Doctor Jennifer Whelan

Doctor Jennifer Whelan

Director of Clinical Legal Education,
Dean's Unit - School of Law

Adjunct Fellow - School of Law,
Dean's Unit - School of Law

Senior Lecturer, Clinical,
School of Law


Jenni Whelan has lectured in discrimination and human rights law for over 20 years. Most recently, Jenni was the Co-Director of Experiential learning at UNSW Law and a Senior Lecturer in the UNSW Faculty of Law. As co-Director of the Australian Human Rights Centre’s Migrant and Refugee Rights Project in the UNSW Human Rights Clinic, Jenni has led and supervised international and domestic clinic projects in partnership with community and other stakeholders. These clinic projects have focused on testing aspects of law, policy or practice to strategically advance the rights of refugees, migrant workers and other vulnerable groups.

Jenni has also practiced extensively as a government and not for profit Legal Counsel. In the last five years she has worked in the domestic not for profit sector as the Director of Legal, Complaints and Safeguarding Children at the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW. Prior to that, Jenni worked in the international NFP sector as Legal Counsel for the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions and, before that, at the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Jenni has been a Member of the Guardianship Tribunal of NSW and a Guardian Ad Litem of the Children’s Court. She has also provided advice as a consultant to Government, Non-Government Organisations and Corporations in relation to the implementation of Australia’s human rights and non-discrimination obligations. Additionally, Jenni has previously been appointed an expert on the Rights of the Child (Australian Defence Force Cadets) and worked in International capacity building work including liaising with the Commission on Gender Equality (Johannesburg) regarding running public interest litigation. Jenni also acted as counsel assisting on the Stolen Children Inquiry and the Inquiry into Sexual Harassment and Sex Discrimination at the Australian Defence Force Academy. She has also been the instructing solicitor in numerous pieces of litigation including the High Court 'Malaysian Solution' litigation on behalf of the AHRC as intervener


This information has been contributed by Doctor Whelan.


  • PhD University of Technology, Sydney
  • BL University of Sydney

Professional Memberships

  • Director, Network of Law and Human Rights (2020 - 2021)

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Dean's Unit - School of Law
  • Dean's Unit - School of Law
  • School of Law


Phone: (02) 9685 4791
Location: EK

PLEASE NOTE: obtaining information from this Directory must be for the legitimate purposes of doing business with and within Western Sydney University, and must not be used for unsolicited bulk e-mailing (spamming) or similar purposes.


Journal Articles

  • Whelan, J. (2022), 'Grounding inside/out professional identity formation by developing wholehearted lawyers with therapeutic intent', International Journal of Clinical Legal Education, vol 29, no 1 , pp 32 - 61.

Jenni’s areas of interest and research are clinical legal education, gender equality, human rights, children’s rights, vulnerability theory and State responsibilities to child asylum seekers.

This information has been contributed by Doctor Whelan.

Western Sydney University

Locked Bag 1797
Penrith NSW 2751

ABN 53 014 069 881
CRICOS Provider No: 00917k