Senior Research Associate, Melbourne Social Equity Institute, University of Melbourne

I am a Senior Research Associate in the Melbourne Social Equity Institute. I have a background in law and social policy, and my current work focuses on the disability- and gender-related dimensions of law, policy and practice. I have a particular interest in the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the impacts of Australian social policy (particularly income support policy) on women and persons with disabilities and the role of law and policy in the provision of support and/or care for children, persons with disabilities and older people.

I am currently engaged in research to develop support for people with cognitive disability to engage in consumer transactions for essential services, and research to reduce, with a view to eliminating, the use of various forms of restraint on persons with disabilities in the mental health, disability and aged care sectors, based at Melbourne Law School. I lecture and supervise students in Melbourne Law School's Disability Human Rights Clinic. In the clinic, Juris Doctor students identify, analyse and report on rights violations experienced by persons with disabilities, and advocate for solutions, in collaboration with external stakeholders.

In recent years, I have provided research support to Prof. Dr. Theresia Degener, Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Professor of Law and Disability Studies at Protestant University of Applied Sciences, Bochum, Germany.

In 2017, I completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne's School of Social and Political Sciences. My research investigates new ways to resolve tensions between feminist and disability rights perspectives on informal care, assistance and support, with a particular focus on Australian income support policy.

I am a member of the Australian Sociological Association (TASA). I have presented my work at the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law Annual Congress (2017); the Law, Literature and Humanities Association of Australasia Annual Conference (2017); the Melbourne Social Equity Institute Conference (2014 and 2016); the Australian Women's and Gender Studies Conference (2014); the ISA World Congress in Yokohama (2014); the Fifth International Community, Work and Family Conference (2013); and the TASA Annual Conference (2012).

McSherry, B and Maker, Y 2018, 'International Human Rights and Mental Health: Challenges for Law and Practice' Journal of Law and Medicine. vol. 25, pp. 315-319.

Maker, Y, McSherry, B, Brophy, L, Paterson, JM & Arstein-Kerslake, A 2017, ‘Supporting People with Decision-Making Impairments: Choice, Control and Consumer Transactions’ Journal of Law and Medicine. vol. 24, pp. 756-762.

Maker, Y & Bowman, D 2012, 'Income support for Australian carers since 1983: social justice, social investment and the cloak of gender neutrality', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 435-456.


  • –present
    PhD Candidate, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne
  • 2015–present
    Research fellow, University of Melbourne
  • 2017–present
    Senior research associate, University of Melbourne


  • 2005 
    Murdoch University, Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)


  • 2017
  • 2012
    Income support for Australian carers since 1983: social justice, social investment and the cloak of gender neutrality, Australian Journal of Social Issues