UOW Senior Lecturer and Head of Postgraduate Studies for the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), Dr Camille Goodman uses her expertise in the law of the sea to broker knowledge and find solutions on issues from management of fisheries to the effects of climate change on the ocean.

Dr Camille Goodman is an international lawyer who specialises in the law of the sea, with a particular interest in international fisheries. Prior to her work with UOW, Dr Goodman worked within the Attorney-General’s Department Office of International Law as a practitioner for 15 years, where she was closely involved in a wide range of law of the sea and international fisheries issues. During this time, she completed her PhD at the Australian National University (ANU) on ‘The Nature and Extent of Coastal State Jurisdiction over Living Resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone’.

“I consider myself to be a pracademic, like a practitioner academic. I like to be a translator or knowledge broker. I think academia is enriched by an understanding of real policy and practice, and policy is enriched by drawing on the evidence and expertise of academia. So trying to bridge those two worlds is something that I really like and ANCORS is a brilliant place to do that. ANCORS is a policy focused research centre, and we work routinely with governments, NGOs and civil society.”

Dr Goodman joined ANCORS in March 2021 working as a Senior Lecturer across the Masters courses and professional short courses. Along with teaching and her personal research, Dr Goodman also co-supervises PhD students which allows her to engage with people across multiple areas and build strong teams and connections.

“I really enjoy building culture and connection, and ANCORS is a really collegial place, it’s a great place to do that,” said Dr Goodman.

Dr Goodman’s PhD formed the basis of her book, ‘Coastal State Jurisdiction Over Living Resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone’ which was published in 2021 by Oxford University Press and is now available in over 180 libraries worldwide.

Dr Goodman’s current research in the law of the sea considers not only living but non-living resources – and in particular, the vast sources of renewable energy which are available in the ocean space. This is particularly relevant in Australia, which has one of the world’s largest maritime jurisdictions, with the potential to generate enormous amounts of energy from the waves, currents and winds.

Dr Goodman said,

“Australia has massive potential to generate energy from offshore renewables, particularly offshore wind, including right here in the Illawarra. The government has been moving rapidly in the last year or so to put in place a regulatory framework for offshore electricity and declare areas for the development of offshore wind farms. This is an important part of reducing Australia’s emissions and building our future as a renewable energy superpower – and it’s an exciting new and fast-moving space in my field.”

Building on the research in her book, Dr Goodman is interested in furthering her research on offshore renewable energy to fight the effects of climate change and reduce its impact on our oceans.

“One of the great things about ANCORS is the opportunity to work on whatever research you think is most important. For me at the moment that is climate change, so it’s important to be able to think about the challenges of climate change in my field and what we can do to address them.” Dr Goodman said.

The global framework for governing activities at sea is the 1982 United Nations Convention on the law of the sea, designed in the 1970s when climate change was not yet heard of and countries were focused on developing offshore oil and gas. Forty years later, as we come to the end of this era and think about how to address the challenges of a warming climate, Dr Goodman is asking what the law of the sea looks like after oil and gas.

“How can we position Australia to best take advantage of the transition from oil and gas to renewable energy? How can we seek to influence the international law framework for the oceans in a way that advances Australia’s interests, helps to solve the climate problem, and supports the rights and interests of our Pacific Island neighbours?” Dr Goodman said.

“Here as a research centre for ocean resources and security with not only lawyers, but marine social scientists, policy experts, economists and geographers, we can have a really useful interdisciplinary intervention,” Dr Goodman said.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day this week, Dr Goodman and her ANCORS colleagues will be convening a Women in Maritime Security program for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The program brings together women from the navy, coast guard and diplomatic services of Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, for a two-week program hosted by ANCORS on the Innovation Campus from 6th to 17th March.

The first week of the program, convened by ANCORS, will focus on the law of the sea and maritime security. The second week of the course will be taught by UOW’s Sydney Business School and will focus on leadership and management. The program will also include field trips to Canberra and Sydney to meet with Australian Government officials and visit some of Australia’s institutions. 

As part of this program, ANCORS will hold an International Women’s Day lunch on Wednesday 8 March, bringing together the course participants and all the female staff and students of ANCORS to hear from Vice-Chancellor Professor Patricia Davidson. “It’s great to be convening this Women in Maritime Security Program here at ANCORS,” Dr Goodman said. “We hope that this program can form the basis of an ongoing network of women in maritime security, and it’s wonderful to be involved in a course convened and delivered by women, for women, focused on an issue that is important for Australia and the whole Indo-Pacific region.”

You can read more about the recent work of Dr Goodman and her ANCORS colleagues in these open-access articles:

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