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A lawful marriage

Macquarie’s Environmental Law Centre has two Chinese PhD candidates this year.

And they are husband and wife.

Miranda (Min) Jiang and Kevin (Bo) Miao met while studying for their Master of Law in China. “We got married in April 2004 and came to Sydney for our honeymoon. Kevin stayed here afterwards to start his PhD, and I went back to China,” says Miranda.

The newlyweds spent five months in different countries, before Miranda followed her husband at the beginning of this year. “It was really hard to say goodbye to Kevin after the honeymoon. My parents didn’t want me to leave China, but they didn’t want me to be so sad. They’re happy to hear we’re doing well,” she says.

“Now we are studying in the same (subject) area, in the same centre, with the same supervisor.”


Environmental Law PhD candidates, Kevin and Miranda at Macquarie

Incredibly, the couple's supervisor, Professor Michael Jeffery, didn't realise they were married until after Miranda had been accepted to the program.

Do they get tired of each other’s company? “Sometimes. We spend 24 hours together every day… But having him studying makes it easier. We can share ideas and discuss our work.”

Miranda is studying China’s water shortage, whilst Kevin is analysing China’s air pollution. “These are very serious issues in China. The Chinese government is trying to improve (environmental) law, but the research is not developed in China.”

“In Australia, water law is very advanced and there are also the same problems here, so we can refer to the Australian experience.”

She says they chose MQ because of its internationally-recognised Centre for Environmental Law. “Macquarie’s Centre is one of the best institutes in Environmental Law in the world... most importantly it has excellent professors.”