Social Work Advisory Board

Comprising members of industry and Deakin representatives, our Social Work Advisory Board contributes to the ongoing evolution of our courses, ensuring students gain knowledge of contemporary social work practice.

Industry members

Ms Karen Todd (Chair)

Manager, Social Work, Barwon Health

Karen has worked at Barwon Health since 2003 in a number of roles, initially as a clinical social worker and now as the Manager of the Social Work Department. She worked with the Regional Integrated Cancer Service with local/regional cancer support groups and on another occasion as Barwon Health's Manager of Volunteers and Community Participation, establishing a platform within Barwon Health for consumer participation.

Her professional life prior to joining Barwon Health was as Manager of Social Work at Austin Health, Coordinator of the Living With Cancer Education Program with the Cancer Council of Victoria and prior as a clinical social worker at the then Repatriation Hospital.

Her clinical areas of interest have been in working with people with cancer and their families. Karen has professional management qualifications with a Master of Human Service Management (Social Work) and has gained practical leadership experience through her various roles. She worked as the senior social work clinician in cancer & acute medical/surgical services, at Barwon Health for 10+ years leading the acute social work team.

A founding member of Oncology Social Work Australia, 2007 to present and a long-term member of Cancer Social Work Victoria AASW (1996 to today), chair of Barwon Health’s Vulnerable Children Advisory Group, member of the Family Violence task force, member of Barwon Health Aboriginal Advisory Gathering, a current member of the Health Directors of Social Work Group (AASW) and long-term member of the Australian Association of Social Workers, 1990 to present. Karen has been working as a social worker for 27 years.

Dr Nick Halfpenny

Director Policy and Research, MacKillop Family Services

Dr Nick Halfpenny is the Director of Policy and Research with MacKillop Family Services. Since graduating as a social worker, Nick has practised in child and family services for over 21 years in the areas of research, quality, advocacy and practice and policy development.

Nick and his team seek to improve outcomes for children, young people and families by investigating and evaluating new ways of working, advocating for social policy change and measuring the impact of services and supports. Nick has also worked in the fields of international development, policy and program development and consumer advocacy.

Ms Quynh Trieu

Recruitment, Strategy & Engagement, Department of Human Services

Ms Sharon Richards

Mr Francis Broekman

Deakin members

Professor Beth Crisp, Discipline Lead, Social Work, Deputy Head of School, School of Health & Social Development

Professor Jenny Watts, Head of School, School of Health and Social Development

Associate Professor Sophie Goldingay, NIKERI, Social Work Liaison

Dr Sevi Vassos, Course Director, Master of Social Work

Associate Professor Priscilla Dunk-West, Social Work Liaison, Course Director, Bachelor of Social Work

Dr James Lucas, Course Director, Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)

Student representatives

Ms Rachel Grant

Ms Renee Callender

Mr Habib Raoofi

Contact us

Get in touch or visit us at our Melbourne Burwood, Geelong Waterfront or Warrnambool Campuses.
+61 3 9251 7777

Email Deakin School of Health and Social Development