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Associate Professor, Director Social Inclusion and Social Policy Research Unit, Monash University

Dr Philip Mendes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Medicine at Monash University, and is the Director of the new Social Inclusion and Social Policy Research Unit (SISPRU). He coordinates the three Social Policy & Community Development subjects in the social work course.

He is an acknowledged expert on community welfare lobby groups, having completed his PhD on the peak community welfare lobby body, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). He has also published widely on a range of social policy and community development debates including globalisation and the welfare state, neo-liberal think tanks, and illicit drug policies.

Philip is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for a number of academic journals including Community Development Journal (UK), International Journal of Social Welfare (Sweden), Alternativas (Spain), Youth Studies Australia, Developing Practice and Social Alternatives. He is also a reviewer for International Social Work (UK), Journal of Social Work (UK) and Australian Social Work.

He has published widely in peer reviewed academic journals (over 100 publications in total), and is the author or co-author of seven books including Harm Minimisation, Zero Tolerance and Beyond: The Politics of Illicit Drugs in Australia (Pearson, 2004), Inside the Welfare Lobby: A history of the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) (Sussex Academic Press, 2006), Australia’s Welfare Wars Revisited (UNSW Press, 2008), and Young People Leaving State out of home care: Australian Policy and Practice (Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2011).

For the last 15 years, he has been engaged in ongoing research on leaving care policy and practice, and is a member of the Transitions to Adulthood for Young People Leaving Public Care International Research Group. His current funded studies include a project funded by the Helen MacPherson Smith Trust examining the inter-relationship between the child protection and youth justice systems in partnership with seven non-government organisations, a study funded by the ANZ Trustees examining the experiences of young people with a disability leaving state care, and an evaluation of the Berry St Stand by Me program for care leavers. He recently completed an independent evaluation of the place-based income management trial in Shepparton, and is the lead guest editor of a forthcoming special issue of Australian Social Work on leaving care.


  • 2010–2020
    Associate Professor, Monash University


  • 1997 
    University of Melbourne, PhD