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Justine Poon
Justine Poon will represent the ANU College of Law at the 3MT final on Wednesday.

PhD candidate Justine Poon will represent the ANU College of Law on Wednesday at the University's Three Minute Thesis finalwith her presentation on refugee law.

Justine’s pithy summary of her PhD ‘How A Body Becomes A Boat’ looks at how metaphors work in law to construct the legal subject of the asylum seeker - and she brings a unique insight into the world of the refugee from the personal experiences of her family.

“My grandparents were refugees in a very different context to the conflicts that are displacing people today," Justine said.

“They went a relatively short distance from China to Hong Kong and lived in a shantytown for a couple of decades before comprehensive public housing was built.

“The stories my grandmother told me about the political and military turmoil of the time through the lens of family history and mixed in with folktales had a big impact on the way that I became interested in life’s complexity and its ability to un-home you.

“This was not in the forefront of my mind when deciding on my PhD topic but on reflection, these histories formed the ground for my ideas.

“I became interested in refugee law as a teenager watching the Australian political discourse darken and divide, and then as a law student studying the international and domestic law that applied.

“It seemed natural to want to engage with an area that was legally complicated and morally urgent.

“My undergraduate degrees in filmmaking and law also led me to interdisciplinary approaches to law that bring in fascinating ideas from the humanities.

“The reason I chose to study at ANU is because my supervisor is one of the best law and humanities scholars.

“I decided to do the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) because this is a good moment to be furthering the conversation about refugee policy and my research offers a different analysis on how law works in this area.

“I’ve heard so many wonderful and diverse projects just listening to my fellow competitors that it has renewed my love for research all over again and reminded me why ANU is a fabulous place to learn,” she said.

The Three Minute Thesis final will be held at ANU on Wednesday 14 September, 6pm Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music. Book now.

Updated:  24 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team