Tag Archives: australia

York's Centre for Feminist Research presents Barbara Baird on Race, Gender, HIV and Australian Criminal law

Centre for Feminist Research presents

Visiting Scholar Dr. Barbara Baird (Flinders)

“Endangering Life: The Raced Politics of Gender in an Australian Case of the Criminalization of Exposure to HIV” 

introduced by Professor David Murray

Wednesday, October 8, 3-5pm, 280N York Lanes

Please RSVP to this event by emailing juliapyr@yorku.ca.

Refreshments provided.

This paper tells a story of the criminalisation of exposure to HIV in recent times in Australia. It concerns John Chan, an Australian citizen of Sudanese background living in Adelaide, South Australia. Mr Chan came to Australia as a refugee in 1999. In 2004 he was diagnosed with HIV and, after first coming to the attention of the South Australian Health Department authorities, in 2009 he was arrested on a charge of ‘Endangering Life’ for having unprotected (consensual) sex with three women and thus exposing them to the virus. In mid 2011 he was sentenced to five and a half years in gaol. The paper uses John Chan’s story as a case study through which to analyse some aspects of contemporary gender relations in Australia. Its focus is on the position of white women in a cultural and political environment characterised by both conservative and neo-liberal discourses of gender and sexuality.

Barbara Baird is an Associate Professor in Women’s Studies at Flinders University in South Australia. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Feminist Research at York. Her research focuses on histories and cultural politics of sexuality and reproduction in contemporary Australia, with particular attention to their shaping by discourses of race and national identity. She is particularly interested in the politics of abortion and is currently embarking on a cultural history of the provision of abortion services in Australia since 1990. She is also part of a collaborative project to historicise sexual citizenship in Australia. Her work is widely published in journals of history and gender and sexuality studies.

via CFR.

Report: Women’s Experience of Income Management in the Northern Territory

This quite interesting  report interviews women from Australia’s Northern Territory about “Income Management” or ‘income quarantining’ since the NTER (Northern Territory Emergency Response). Here is a very short undated excerpt from an Australian government site explaining the quarantining (if you click the link you will find more claims about the rationale, etc):

Income management has been a critical aspect of the response, designed to establish a safe and healthy environment for children. By redirecting 50 per cent of a person’s payments to housing, utilities and food, the amount of excess cash flow, which can often fuel abusive behavior such as substance and alcohol abuse, is reduced.

Half of all income-support and family-assistance payments are income managed so that the money can be directed towards food, school nutrition, rent and other priority items. One hundred per cent of advance payments, lump sum payments, Baby Bonus installments and payments under the Government’s stimulus packages are income managed.

Funds that are income managed cannot be used to purchase excluded goods such as alcohol, tobacco, pornography or gambling products. These provisions affect all people (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) who live in prescribed areas of the Northern Territory and who receive welfare payments.

Hmm.  Protection for children, excess money leads to abuse – they are hitting some high points there. Income managed funds are funneled through a cash card called a BasicsCard that can only be used in certain stores – the Government says, stores which sell priority items, although the women in the study seem to agree that many places selling priority items (food, clothing) are excluded.

The report is a mix of qualitative and quantitative work, written by the Equality Rights Alliance, comprised of more than 50 women’s rights organizations.  It describes women’s actual experiences with quarantining, setting the stage for further research, and policy reform (although the report explicitly stays away from calling for specific reforms).  It is, let us say, not very positive about quarantining.  There are really interesting questions raised about who exactly is the beneficiary of these new rules and about the ability of bureaucracies to implement this kind of program in a way which secures the intended benefits without causing other harm.


When Sarah Keenan was here, she spoke about some aspects of the NTER, so this Report may be of interest to those who heard her speak.

The Report also shares a methodology with reports like my colleague Janet Mosher’s 2004 report, Walking on Eggshells:  Abused women’s experiences of Ontario’s Welfare System.

Lunch Talk on Tues July 19 at York – Sarah Keenan on Australia's Northern Territory Emergency Response Act

Join us for lunch on Tuesday July 19 at 1230 in Ross S839 as IFLS Visitor Sarah Keenan presents from her work-in-progress.

The Secret Life of Property:

Time & Belonging under Australia’s Northern Territory Emergency Response Act

More about Sarah Keenan available here.  This talk will engage ideas from property law, Indigenous rights, postcolonial jurisprudence & critical geography.

All are welcome, but do RSVP to Lielle Gonsalves lgonsalves@osgoode.yorku.ca so we have the right amount of food for everyone.


Why are there so many fabulous feminist legal/socio-legal Australians?

[Dispatch from Dean Kim Brooks of Dal]

Why are there so many fabulous feminist legal/socio-legal Australians?

I just picked up “Feminist Internationalisms”, the introduction to a special collection of articles in The Australian Feminist Law Journal, volume 32 (2010).  The introduction is co-authored by Hilary Charlesworth and Susan Harris Rimmer.

The conference that led to the collection of papers was held at ANU in November 2009.  The keynote speech (Ann Tickner, not an Australian) for the conference can be found here: http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/podcasts/20091123_Feminist_Internationalism_01a_Keynote.mp3