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Personal profile

Personal profile

Heather is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Human Services at Charles Sturt University.

Heather completed a double degree in Bachelor of Social Work/Bachelor of Arts, majoring in psychology in 2001, a Master of Social Work (with distinction) in 2010, and a PhD (with Higher Degree by Research University Medal) in 2017.

Heather has worked in the human services sector as a practitioner for over 10 years in various fields, including disability, child and family welfare, and school social work. She has also worked as a consultant for the Department of Community Services undertaking parenting assessments and foster care assessments.  

Heather commenced working for Charles Sturt University as a lecturer and researcher in 2009.



Heather teaches in the social work and human services discipline at Charles Sturt University. She is passionate about supporting students throughout their studies, and teaches at all levels, including undergraduate and post graduate levels, and using online and face-to-face (on-campus) classes. Heather teaches in a range of areas relevant to social work and human services. She also supervises students as part of their practicums at the undergraduate level of social work, and at the honours, masters and doctorate levels of study. Heather has been particularly involved in an innovative team to develop a suite of ‘ecosocial’ work subjects at Charles Sturt University, which aligns with her research interests.  


Research Interests

Heather’s research focuses on environmental social work, also known as ‘ecosocial work’ and ‘green social work’. Heather was awarded the University Medal in 2017 for her PhD, which culminated in the development of a ‘transformative ecosocial work model’ for practice, also published in the British Journal of Social Work (Boetto, 2017). Heather has undertaken action research with practitioners to facilitate the integration of ecosocial work in professional practice in Australia and Finland (Boetto et al., 2020), and was awarded the 2018 Best Article from the International Journal of Social Work exploring the ethics of environmental sustainability in social work (Bowles, et al., 2018). Heather is currently leading a research project with human service organisations aimed at developing disaster preparedness, which is funded by the NSW Government Community Resilience Innovation Program.

Professional Information

  • Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), member
  • National Advisory Panel on Climate Change (AASW), panel member
  • Relationships Australia, Riverina Branch, Advisory Group Member
  • The Riverina Anglican College, Board Member

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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