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Adjunct Fellow, Griffith University

Karen is an Adjunct Fellow, Health Sciences and Social Work, Griffith University and Law and Society, University Sunshine Coast, Queensland. A common thread in Karen's career and research is a quest for gender equality and social justice. She was awarded a Doctorate in Philosophy 2016 and Health Alumni for the Year for her research entitled: "Pathways into Trades for Girls" from Griffith University.

Recent research
Advancing the production, utilisation and impact of social work research to generate innovation in human services. ARC funding 2017-2019. CI Prof. Clare Tilbury. Research Fellow Dr K. Struthers.

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS, 2018). Chief Investigator. Young people as agents of change in preventing violence against women.


National Director Every Child, The Benevolent Society (

Queensland Minister for Community Services, Housing and Women in the Queensland State Government (2009-2012) and Member of Parliament (1998-2012).

Director Screaming Birds, Consultants (ongoing)

Assistant Director, Queensland Council of Social Service (1994-1998).

Director, Domestic Violence Resource Centre

Qualifications. PhD Griffith University 2016; Master of Public Sector Management (Hons) Griffith University and Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) University of Queensland.


  • 2014–present
    Phd Candidate, Griffith University