Dr Ben Lohmeyer

Lecturer in Social Work

College of Education, Psychology and Social Work

place Bedford Park (375)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Video (2min): Researching with Young People

Video (20min): Fearless Minds Series - Focussing on the Invisible: The unseen impacts of youth violence 

I research Youth Violence. You might be thinking of school bullying, youth ‘gangs’, or maybe the chaos of protests. I step back from these eye-catching behaviours, to uncover where violence is an invisible and accepted part of Australian society that shapes young people’s lives.

Stories of violent young people have inspired fear since the “bodgies” and “widgies” of the 1950s. The labels we give youth subcultures have changed, but the patterns of moral panic have not. If we want to build a safer world, we must ask hard questions why violence is ok in professional sport, but not on the school oval? Why is bullying ok in parliament, but not in the classroom?

I tackle these questions using a social lens. Rather than looking for the cause of violence inside young people’s minds and bodies, I think about types of violence that follow the patterns of violation deeply embedded in our societies and our stories. To address Youth Violence, we need to see it as part of a larger system full of contradictory messages. We need to look for the less visible forms of violence, then support young people to challenge and question its place in Australia’s history and future.

Youth Sociologist and Youth Worker

My research and teaching are in the field of youth sociology and the sociology of violence, with intersections into youth policy and youth work practice.

Prior to my academic career, I worked in the Non-Government Youth Work sector with young people around issues of violence and justice in alternative education and accommodation.


PhD (Sociology), Flinders University

Master of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney

BA (Youth Work), Tabor

Honours, awards and grants

2018 Vice-Chancellor's Best Higher Degree by Research Student Publication, Flinders University

2018 Conference Travel Grant, Flinders University to present at the International Sociological Association XIX World Congress, Toronto

2017 Student Publication prize (x2), School of Social and Policy Studies, Flinders University

2014 1st place, 3 Minute Thesis competition, Flinders University

Key responsibilities

Academic Integrity Officer - Social Work

HDR Advisor - Social Work

Topic coordinator
SOAD9111 Social Issues & Social Policy
SOAD2007 Social Policy Practice
Supervisory interests
School bullying
Social policy
Youth inequality
Youth studies
Youth violence, evaluation, intervention
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Eco-Social Work and Social Ecology (1)
Expert for media contact
Social policy/welfare
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Bullying
  • Social policy/welfare
  • Violence
  • Youth
Further information

Research grants

Understanding vicarious trauma in Australian foster care, Funded by the ARC Discovery Project ($246,697): CI Damien Riggs (Lead), CI Ben Lohmeyer, CI Clemence Due, CI Yvonne Clarke

Northern Youth Mentoring Program Evaluation ($29,972), Funded by the Sammy D Foundation: CI Ben Lohmeyer (Lead), CI Kate Seymour.

Integrated Mentoring for Young Women Leaving Out-of-Home Care ($27, 728), Funded by Jack Brockhoff Foundation, in partnership with Bridged of Hope and Swinburne University

Community Centres South Australia: Social Connection and Inclusion ($12, 000), Funded by the Fay Fuller Foundation: CI Ben Lohmeyer (Lead), CI Sarah Wendt.

The Conversation