Dr Helen McLaren

Senior Lecturer

College of Education, Psychology and Social Work

Research expertise

I am passionate about emancipatory research and evaluation. My collaborations value women's voice and I prioritise supporting women who do research about women. Using participatory approaches to produce culturally safe social justice outcomes for marginalised groups of people, I stand upon a strong social justice base and seek impact.

Research expertise

I am passionate about emancipatory research and evaluation. My collaborations value women's voice and I prioritise supporting women who do research about women. Using participatory approaches to produce culturally safe social justice outcomes for marginalised groups of people, I stand upon a strong social justice base and seek impact.

place Social Sciences South (337)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

My Research (some current examples):

1.Women's public sector leadership: Learning from what works (Indonesia focus). Lead CI: National competitive funding, Australia-Indonesia Institute Grant Round 2018-19, project in Australia and Indonesia (link to more info)

2. Defining quality of life indicators for measuring perpetrator intervention effectiveness. Lead CI: National competitive funding, Australian National Competitive Grant, ANROWS Perpetrator Interventions Research Priorities 2017-19 (link to more info)

3. Women's & children's protection policy mapping in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. International research collaboration with Public Policy & Administration, and Social Welfare departments, Padjadjaran Universitas, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia (link to more info)

4. Evaluation Research: NDIS ILC ‘I am Woman’ personal development program, Minda Inc. South Australia.

Also:

Scientific committee member Women's Studies Conference, Bangkok in April 2019 -submit an abstract & come with me.

Co-Lead, Flinders University consortium of the Families and Children Activity Expert Panel, Australian Institute of Family Studies/Dept. Social Services (Cwth).

I am a feminist.

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PhD Supervision

I love working with PhD students interested in researching issues impacting women and children: gender, policy & welfare, women's & children's protection, gender & development, quality of life, violence and abuse, etc. When you email to ask if I'll be your supervisor, please send me something to consider; for example, your Acacemic Transcripts, CV and Research Proposal. If you do, I'll always email back with either a yes or some advice.

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Prior to joining Flinders University:

  • Researcher, former South Australian Dept. Community Welfare
  • Researcher, Australian Centre for Child Protection, UniSA
  • Researcher & Advocacate, Ministerial Advisory Committee: Children with a Disability
  • Lecturer, Social Work UniSA
  • Forensic & psycho-social therapist, Child Protection Services, Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital
  • Victim Support & Forensic Investigator, rape and sexual assault, SA's Justice Portfolio.
Qualifications

BSocWk (hons)
PhD

Key responsibilities

Research Higer Degree contact for the Social Work discipline

Contact me if you are looking for a PhD supervisor in any areas related to social work practice, community development, policy, or the populations that social workers, advocates and social policy makers work with. I'll link you up with an appropriate PhD supervisor in my discipline who can support you. Please provide your transcripts, CV and brief proposal when you email to make contact. Thank you.

Research expertise
Gender Studies
International development
Migrants and refugees
Policy and administration
Social work
Women's Studies
Research interests

I am passionate about the research I do:

  • Women, gender and violence (+coercive control) towards women in all its forms
  • Women's empowerment, women's leadership from the grassroots to the top, prioritising women's voices in matters effecting them, sustainable development, and protective environments to ensure children's futures, prosperity and living well
  • I predominantly do research in Australia and Asia/Pacific Regions, and I have interests in Sub-Sahara Africa and the Middle-East too
  • I do qualitative, mixed-method and multi-method research - but I always apply a feminist lens
  • I am a member of the scientific committee for the World Conference on Women's Studies. As well, I lead the Flinders delegation to the conference (including some my PhD students and research colleagues) each year. Flinders university is a hosting partner.

I supervise many domestic and international PhD students:

  • I will always support individuals applying for a PhD relevant to my research interest areas. E.g, women researching matters effecting women, the protection rights of women and children, quality of life of women, prioritising women's voice in matters affecting them, women's leadership however that may look, and more. Think of it this way, if you are heartfelt about Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Agreement, Women's Empowerment, Girls Education, Indigenous Development around the world, Peace and Justice, and want how to mobilise change - then, send me your ideas and your CV.
  • If you're not ready for a PhD, then contact me anyway. I'll help you put together a plan for building your research profile and a winning PhD application, and support with scholarship applications too. I know what is required to be accepted to study with us.
Topic coordinator
SOAD9001 Research for Thesis
SOAD9999 Higher Degree Thesis (PhD)
Supervisory interests
Children in families
Community development
Development
Domestic violence
Gender
International aid
Local government
Public policy and administration
Refugee communities
Social work
Women's studies
Higher degree by research supervision
Current
Principal supervisor: Ms Grace Wahome - PhD Candidate - Exploring culturally safe child protection social work with migrant and refugee families in South Australia, Ms Libby Hammond - PhD Candidate - Mapping Indigenous content and knowledge in Aust & NZ social work curriculum, Ms Nga Nguyen - PhD Candidate - Qualitative study of the experiences of Vietnamese parents studying in Australia in the context of visa uncertainty, Ms Amy Bromley - PhD Candidate - Implementation Science: Exploring the process of change within Australian Child Protection Systems
Associate supervisor: Ms Asma Atkher - PhD Candidate (Psychology) - Resettlement and wellbeing among South Asian immigrant parents and children in Australia
Higher degree by research student achievements
PhD Completion - Dr Kathome (Glory) Gatwiri

Intersectional analysis of women living with Vesico and Recto- Vaginal fistulas in Kenya -

PhD Completion - Dr Eshantha Ariyadassa

Life chances of children and young people in children's homes in Sri Lanka -

PhD Completion - Dr Nismah Qonitah

Child protection social work in Indonesia in children's orphanages, in the contexts of decentralisation and deinstitutionalisation -

Social Work Hons - Ms Casey-Leigh Evans

Pro-ana/Mia, Online spaces as a sanctury for the eating disordered -

Social Work MA - Jeremy Davidson-Tear

Employment and meaningful enterprise of individuals recovering from mental illness -

Social Work Hons - Ms Alicia Reinke

Bordeaux analysis of the self-help kit aimed to support South Australian youth tranitioning from state care to independent life -

PhD Completion - Dr Batkhishig Adilbish

Social work, child protection and protective factors in Mongolia -

PhD Completion - Dr Faraha Nawaz

Microfinance and women's empowerment in Bangladesh -

Social Work GDRM - Ms Mary Awata

Exploring facilitators and barriers to disability service engagement of refugee and asylum seekers -

Women's Studies MA - Ms Cheryl Cagara

Handling economic abuse cases towards a collaborative, comprehensive and gender-sensitive case management in Makati City, Philippines -

Publications
Expert for media contact
Child abuse
Culture
Domestic violence
Leadership
Women
Children's and women's protection
Government, welfare service and systems
Welfare development in Indonesia and Australia
Women's success in advocacy and leadership from the grassroots to the top
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Child abuse
  • Culture
  • Domestic violence
  • Leadership
  • Women
Interests
  • Children's and women's protection
  • Government, welfare service and systems
  • Welfare development in Indonesia and Australia
  • Women's success in advocacy and leadership from the grassroots to the top

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