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Associate Professor, College of Arts, Society & Education, James Cook University

Susan is a social work scholar with more than two decades of teaching, research, writing and practice in her discipline. Her research, practice, teaching and community service has focused on the advancement of social justice, reconciliation, and improved social policy and social work practice, particularly in regional Australia. Key areas of her past research and its application to professional practice have included child adoption policy and practice, working respectfully with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues and communities, and cultivating empathy for improved social work practice and research. Most recent projects include two partnership collaborations, one exploring grandparents’ reduced or lost contact with grandchildren after child protection intervention, and a national partnership looking at social work student poverty and its impacts on study success. Her research has provided input into Government policies and practices, including through contribution to the Commonwealth Inquiry into Forced Adoption. Her commitment to reconciliation, social justice and closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians has included presenting writing groups in regional and rural communities. With Aboriginal colleagues Susan have contributed to informing national and international social work programs. In 2016, with colleagues she was awarded two Vice Chancellor’s Awards for leadership. In 2017, she was awarded a Citation for Outstanding contribution to Teaching that embodies the spirit of reconciliation and working in partnership


  • –present
    Associate professor, Social Work James Cook University