Heather is a legal academic based at the T.C.Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland. She researches in the areas of criminal justice and domestic violence and has published regularly on FASD. In particular her work has focussed on sentencing and FASD and the education of judicial officers and legal practitioners about the relationship between FASD and criminal justice. Heather has also researched the relationship between Indigenous people and criminal law and her book Indigenous Crime and Settler Law: White Sovereignty After Empire (written with Mark Finnane) was published by Palgrave in 2012.
Heather has also published widely around legal responses to domestic violence. In 2014 she was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to research the way in which women who have experienced domestic violence use the legal system to help them leave violence. From 2001-2007 she was a part-time commissioner with the Queensland Law Reform Commission where she worked on a number of references.
Previously Heather worked as a criminal lawyer in Melbourne and Alice Springs. She was appointed a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law in 2013.