Profile image of Kim Robinson

Dr Kim Robinson



Senior Lecturer in Social Work


Faculty of Health


School of Health & Soc. Dev.


Geelong Waterfront Campus

+61 3 522 78205


Kim Robinson has worked in the public health and social care sector in Australia after she graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and a Bachelor of Social Work.  She worked in a variety of social work settings which reflected her interest in both the provision of services to disadvantaged communities and strategies for empowerment including drug and alcohol services, local government, a major public women's hospital, in community health and in a large service for the care of refugee torture and trauma survivors.  During this time she completed a post Graduate Diploma in Women's Health, and a Masters in Public Health in Community Development and Social Policy.  Her MA in Public Health focused on domestic violence and service settings. 

She worked in East Timor in 1999 with the United Nations and post-referendum with a Non-Government Organization, PRADET (Psychosocial Recovery and Development in East Timor). This provided her with a first hand opportunity of working in a post conflict environment in rebuilding communities, and applying cross cultural practices with sensitive gender and political issues.

For thirteen years she worked in the U.K. in both statutory services with refugees and asylum seekers, and at the University of Kent where she taught in Mental Health, Social Care and Social Work and completed her PhD on the topic of frontline health and social workers in NGOs/voluntary sector in Australia and the U.K. working with refugees and asylum seekers. 

She is interested in the development and promotion of good practice in a variety of social work settings, in particular the NGO or not for profit sectors. The focus of her work is on social justice and human rights, particularly in the area of forced migration and working with asylum seekers and refugees. This includes research and community development strategies that involve service users and carers, and that actively address issues of power and resistance. She was at Swinburne Institute for Social Research as Adjunct Research Fellow, and now is a research active lecturer in Social Work at Deakin University.

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Research interests

I have been a social work practitioner and manager in community health and refugee services for over 15 years in Australia and in the UK. For the last 14 years I have worked in academia in health and social work in the UK and Australia. 

I am interested in the application of critical theory perspectives, particularly post-structuralism and feminism, and how these inform social work practice and education. My research interests are in the fields of trauma and human rights, with a focus on domestic violence, refugees and asylum seekers, and unaccompanied asylum seekers leaving care.

I teach into both the Bachelor of Social Work and the Masters of Social Work, and also supervise PhD students.

Units taught

HSW111 BSW Theories for Social Work Practice: Social Work Theory and Practice B (T2) Year 1

HSW452 BSW Working in Uncertainty (T1) Year 4.

HSW 702 MSW Understanding Care and Risk (T1) Year 1


Current Book Chapters. Robinson, K. (2018) Chapter 16 Refugee Health in Social Work Practice in Health and Health Services: An Introduction. Petrakis, M.(Ed): Allen & Unwin. Crows Nest NSW Australia Robinson, K. and Gifford, S. Chapter 10: Unaccompanied Minors in Australia. In Unaccompanied Young Migrants: Identity, Care and Justice Clayton, S., Gupta, A., Willis, K. (Eds) Policy Press; Bristol UK. (Publication forthcoming 2018) Robinson, K. Chapter 9. Hints and Secrets. Social work with women from refugee backgrounds experiencing family violence. In Critical Multicultural Practice: new perspectives in Australian social work. Nipperess, S. and Williams, C. (Eds) Allen and Unwin Press. Australia. (Publication forthcoming 2018) Robinson, K. and Williams, L. A. (2017) Chapter 8. Asylum Rejected: Appeals rights exhausted: care leavers facing return and marginality in Youth marginality in Britain Contemporary studies of austerity. Editor (s): Blackman S. and Rogers R. 133-148. Policy Press, London. Masocha, S. and Robinson, K. (2017) Chapter 11 Mental Health Risk, Political Conflict and Asylum: A Human Rights and Social Justice Issue in Beyond the Risk Paradigm in Mental Health Policy and Practice. Editor(s): Stanford S, Sharland E, Heller NR, and Warner J. 155 -173. Palgrave, London.
  • Gender issues
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Human rights
  • Migration
  • Youth/young people's issues


Social Work, Education and Social Development Conference, “Environmental and Community Sustainability: Human Solutions in an Evolving Society” Dublin 2018. Theme: Conflict, violence, migration and human trafficking
1. Positive practice: a mixed up story of social inclusion with asylum seekers and refugee settlement in Australia. Kim G. Robinson, Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia
2.  “Fear of disclosure” Women from refugee backgrounds and family violence. Kim G. Robinson and Sharlene Nipperess, Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Geelong, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT, University, Melbourne, Australia

“Challenging Dominant Discourses” 7-8 September 2017. ANZSWWER Symposium in Auckland, New Zealand.
1. “Resistant to Change?” Using critical reflection to analyse positionality within a neoliberal academic environment. With Dr Selma Macfarlane;
2. Becoming a social work student: A complex story of loss and gain with Dr Sophie Goldingay and Rojan Afrouz
3. Student views on their role as consumer: Empowering or stigmatising? with Dr Sophie Goldingay

Poster Presentation with Shannan White (Honours BSW) on “The ‘othering’ of Asylum Seekers: How Social Work Responds”
1st Australia and New Zealand Refugee Trauma Recovery in Resettlement Conference in Sydney 29 – 31 March 2017, Sydney.

“A baptism of fire”: Negotiating complexity.  Social work in refugee organisations in Australia.  ANZSWWER Symposium 29 – 30 September 2016, Townsville Australia.

“Changing a dehumanising system: Social workers in refugee non-government organisations in Australia.” The Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development 2016, under the theme “Promoting the Dignity and Worth of People”. Seoul, South Korea 27 – 30 June 2016.

“Preparing Young Unaccompanied Afghans to Consider Return to Afghanistan”.
Dr Lucy Williams and Dr Kim Robinson. Peace Research Institute Oslo. 20 August 2015, Oslo, Norway.

““I have no power”.  Supporting frontline workers in asylum and refugee services in the United Kingdom: lessons for Australia?” Dr Kim Robinson (Deakin University) and Dr Shepard Masocha (Social Work at University of South Australia). Theme: Human Services. 28 September 2015, University of New South Wales; Australia.

““A risky business” Asylum seekers cast as a risk rather than at risk.  Challenging dominant discourses of marginalisation”.  The 8th Annual Australian and New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference 4-5 December 2014 with Dr Shepard Masocha (Uni of South Australia) Monash Law Chambers, Melbourne.

“‘I am nothing’ – An exploration of the narratives of unaccompanied young people facing forced return and the implications for social work practice”. Joint Social Work Education and Research Conference 2014 Social Work Making Connections.  23 – 25 July 2014 with Ms Anna Gupta. Royal Holloway University, London.

“Meeting the demands of working with survivors of trauma: asylum seekers and refugees.”  Joint Social Work Education and Research Conference 2014 Social Work Making Connections.  23 – 25 July 2014 with Dr Suzanne Martin. 

Young Refugees: Leaving Care, Returning Home? Christ Church University Conference “Where now for social justice?” The marginalisation of young people in the UK. 12 – 13 June 2014 Dr Lucy Williams and Dr Kim Robinson.

“Young Afghans Returning Home: Making sense of past and present” Refugee Voices Conference. Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford University. 24-25 March 2014.


Social Work Academic Team, Teaching Excellence Award. School of Health and Social Develoment, Deakin University. 2016


Robinson, K. and Williams, L. (2015) Young Afghans facing return. Forced Migration Review

Robinson, K. and Williams, L. (2014) Positive Futures – A Training Programme for Afghan Care Leavers in Kent. Evaluation Report. A pilot project to develop and test a model to assist Appeal Rights Exhausted Care Leavers to consider Assisted Voluntary Return 2014.


Filter by


Life (forever) on hold: unaccompanied asylum seeking minors in Australia

Kim Robinson, Sandra Gifford

(2019), pp. 257-278, Unaccompanied young migrants Identity, care and justice, Bristol, Eng., B1-1


Divergent practices in statutory and voluntary sector settings? Social work with asylum seekers

K Robinson, S Masocha

(2017), Vol. 47, pp. 1517-1533, British journal of social work, Oxford, Eng., C1


Voices from the front line: social work with refugees and asylum seekers in Australia and the UK

K Robinson

(2014), Vol. 44, pp. 1602-1620, The British journal of social work, Oxford, Eng., C1-1


Supervision found wanting: experiences of health and social workers in non-government organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers

K Robinson

(2013), Vol. 25, pp. 87-103, Practice: Social work in action, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1


'It's No Life, This Fear' Women's Experiences of Services when in situations of Family Violence

K Robinson

(1999), Vol. 5, pp. 53-59, Australian Journal of Primary Health Interchange, La Trobe University, C1-1


Funded Projects at Deakin

No Funded Projects at Deakin found


No completed student supervisions to report