Welcome to the website of academic, philosopher, writer, researcher, teacher and visionary—Devorah Wainer Ph.D

On this website you can explore, consider and challenge the thinking of Devorah Wainer who balances scholarly academic rigour with creative non-fiction narrative and poetry in her writing. Devorah’s interdisciplinary research is within the Humanities and Social and Political Sciences. Substantively her research focuses on human rights, refugee and asylum seeking issues.

Bringing over two decades of practitioner experience to her research Devorah refuses to objectify the silenced and invisibilised subjects. Her striving for congruency with the thinking of Emmanuel Levinas, resulted in the award winning research methodology that she developed. The Midrash Methodology is suited to research in a range of substantive fields like Humanities, Social and Political Sciences, Organisation and Management Studies—perhaps even medical studies.

I am living my dream: including travelling to teach at leading universities on my substantive topics; the thinking of ethics philosopher Emmanuel Levinas and the the theoretical underpinning and use of Midrash Methodology.

In 2014 a highlight was lecturing at Riga University, Latvia, which is the city that my grandparents lived in. I am now looking forward to ongoing invitations for travel, teaching and research in Australia and Internationally.

Read about Devorah’s new book: Beyond the Wire: Levinas Vis-à-Vis Villawood

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Currently I am an honorary associate in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney. Previously I taught ethics and communications to the Masters of economics and finance at the University of New South Wales and was the Director of the undergraduate change management program at UNSW. I also hold affiliate status at Macquarie University.

I have 15 years working within the private and government sectors in nationally and internationally. When I took a break from consulting internationally to blue chip organisations, I was employed as Director at the Community Relations Commission of NSW. In this role I managed the central, rural and regional officers, multiple projects and events with the multicultural communities in NSW, NGOs and universities; held fora for ethnic leaders in parliament house and managed teams to brief and write speeches for Members of Parliament.

My significant practical experience with asylum seekers incarcerated in Australian and not-Australia detention centres is included in my academic research, creative non-fiction and poetry.

Doctoral Award

In 2012 Devorah received the coveted Chancellor’s List award for outstanding calibre doctoral scholarship. Beyond the Wire: Levinas vis-à-vis Villawood is a Study of Emmanuel Levinas’ Philosophy as an Ethical Foundation for Asylum-Seeker Policy.

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Devorah offers new attention to the voices and aspirations of people themselves in her human rights and social justice from the bottom up approach so that new policies born of different awareness and consciousness become possible.

Her interdisciplinary work includes:

  • Humanities
    • Philosophy; Human Rights from the bottom up; Poetry; Creative Non-Fiction, Research methodology; Ethics and the Other
  • Social and Political Sciences
    • International and Domestic Human Rights law; 21st Century Refugees; Asylum seekers’ trauma and resilience, Social Justice

These interests and studies show that for Devorah life is her classroom where she never stops learning.

Currently Devorah is an Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney’s School of Political and Social Studies.


Devorah has lectured in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia. She supervises Masters and PhD students in their substantive subjects and those using the Midrash Methodology for research.

A passionate believer in power of social change Devorah teaches tertiary and high school students (and the public) to bring about a more informed and open-hearted society.

Writer & Poet

Devorah is also a writer of essays and a poet who draws on her life experience to create stories that talk of life’s triumphs, tragedies and whimsical moments.

Not afraid to laugh, Devorah often writes humor into her stories showing that there is always a place for healing laughter.
So stay a while, read, digest, learn and engage. I would love to hear from you.