Kearrin is a critical development scholar trained in sociology and international relations. His approach to academia is centered on finding creative and collaborative mechanisms for bringing together teaching, research and community engagement activities. To this end, Kearrin was a founding executive committee member of the Development Studies Association of Australia (DSAA) and the Association of Mainland Southeast Asia Scholars (AMSEAS). He is also an executive committee member of the Research for Development Impact (RDI) Network and a Review Editor for Asian Studies Review. At James Cook University (JCU), Kearrin is the program convenor of the Master of Global Development and Chair of the University’s Sustainable Development Working Group.