Eileen Pittaway is the Director of the Centre for Refugee Research (CRR) at UNSW. She is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences and International Studies, teaching in the Master of Social Development and the Bachelor of Social Work.
Eileen has over 25 years experience working in the field of refugee policy, with a focus on the needs of refugee women and children. In the past two decades decade she has conducted research, provided training to refugees, UN and NGO staff in refugee camps and urban settings, acted as technical advisor and evaluated humanitarian and development projects in Kenya, Thailand, Ethiopia, Bougainville, Egypt, India, Sri Lanka Jordan. Colombia, Uganda, Zambia, Finland and Australia. She was also involved in tsunami relief projects in Sri Lanka. This work has been variously funded by UNHCR, UNFPA, UNIFEM, and the Ford Foundation, the Japan Foundation, the Asia Development Bank, the Australian Research Council and public subscriptions.
In 2001 Eileen was awarded a Human Rights Medal by the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission for her national and international work with Refugee Women and Children. In 2005 she received a NSW Premiers Award for services to Refugee communities in Australia. She is a member of the Asian Women’s Human Rights Council.
Eileen recently completed a major international research project examining the response of the international community to the sexual and gender-based violence experienced by the majority of refugee women and many children, focusing on the “Women at Risk” program in Kenya and on the Thai Burma border.
In 2011, Eileen was included in the book The Power of 100, commissioned by Westpac and launched on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day to recognise 100 Australian women who have shaped Australia.