Biography

Andrea’s first book, Intimate knowledge: Women and their health in Northeast Thailand (2000), concentrated upon local understandings of women’s reproductive health and how broad social forces shape women’s health experiences. This interest in the social and moral meanings of women’s bodies and the ‘politics of reproduction’ was reflected in the edited collection on Women’s Health in Mainland Southeast Asia (2002), which further developed these themes through essays from the region. Abortion, Sin and the State in Thailand (2004) published by Routledge, combines an ethnography of ‘women who abort’, with analysis of public discourses around abortion, lived situational ethics and the global politics of reproductive health. Her recently completed edited volume, Abortion in Asia: Local Dilemmas, Global Politics (2010) is a collection of essays on aspects of abortion in Asia, by a range of authors from Australia and Asia. She is currently finalising work on another manuscript which is an ethnography of infertility and IVF in Thailand.

Her ARC Future Fellowship project investigates cross border reproductive care– the movement of patients across international borders to undertake reproductive treatments, usually to avoid restrictions on services such as commercial surrogacy, egg donation, or sex selection. The research will generate new information relevant to bioethics, reproductive health, family formation, legal regulations and understanding the new Asian bioeconomies. 

She is also continuing an ARC Discovery Project on other forms of medical travel in Thailand and Malaysia. This study will gather first hand experiences of patients seeking services at hospitals in these countries. Fieldwork for this project is currently being conducted.

She is also a Chief Investigator on a collaborative ARC Linkage project entitled ‘Living positive in Queensland: A qualitative longitudinal study of aging, place and social isolation’. This research will explore the intersections between the experience of living with HIV, aging and social isolation in diverse communities in regional and rural Queensland across time to inform planning for service delivery models.

Another collaborative ARC Linkage project entitled Contraceptive technologies and reproductive choice among immigrant women  will explore newly arrived groups’ use of contraceptive technologies.

Her most recent completed research, supported by an ARC grant, was on infertility and IVF and included a small preliminary study of reproductive tourism in Thailand. Long-term fieldwork took place in Thailand in 2007/2008. 

In addition to her work in Thailand, she has been a Chief Investigator in a Large ARC grant on ‘Perceived influences on family formation decisions in Australia,’ in collaboration with demographers from the ANU. She has been involved in a number of other studies of public health importance in Australia. These included an early ethnography of general practice in an Australia community; this resulted in publications on general practice, environmental health and cancer, self-medication and cultural constructions of heart disease. She also collaborated on a GPEP funded grant on diabetes type II in NSW. She has collaborated on a UNFPA consultancy on maternal mortality in Timor Leste and is currently involved in the supervision and collaboration of projects on maternal morbidity in PNG and on the termination of pregnancy in the Northern Territory. She has also undertaken consultancy work for the WHO on medical travel.