Jessie Connell, PhD Candidate

Photo of Jessie Connell

Jessie Connell is a PhD Candidate with the Mekong Research Group (AMRC) at the School of Geosciences. Jessie holds a combined Bachelor of Arts (Honours 1)/Bachelor of Laws (Honours 1). Her PhD research examines involuntary community relocations in Cambodia, focusing on the accountability mechanisms of international financial institutions (IFIs) and the role of civil society organisations in resettlement negotiations. In 2013, Jessie received an Endeavour Research Fellowship to undertake fieldwork in Cambodia and Washington, D.C. While on fieldwork in Cambodia she is based at the Oxfam International Office in Phnom Penh.

Jessie has over five years’ experience working as a public policy consultant. Prior to commencing her PhD, Jessie worked as a Senior Consultant with Urbis, an international public policy consultancy providing research and advice on environmental policy, public health, Indigenous affairs, housing and homelessness to the Australian Federal and State Governments and non-government organisations. In 2010-2011, Jessie worked as an advisor for the Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI) on the Water Resources Management Research Capacity Development Programme (WRMRCDP), as a Volunteer for International Development Australia (VIDA), supported by AusAID and the AMRC. Before leaving for Cambodia, she completed an intensive course in forced migration at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford.

Jessie has been involved in a range of other research activities. In 2007, Jessie worked as a researcher for the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law (ACCEL). Between 2006-2008, Jessie worked as researcher and tipstaff for the Hon. Justice B. Preston, Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court NSW. Jessie’s honours thesis focused on collective trauma recovery in Cambodia in the post-Khmer Rouge period.

Areas of Interest

International development and forced migration, development-induced displacement and resettlement (DIDR), environment and climate change related movement, collective trauma studies and disaster recovery.

Supervisor: Professor Philip Hirsch
Assoc. Supervisor: Dr Josephine Gillespie


Mekong Research Group (AMRC)
School of Geosciences
Madsen Building (F09), Rm 428
Phone: +61 9351 7796, Fax: +61 2 9351 3644
Email: or

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Connell J, (2007) ‘Trans-national Environmental Disputes: Are Civil Remedies More Effective for Victims of Environmental Harm?’, Asia-Pacific Journal of Environmental Law, 10 (1).

Reports and working papers

Chem P, Paradis S, Hirsch P, Connell J, (2011) ‘Working with Hydrological Knowledge of Catchments to Improve Irrigation Management’, Policy Brief, No.1, Cambodian Development Resource Institute (CDRI).

Connell J, Grealy C, Olver K and Power J, (February, 2011), ‘Comprehensive scoping study on the use of assistive technology by frail older people living in the community’, Urbis for the Department of Health and Ageing, Australian Policy Online.

Connell J, Winkworth G, Grealy C, Rintoul D, Ginette A, Healy C,
Murray K (2010), Review of the Victorian Bushfire Case Management Service - Literature Review, Urbis for the Department of Human Services, Victoria.

Grealy C, Rintoul D, Connell J, Ginette A, Healy C, Winkworth G, Murray K (2010), Review of the Victorian Bushfire Case Management Service – Final Report, Urbis for the Department of Human Services, Victoria.

Hill, W and Connell J, (February 2009), ‘Cut-off II: The experience of utility disconnections’, Urbis for the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Australian Policy Online.

Contributor to the following research projects

Evaluation of the Closing the Gaps in Health Outcomes and Strengthening Primary Health Care Program for Aboriginal People (with Urbis for the Department of Health, Victoria)

Quality Frameworks for Homelessness and Related Services Literature Review and Environmental Scan (with Urbis for the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs)

Development of an Enhanced Service Model for Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Services in the New England Region of NSW (with Urbis for the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Department of Health and Ageing)

NSW Aboriginal Women’s and Children’s Rehabilitation Service Feasibility Study, (with Urbis for the South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation)

Aboriginal Home Ownership in NSW: Barriers and Strategies (with Urbis for the NSW Department of Housing)

Evaluation of the National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education (with Urbis for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations)

Evaluation of the Advancing Sustainability Leaders Program (with Inca for the NSW Office of Water)

Evaluation of the Building the Education Revolution (with Urbis for the Queensland Department of Education)

Review of the Public Health Medical Officer (with Urbis for the Department of Health and Ageing)

Capacity Building Opportunities for Community Education and Engagement on Water Recycling Projects (with Inca for the NSW Department of Finance and Services)

Evaluation of the Regional Solicitor Program (with Urbis for Legal Aid NSW)

Australian Rural Leadership Program Research and Evaluation Project (with Urbis for the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation)

Review of Youth Services under the Central Australian Integrated Youth Services Project (IYSP) and the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) Youth Alcohol Diversion Measure (YADM) (with Urbis for the Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs)

Evaluation of Local Court Reforms (with Urbis for the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet)

Conference Presentations

Beyond Environmental Law, ACCEL Conference 16-17th February 2007, Sydney, Australia. Speaker on Intersections between Private International Law and the Environment.