Shane Worrell

La Trobe Profile Photo-0358

I’m an Australian media and migration sociologist, journalist and writer.

I’m also something of a Repeat Writer — someone who keeps writing, for better or worse. I write. I repeat. I’ve spent most of my life experimenting with different types of writing — personally, creatively and professionally — an overview of which you can read below.

This is a site to share my work and also my thoughts and philosophies about the practice of writing. Feel free to click through to my blog, get in touch at shane.worrell[at] or follow me on twitter. I can also help you with any writing and editing projects you have.

Academic research

I teach and research at La Trobe University, Australia. In early 2020, I submitted a PhD thesis for assessment. It has since passed — and I await the opportunity to graduate.


My research relates to refugee resettlement, humanitarian migration and the use of video calling for transnational communication. I have presented at conferences in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. I teach a range of subjects in the Department of Social Inquiry.

A co-written chapter of mine recently appeared in Ways of Home Making in Care for Later Life, a book published through Palgrave Macmillan.

My Google Scholar profile


I worked at the The Phnom Penh Post in Cambodia, from 2011-2015, reporting extensively on a range of human rights, labour and political issues.

Since 2005, my journalism has also appeared in (or on) The Economist, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age (Australia), the Nikkei Asian Review (Japan), The Edge Review (Malaysia), The Diplomat (Japan), The Financial Daily (Malaysia), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Crikey (Australia), the Melbourne Leader and the Bendigo Advertiser (Australia).

Reporting highlights include:

  • Receiving a Human Rights Press Award for my work on a package about human trafficking for The Edge Review.
  • Receiving three Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) awards for breaking news with The Phnom Penh Post.
  • Covering the 2013 Cambodian national election.
  • Covering the 2016 Australian election as a foreign correspondent for Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review — at times, filing from my childhood home.
  • Covering the trials of imprisoned human rights activists Yorm Bopha and the Boeung Kak 13 in Cambodia.
  • Covering the 2012 ASEAN summits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Links to published work

Selected journalism

Story archive at The Phnom Penh Post

Story archive at the Nikkei Asian Review


Tom Climbs the Fence_cover pages.indd

I wrote a novel, released in 2010, titled Tom Climbs the Fence. Drawing from my personal experiences, the novel depicted life for family members and friends of someone living with a drug addiction and mental illness. It was distributed nationally in Australia and positively reviewed in mainstream media.

A short story I wrote, Living for All Eternagen, was published in the Australian 2017 Painted Words anthology. Read it here.

Songwritingok 1

Under the name, The Now Disgraced, I recorded some songs with a traditional Cambodian music maestro and my wife in Phnom Penh in 2013. The songs were released as the EP, A Vong Ai!, which you can listen to here.


A political satire I wrote called They Use Violence, We Use Force was runner-up in the Short+Sweet Melbourne theatre festival in January 2017, having first been selected as one of 20 plays to be performed out of some 600 scripts submitted. It has also been performed by the Canberra Academy of Dramatic Art and the Bendigo Theatre Company.

The play was inspired by political theorist WJM Mackenzie and satirises the euphemistic political language frequently used to sanitise and justify war.

Everything else

Other things I write are in this section as something of a blog. This includes music, creative writing and anything I deem vague enough to be passed off as poetic. Read it all here, or click on a category below.