Odette Mazel

  • Odette Mazel

    PhD candidate

ResearchGate Academia.edu ORCID

Odette is a PhD student at the Melbourne Law School and a Research Fellow with the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. Her research focuses on the rights of marginalised communities including same-sex couples and Indigenous peoples and the cultural, social and legal avenues through which to pursue those rights. Her work draws upon a range of critical legal theories particularly those influenced by feminism, postcolonialism and queer theory.

Since 2008 she has been a Research Fellow and Program Manager of the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Network which works to improve the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning of Indigenous health in medical education, as well as best practice in the recruitment and graduation of Indigenous medical students.

From 2002-2008 she worked as the Research Fellow and Manager of the Agreements, Treaties and Negotiated Settlements (ATNS) Project to examine treaty and agreement making with Indigenous Australians and the nature of the rights encompassed by past, present and potential agreements and treaties. Prior to that Odette worked with Australian Government Solicitor in South Australia.

Odette holds a Master of Laws from The University of Melbourne and an honours degree in Law and Arts from Flinders University.

Thesis Title

Can the master’s tools dismantle the master’s house? Queer perspectives on law, difference, and radicalism after marriage equality in Austral

Thesis Summary

Whilst the legalisation of same-sex marriage has been widely celebrated in Australia, it has also brought to the surface tensions for some LGBTIQ+ activists and queer theorists who see this legal achievement as a form of assimilation to a heteronormative ideal, rather than an expression of the right to be different. Taking a queer theoretical approach, and drawing on feminist and critical race scholarship, this project investigates the tensions involved in navigating the impulse toward equal rights and advocating social change, whilst keeping true to a more radical queer imaginary. Can the legal and marital institutions, deeply set with white, patriarchal privilege and homophobic histories provide us the tools with which to carve our future?

Through an empirical examination that engages members of the LGBTIQ+ community, I am exploring how, why and when LGBTIQ+ people have worked with or without the law to bring about change, if and how the legal system has responded, and what the impacts or the implications of these approaches are. How do we navigate the entanglements of pragmatic practices and emancipatory ideals, and what does this tell us about the current relationship between law, praxis and the lived experience of LGBTIQ+ people in Australia at this point in time?


  • Feminist Legal Theory
  • Human Rights Law
  • International Law and Indigenous People
  • Law and Indigenous People
  • Law and Society
  • Post-Colonial Theory
  • Queer and Post-modern Legal Theory
  • Sexual Identities and the Law