Dr Natalie Hendry



Lecturer in Education (Health and Student Wellbeing)


Faculty of Arts and Education


SoE Arts & Ed


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Doctor of Philosophy, Royal Melb Inst. of Technology, 2018
Master of Youth Health and Educational Management, University of Melbourne, 2012
Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary), University of Melbourne, 2008
Bachelor of Science, Monash University, 2006
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Monash University, 2004



My research focuses on young people's everyday social media practices - what they do and why. I am especially interested in the increasing social and political pressures expected of young people to engage in practices of visibility and participation as young citizens, and young women's gendered experiences of exposure, excess and containment.

Other research interests include the ethics of digital and creative research methods with marginalized communities, the political dimensions of "student wellbeing" in schools and beyond, interdisciplinary theories and methodologies, and the relationship between health, education and media. I welcome research students who dabble (or would like to!) in any of those spaces.

My PhD thesis explored how young people experiencing mental illness engage with social media, focusing on visual practices related to identity, connection, intimacy and affect. This was undertaken in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, with support from the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, where I was a member of the RMIT Human Research Ethics Committee. The work has informed education with mental health services.

Prior to beginning my PhD studies, I was a teacher and consultant in a hospital school setting, working with inpatient adolescents engaged with youth psychiatric care. This included developing policies and resources for teachers, clinicians, GPs and health services related to the intersection of health and education. I have experience in mainstream education (health, home economics/food technology and humanities) and community education (relationship violence prevention and sexuality education).

Current Projects

The YeS Project, Office of the eSafety Commissioner: I am developing a framework and curriculum resources for secondary schools to support students to explore their digital cultures, develop skills to support friends and communities, and create projects for change.

Food Education and Social Media: This project develops research led and theoretically informed resources for teacher education and school teachers in relation to social media practices and health and wellbeing. Social media is often framed within risk-based discourses as to the effects for young people’s health (including bullying and mental health), or utilised along with Apps in a top-down health interventionist way. Working with Dr Rosie Welch at Monash University, we combine the techniques and disciplinary knowledges of media and communication studies to develop students and teachers’ socially-critically informed and strengths-based skills and knowledge in health education with a focus on food. This project is underpinned by a critical digital literacy model applied to the learning areas of health and food. This builds on food literacies research internationally.

Current Publications

Google Scholar

Read more on Natalie's profile

Research interests

Critical health education, social media practices, youth mental health, "wellbeing" theories, affect theory in media context, critical approaches to risk, digital and visual ethics for research, critical psychology, interdisciplinary health education and policy analysis, sexuality and relationships education.


Association of Internet Researchers

The Australian Sociological Association

Society for Media and Cinema Studies

Units taught

EEH730 Promoting Student Wellbeing

ESH402 Health Education: Curriculum Study

ESH702 Health Education: Curriculum Study

ESH403 Senior Health and Human Development: Curriculum Study

ESH703 Senior Health and Human Development: Curriculum Study

Supervision of Masters projects in EDX703, EDX704, EDX705, EDX706.

Current Masters supervision:

Tambasco-Roche, Maree (current) How are the learning experiences of secondary school students diagnosed with mental health challenges represented? - Maree is undertaking a critical analysis of a systematic review of literature related to experiences of mental health challenges and learning to better inform development of education supports and resources.

Emerick, Jane (current) A qualitative exploration of the relationship between physical activity and happiness for high school students - Jane is using focus group discussion and interview methods to explore the relationship between physical activity and happiness in different Australian schools.

Previous supervision:

Greig, Jack (2017) Stories of Whole-School Wellbeing: Exploring narratives of experience - Jack used narrative frameworks to understand the explanatory stories student wellbeing teachers use to inform how they promote and develop wellbeing projects and practices in schools.

Kearney, Jessica (2016) Emergent Writing and Feedback: Writing Goals in a Prep Classroom - Jess used a digital iPad app to explore writing goals and how they support emerging writing practices.

Professional activities

Member, Deakin University HEAG (current)

Member, RMIT University HREC (2013-2016)

Member, Projects and Partnerships Sub-committee, Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre (2015-2016)


RMIT PhD Scholarship 2013

Young and Well CRC PhD Scholarship 2013


Filter by


Untangling the conflation of 'young adults' and 'young people' in STI and sexual health policy and sex education

N Hendry, G Brown, M Carman, J Ellard, J Wallace, G Dowsett

(2018), Vol. 18, pp. 527-540, Sex education, Abingdon, Eng., C1


Social media bodies : revealing the entanglement of sexual well-being, mental health, and social media in education

N Hendry

(2017), pp. 509-526, The Palgrave Handbook of Sexuality Education, Basingstoke, Eng., B1


Beyond social media panics for 'at risk' youth in mental health practice

N Hendry, B Robards, S Stanford

(2017), pp. 135-154, Beyond the risk paradigm in mental health policy and practice, London, Eng., B1


association between sexually transmissible infection testing, numbers of partners and talking to partners and friends about sexual health: survey of young adults

N Hendry, G Brown, G Dowsett, M Carman

(2017), pp. a-e, Sexual Health, Collingwood, VIC, C1


Investigating combination HIV prevention: isolated interventions or complex system

G Brown, D Reeders, G Dowsett, J Ellard, M Carman, N Hendry, J Wallace

(2015), Vol. 18, pp. 1-6, Journal of the international AIDS society, Geneva, Switzerland, C1-1


Funded Projects at Deakin

No Funded Projects at Deakin found


No completed student supervisions to report