Dr Kate Anderson is a Senior Lecturer and the Course Director for the Bachelor of Health Sciences. She teaches a number of undergraduate and postgraduate disability subjects. Kate grew up in a family of educators and is driven by her passion for inclusive and equitable learning across the lifespan. Kate initially trained as a speech pathologist, working for six years as a specialist in the areas of cerebral palsy, autism and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). She researches how families value and learn to use assistive technology in their home environments. She also researches online teaching and learning practices in tertiary and community education settings, and holds a fellowship with Deakin’s Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE).
“Students are the future of our field. Every year when I watch our students graduate into their new work as empowered, resourceful, compassionate, inclusive and progressive agents of change, I know I have the best job in the world.”
Associate Professor Angela Dew is a sociologist with almost 40 years experience in the disability sector as a direct service provider, manager and researcher. Her research relates to people with cognitive disability and complex needs, and focuses on understanding the lived experience of people with disability and their families, with a particular interest in rural and regional communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and people from a refugee background. Angela is experienced in policy analysis and engaging policy makers in bridging the research divide through knowledge translation. She is also experienced in the use of arts-based research methods. Angela teaches in the postgraduate Masters of Disability and Inclusion, and also contributes content to several of the undergraduate units. Angela is co-discipline lead of Disability and Inclusion with Associate Professor Patsie Frawley.
“My fundamental belief that all people are entitled to fairness, equity and a good life drives my research and teaching interests and passions.”
Dr Kevin Murfitt AM, who has more than 20 years’ experience in advancing social inclusion of people with disability, lectures and chairs units in Diversity at Work, The Inclusive Practitioner and Human Rights and Advocacy. Kevin’s research interests include employment for people with disability, and community attitudes towards people with disability. His recent projects include the Accessible and Inclusive Geelong project, the Diversity Fieldwork Officer (DFO) project, and Voices of Children with Disability (Papua New Guinea). He was Chair of Vision Australia from 2005 to 2015, and is a passionate advocate for access to all areas of community life for people with disability. In 2017, Kevin was recognised for his services to the blindness and low vision community in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
“Disability is part of the natural diversity in our community, and what disables people are attitudinal and structural barriers resulting from a lack of flexibility and inclusion to accommodate our diversity.”
Dr Amie O’Shea’s research and teaching takes a poststructuralist approach to sexuality and gender for people with intellectual disability, and continues the search for meaningful and collaborative research methodologies. Amie’s previous research projects have included adapting the Sexual Lives and Respectful Relationships program for LGBTIQ people with intellectual disability, and people with acquired brain injury. She currently leads two research projects, one to look at the experiences of LGBTIQA+ people with disability in Victoria, and a three year ILC funded project to develop information resources for LGBTIQA+ people with intellectual disability. Amie is an Auslan interpreter, and unit chair for Communication and Diversity and Ethics: Frameworks and Decisions.
“Disability teaching and research must embrace the multiple positionalities negotiated by people with disability. To talk about disability is to talk about sexuality, race, gender, class and more. To think about disability requires us to understand the power relations from which it is constructed, and outside which, I believe, it may also be differently known.”
Dr Joanne Watson is a speech pathologist and researcher with over 30 years of experience in the disability sector as a clinician, trainer, support worker, family member and researcher. Jo has worked in Australia, China, Hong Kong and the United States. Jo has a special interest in working with and supporting people with severe to profound intellectual disability and their supporters, augmentative and alternative communication, assistive technology, supported decision-making, and the application of digital technologies in her teaching and practice. In the undergraduate pathway, Jo teaches content on supported decision making and person-centred planning in Inclusive Services. She’s also the course director for the Graduate Certificate of Disability and Inclusion.
“Disability is simply a part of the rich and diverse human condition. For me, it highlights the reality that each of us is unique with individual talents and needs. We are fortunate to be living in a time where humanity is increasingly embracing and celebrating this reality.”
Honorary Professor Kelley Johnson
Professor Johnson (BA, MA, PhD) is an internationally recognised scholar in the fields of disability, institutional closure, social inclusion, rights and gender. She currently holds two honorary professorships at Deakin University and UNSW in Australia. She has researched and authored extensively in the field of disability with particular focus on people with intellectual disabilities. Her research is applied and aims to better understand the barriers that people with disabilities encounter in living good lives and to ensure that their voice is heard in policies and practice relating to issues central to their wellbeing. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Scott Avery
Dr Avery, Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Community Welfare at Western Sydney University, is a proud Worimi man who is profoundly deaf. He has undertaken extensive community-based research into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a disability, culminating in the publication of a research monograph in 2018 titled “Culture is Inclusion: A narrative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability”. He completed a PhD on the health and social inequalities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability.
Dr Brigit Mirfin-Veitch
Dr Mirfin-Veitch is Director of the Donald Beasley Institute (DBI), an independent disability research institute in Dunedin, New Zealand. She is a sociologist, with a strong interest in understanding the social lives of people with learning disability and is committed to initiating and achieving social change through research. Her research covers a wide range of topics, but she is particularly focused on access to justice issues, parenting by people with a learning disability, and wellbeing. She is also a Senior Research Fellow with the Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies, University of Otago.
Since 2004, Jenny has been employed as a Research Fellow at Deakin in the School of Psychology and the School of Health and Social Development. In 2013-14, Jenny coordinated a University-wide disability initiative Disability@Deakin. She has undertaken research related to people with disability and reintegration of people leaving prison and teaches in the disability major pathway. She is currently a PhD student at Swinburne University, studying the experience of young people with intellectual disability in relation to economic participation, and Unit Chair of Inclusive Services. Email: email@example.com
Monica has a Bachelor of Health Sciences and Master of Dietetics from Deakin. She has worked as a research assistant and Associate Research Fellow in the Disability and Inclusion team with Associate Professor Patsie Frawley since 2016, coordinating research and program development nationally for the Sexual Lives and Respectful Relationships program and working on data collection and analysis in research projects on disability, sexuality and relationships. She is a sessional marker for Disability and Inclusion undergraduate units and is a Dietitian in private practice with a particular interest in health and nutrition for people with disability. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Disability and Inclusion stream offers a unique and specialised PhD program lead by expert supervisors that can be tailored to individual student needs through Deakin’s Faculty of Health’s PhD Xtra program.
Current PhD students
Emmanuel Bassey: “Implementing social competence interventions in vision rehabilitation: An approach to enhance social capital.” (Supervisors: Dr Kevin Murfitt, Dr Kate Anderson and Professor Erin Wilson)
Phuong Do: “Understanding the influence of contextual factors in the school environment on wellbeing and safety: A photovoice study with adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” (Supervisors: Associate Professor Patsie Frawley (University of Waikato, NZ), Associate Professor Sophie Goldingay, Dr Amie O’Shea)
Christina Nayoan: “Exploring knowledge of reproductive health and sources of information related to reproductive health among junior high school female students in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.” (Supervisors: Professor Jo Williams and Associate Professor Elizabeth Hoban)
Valerie Watchorn: “How can people who experience disability participate in co-design processes to improve the universal design of Australian public built environments?” (Supervisors: Professor Richard Tucker, School of Engineering and Built Environment and Associate Professor Patsie Frawley, University of Waikato, NZ)
Jane Adams: (enrolled at UNSW Sydney) “The value in the network: How parents of primary school-aged children with disability use services and supports.” (Supervisors: Professor Leanne Dowse and Associate Professor Angela Dew)
Bernadette Curryer: (enrolled at The University of Sydney) “Self-determination of adults with intellectual disability within the context of family relationships.” (Supervisors: Professor Roger Stancliffe, Associate Professor Angela Dew and Dr Michele Wiese)
Peter Conway: (enrolled at UNSW Sydney) “Factors that influence behaviour support practitioner decisions regarding restrictive practices within behaviour support plans for NDIS participants.” (Supervisors: Professor Leanne Dowse and Associate Professor Angela Dew)
Diane Macdonald: (enrolled at UNSW Sydney) “’Through my eyes’: Identity, inclusion and women with physical and/or sensory disability.” (Supervisors: Professor Katherine Boydell and Associate Professor Angela Dew)
Simone Rowe: (enrolled at UNSW Sydney) “Disabling criminalisation: An examination of the criminalisation of people with cognitive impairment.” (Supervisors: Professor Leanne Dowse and Associate Professor Angela Dew)
Eleanor Watson: (enrolled at Flinders University) Eleanor is currently investigating the mental health literacy of people with complex communication needs (CCN) and their everyday communication partners (Supervisors: Associate Professor Pammi Raghavendra, Professor Sharon Lawn and Dr Joanne Watson)
Rachel Wotton: (enrolled at Western Sydney University) “Sex work, sex workers and clients with disability.” (Supervisors: Dr Debra Keenahan, Dr Leigha Dark and Dr Amie O’Shea)
Current HDR students
Ife Adesina: (School of Psychology) “Understanding factors that influence the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people with disabilities and developmental challenges.” (Supervisors: Professor Nicole Rinehart, Associate Professor Angela Dew, Associate Professor James Charles and Dr Ana Mantilla)
Sarah Driscoll: “Supporting conversations and learning with people with intellectual disability about their sexuality and relationship rights.” (Supervisor: Dr Amie O’Shea)
Jessica Hall: “Information resources supporting inclusion for LGBTIQA+ people with intellectual disability.” (Supervisor: Dr Amie O’Shea)
Current Honours/Major project students
Paige Kernebone: “Girls who play football in regional Victoria: Understanding how they perceive their physical selves and the role of AFLW” (Supervisors: Dr Amie O’Shea and Associate Professor Lisa Barnett)
Lenni Makore: “Transition to retirement support among older people with lifelong disability in Victorian Australian Disability Enterprises: A service provider perspective” (Supervisors: Dr Kate Anderson and Dr Kevin Murfitt)
Previous Honours students
Grace MacArthur: “Women with a Disability: Promoting Rights to Access Violence, Sexuality and Relationship Services” (Supervisors: Dr Amie O’Shea and Associate Professor Patsie Frawley)