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Dr Louise Morley is a Lecturer in Social Work in the School of Health at the University of New England. She has extensive practice experience in government and non-government organisations working with individuals, groups and communities in Australia and overseas. Her practice areas include health (oncology), disability, rural practice and child protection (specifically child sexual assault). Throughout her career she has focused on the systematic impacts of inequality on rural and remote communities.

In 2015 she completed her doctoral research, where she examined the deeply personal issues for workers in a highly contested political and policy environment. Her thesis was concerned with social workers’ private experience of professional practice when working with vulnerable children and their families.

Dr Morley teaches across the UNE Social Work Program at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels. She is focused on how students integrate knowledge, skills and values, and the process of applying these in adverse circumstances, emphasising humane and ethical practice approaches, especially in the context of working with vulnerable children and their families. She is also focused on encouraging students to develop their critical framework to inspire them to influence positive systemic change in their practice.

Research Interests:

Practitioner experiences of practice, especially in child welfare
Child protection policy
Social work with vulnerable families in complex circumstances
Unpacking complex organisational issues that impact social work practice
Developing philosophy for practice
Family and domestic violence in rural communities and primary prevention
Community development

Dr Morley is a qualitative researcher who works within constructionist and interpretivist paradigms. She sees knowledge as socially constructed and interpreted at a particular moment in history and so uses methods such as discourse analysis or narrative inquiry. She is also interested in action research, an approach that facilitates the participation of those affected by pressing issues through involving them in reflective analysis, as well as in the development of practical solutions to ‘real world’ problems.


  • –present
    Lecturer, University of New England