Leaders appointed to three research portfolios

Jan Shanthosh, Myra Hamilton and Pichamon Yeophantong

The Australian Human Rights Institute has appointed three talented early career scholars to lead its research portfolios.

Dr Pichamon Yeophantong (UNSW Canberra) will lead the business and human rights research, Dr Myra Hamilton (SPRC) will lead gender justice and Dr Jan Shanthosh (The George Institute) will develop and lead a strategy for health and human rights.

The Institute’s Director, Professor Louise Chappell, says from 2019, they will work closely with the Institute’s Research Steering Committee to accelerate the Institute’s work.

“Pichamon, Myra and Jan are exceptional young leaders in their fields and we are proud to have them as ambassadors for the Institute, taking up the challenge of working on human rights in creative and collaborative ways."


Health and Human Rights: Jan Shanthosh

Jan Shanthosh is a Research Fellow (Health, Economics and Law) based at The George Institute for Global Health. Janani leads a public health law research stream within the Health Economics and Process Evaluation Program at The George Institute.

Jan’s global portfolio of work aims to develop empirical research tools that policy makers and researchers can use to identify deficiencies in existing public health law (in terms of power, effectiveness, acceptability and sustainability), and to inform the design of legislative reform. Jan works across a number of areas at the intersection of health systems and international human rights including community health worker rights, Indigenous health and non-communicable disease prevention and the law. Her work has been featured in the Lancet and BMJ Global Health.

“Working with the Australian Human Rights Institute represents a unique and exciting opportunity to develop a community of innovative researchers and research partners of diverse disciplinary backgrounds who are passionate about developing timely human rights solutions. Through this work we hope to confront the health inequities faced by marginalised populations and facilitate conditions for people to live healthier lives.”


Gender Justice: Myra Hamilton

Myra Hamilton is a Senior Research Fellow at the Social Policy Research Centre. She is a sociologist and social policy researcher whose focus is on work and care across the generations. 

Myra’s research focuses on gender and social justice. Her research program aims to advance conceptual and empirical understanding of the gendered dynamics of care and work over the life-course and their implications for individuals, families, communities and governments. Her work in this field, spanning 13 years, has a strong focus on the impacts, inequalities, and encroachments on human rights associated with the distribution of paid and unpaid work and care, and the role for policy in ameliorating these inequalities. She has close working relationships with the community sector including peak bodies in the areas of young people, families, carers and seniors. She makes regular contributions to public and media debate on issues such as grandparenting, preparing for later life, balancing work and care, and the wellbeing of children and young people.

“I look forward to the opportunity this role offers to build a rich program of work at the interface of research and policy in the field of gender justice. I look forward to bringing together scholars, PhD students and early career researchers from different disciplines, and policy and community partners, to find policy and practice solutions to gender-based infringements on rights.”


Business and Human Rights: Pichamon Yeophantong

Pichamon Yeophantong is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow and Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Development in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Pichamon has worked on assessing and monitoring the social and environmental impacts of Chinese resource investment overseas for nearly a decade. Her new role with the Institute speaks directly to her ongoing research on this topic, which has been attracting considerable attention in recent years thanks to the Chinese government’s formidable ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, as well as to her Australian Research Council DECRA project. In 2019, Pichamon’s research will expand to examine the human rights and development implications of foreign direct investment in Southeast Asia’s extractive industries, and how FDI can best be regulated. Pichamon will organise a series of policy roundtables on improving FDI governance and responsible business conduct, aimed at policy, business and civil society stakeholders.

“I am looking forward to finding constructive responses and innovative solutions to issues related to business and human rights, through sustained cooperation with the broader UNSW community, human rights organisations, and the private sector—both inside and outside of Australia. To this end, I would like to see the establishment of new and exciting research and training partnerships between the Institute and industry, and contribute to the Institute’s goal to be a leading research hub on business and human rights in Australia. I am especially looking forward to contributing to the capacity development of present and future generations of human rights defenders, so that they are able to engage meaningfully with businesses and are better positioned to hold them to account.”