Dr. Sara Niner is an interdisciplinary researcher and lecturer in Anthropology with the School of Social Sciences at Monash University. In 2015 she is teaching ATS2625 Mobile Worlds: Migrants, refugees and the politics of belonging (Semester 1), which explores socially and culturally diverse forms of migrant experience and ATS2378: The Anthropology of International Development (Semsester 2), which provides a broad critique of aid and development internationally from an anthropological perspective. Sara also teaches as part of Monash University’s International Studies program, within the Faculty of Arts.
She is an expert in the field of gender and international development with a particular interest in those issues in the post-conflict environment of Timor-Leste and is widely published in this field. In 2015 she undertook a gender analysis for the Oxfam Monash Partnership of Oxfam partnered Savings and Loans Schemes in Timor. Futher work on the links between gender inequity, empowerment and the economy is also being developed.
She recently convened a public seminar Crocodiles in the Timor Sea: development implications where her presentation reported on recent research which uncovered little know details about the culture of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs in their negotiations over the maritime resources in the Timor Sea.
Further work on the leadership of Xanana Gusmao was also published.
As part of an ongoing program of research into the politics of gender in Timor-Leste she is undertaking new research into Masculinities in Timor-Leste building on a 2013 study into young men in Timor-Leste and their attitudes to gender roles, relationships and violence which informed a gender-based violence prevention campaign. As a regional gender expert, Dr. Niner has often worked and reported on gender issues in S. E. Asia for local and international development agencies.
She is the editor of To Resist is to Win: the Autobiography of Xanana Gusmão with selected letters and speeches (Aurora Books, Melbourne, 2000) and author of Xanana: Leader of the Struggle for Independent Timor-Leste (Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2009) which was translated into Portuguese as Xanana: Líder da luta pela independência de Timor-Leste (Don Quixote Publishing: Lisbon 2011). She spent many years working with the East Timorese diaspora in Australia followed by many years working and researching in Timor-Leste.