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Margaret Spencer

Lecturer & Director of Field Education in the Social Work Program, University of Sydney

Dr Margaret Spencer is a lecturer and the Director of Field Education in the Social Work Program in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney.

She has a multifaceted background and holds qualifications in nursing, theology and social work.

Margaret has more than 30 years of experience as an advocate for parents with intellectual disability and their children and is highly recognised for her knowledge and contribution to these families nationally and internationally.

Her doctorate and ongoing research focus is on the intersectionality of women, disability, and reproductive justice.

She is currently the executive secretary on the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities’ Special Interest Research Group (Parenting with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities).

Prior to taking up her current academic position in 2014, Margaret created and coordinated a specialist advocacy program for parents with intellectual disability involved in care and protection matters.

In 2009, she was appointed a judicial officer (general member) in the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Adult Guardianship Division) and remains a serving member.

Margaret is also currently a serving member on the Board of the Intellectual Disability Rights Service and a member of the NSW Council for Intellectual Disabilities.


  • 2022–present
    Senior lecturer, University of Sydney


  • 2007 
    University of Sydney , PhD