Sara Maher


While working in the refugee settlement sector in Melbourne, Australia Sara developed a strong connection to the South Sudanese diaspora. After visiting Sudan in 2010 and 2011 she organised an oral history project that recorded the life histories of women elders in that community. Their stories of war and survival led her to undertake a PhD at Monash University that addresses their post-settlement lives – with a focus on transnational care-giving during conflict.

Maher, S. (2015) ‘The Anyikȍȍl Project: Life Stories of South Sudanese Women Elders, Melbourne Australia, 2012-2014, State Library of Victoria;

Maher, S. (2016) ‘Southern Sudanese Women’s Resistance to State Crime’ State Crime Journal;

Research Topic

The Post-Genocide Lives of South Sudanese Women


My research addresses the lives of South Sudanese women who having survived a genocidal war in Sudan (1983-2005), now reside in Australia as members of the country’s largest ‘new’ community of a refugee background. The thesis considers the pre-migration, settlement and post-settlement periods and looks at processing war trauma, family separation and transnational caregiving during conflict. It also examines these women’s paradoxical experience of finding safety and security in Australia. 


Professor Sharon Pickering
Associate Professor JaneMaree Maher

Research Interests

Sara’s other research interests include women’s oral histories of forced migration and conflict as well as diaspora women’s lives after trauma, especially militarised sexual assault.