Dr. Sara Niner is an interdisciplinary researcher and lecturer in Anthropology with the School of Social Sciences at Monash University. Before becoming an academic she spent many years working with the East Timorese diaspora in Australia followed by many years working and researching in Timor-Leste.
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. 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 currently undertaking research through the Oxfam Monash Partnership of Oxfam partnered Savings and Loans Schemes in Timor-Leste. Further work on the links between gender inequity, empowerment and the economy is also being developed with a network of researchers focussed on the Asia Pacific.
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.
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.
A new book Women and the politics of gender in Post-Conflict Timor-Leste, Women in Asia Series, has just been published with Routledge in the UK More info here and launched in London in December 2016 (launch seminar recording below).
She is also 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). To commemorate Gusmao’s 70th birthday she also published ‘‘What a piece of work is a man!: Xanana Gusmao at 70’, and Xanana Gusmao: of paintballs and power.
At Monash she teaches ATS2625 Mobile Worlds: Displacement, borders and belonging (Semester 1), which explores socially and culturally diverse forms of human mobility and 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. She also co-teaches ATS1255 Encountering Cultures: Introduction to Anthropology and guest lectures in ATS4375 Honors Research Seminar and APG5045 Gender and Development. Sara also teaches as part of Monash University’s International Studies program, within the Faculty of Arts.