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Personal profile

Personal profile

Wendy Bowles has been lecturing and researching in social work and human services at Charles Sturt University since 1991. Prior to commencing at CSU, Wendy worked mainly in the disability field and taught in social work at the University of New South Wales. Wendy's PhD is in quality of life of people with spina bifida as an issue of equality. Having supervised 12 doctoral students to graduation (7 as Principal Supervisor) and 11 masters students as well as leading and participating in research projects, including leading a large national research project, Wendy is a experiended researcher and supervisor.

A scholar of social work education and professional practice, Wendy enjoys teaching and researching in those areas that focus on social justice and human rights including rural issues, ecosocial work, professional identity, ethics, disability, citizenship and social work education. Wendy has co-authored two books: one on social work ethics and one on social work research methods (now in its 4th edition) as well as book chapters and journal articles. Being an active leader within the university, professional and disability communities is also one of Wendy's priorities.


  • Supervising doctoral students
    • Principal supervisor – 8 current students (past students – 2 – both successfully completed)
    • Associate supervisor – 3 current students (5 past students, all successfully completed)
  • Supervising masters students – have supervised 9 masters students, 8 of whom successfully completed (1 still in progress)
  • Honours students – many supervised. Most recent graduates have continued to PhD studies
  • Social work theory and practice subjects - undergraduate and postgraduate
  • Ethics
  • Field education (practicum, Workplace Learning)
  • Disability studies

Research Interests

  • Rural and regional welfare issues, including those experienced by diverse groups such as those with disabilities or from Aboriginal or CALD backgrounds
  • Social work field education / Workplace Learning
  • Ethics
  • Research methodology

Professional Information

  • Convenor, AASW National Education and Knowledge Development Committee Nov 2013 – current.
  • Convenor, National Field Education Sub-Committee AASW, 2007-2008, 2011-2013.
  • Member, AASW National Education Committee, 2009-2013.
  • Member, ASWEAS Review Reference Group (AASW), 2012
  • Member, Australian Council Heads of Schools of Social Work, 2014 – current.
  • Member, Centrelink National Professional Practice Reference Group, 2008 – 2012.
  • Contributions to 3 Centrelink Area South West social work conferences
    • Wagga 2006 – Engaging Indigenous communities
    • Bathurst 2007- ethics and supervision
    • Orange 2011 – engaging with communities
    • Centrelink 2010 – negotiated MOU CSU-Area South West Centrelink
  • Presenter - supervision workshop to ACT AASW Branch members, August 2012. Over 50 social workers attended.
  • Supervision workshops to field educators around the state in collaboration with CSU colleagues. Sites include:
    • Dubbo (2014, 2013, 2006)
    • Wagga (2013, 2007, 2006, 2005)
    • Gosford (2013)
    • Wollongong (2013, 2006)
    • Ballina (2012)
    • Grafton (2012)
    • Coffs Harbour (2008)
    • Port Macquarie (2008)
    • Bathurst (2007)
    • Young (2007)
    • Bega (2006)
    • Bateman's Bay (2006)
  • Member, Combined Universities' Field Education Group (CUFEG)
  • Chair, Access Committee, Bland Shire Council, 1999 - current
  • Member, Board of Director, IDEAS 2013 - current
  • Member, Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), 1991 - current

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 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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