Big Think event 30 March 2016 – how to provide education for girls in emergencies.
  • December 2016-December 2017 – Chatham House Research Paper on Gender-smart Procurement published, supported by Citibank