Shane Worrell

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

Academic research

I’m a researcher and teacher at La Trobe University, Australia. I received a PhD in 2020.


My research interests include refugee resettlement, humanitarian migration, digital media, mental and emotional health. I have presented at conferences in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. Since 2016, I have taught a range of subjects in the Department of Social Inquiry.

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

Other publications:

Digital Media and the Affective Economies of Transnational Families

From Language Brokering to Digital Brokering: Refugee Settlement in a Smartphone Age

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


I wrote a novel, released in 2010, titled Tom Climbs the Fence. 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.

I’ve also released music under the name Lumbering Dinosaur.


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.

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